myth and facts

Title : Mushy Mushrooms and Vegetables Previous tip PreviousNext Next tip

Mushy Mushrooms and Vegetables

  • Mushrooms often become dark and discoloured while cooking. To prevent them from doing so, dip mushrooms in warm water to which a tablespoon of milk has been added.
  • I love eating mushrooms but I couldn’t cook them because they always broke when I cooked them. Only recently, a friend told me to add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the butter while frying mushrooms. This prevents them from breaking.
  • Often one is hounded with the sticky lot of ladyfingers while frying. This ruins the dish. To ensure that ladyfingers don’t turn black or stick to the vessel while cooking, add a spoonful of curd to them.
  • Foxed by the half roasted brinjal? After roasting a brinjal for ‘bharta’, place it in a plate and cover it with a lid. Any raw portion that remains will also get cooked. The latent heat trapped with in the lid will do your work for you.
  • Here is another tip on ‘bhartas’. For a ‘baigan bharta’ with a difference, add a little green masala and curd.
  • I always wondered how to professional cooks managed to keep their spinach so green or the cauliflower so white, till I learnt their trick. To retain the original colour of spinach, broccoli and cabbage, douse them in ice-cold water just after boiling them.
  • Let us admit, we still nurture a fondness for the colour white, be it the skin or anything else. To retain the whiteness of potatoes white boiling, add a little lime juice and some sugar.
  • If you add a pinch of alum to the potatoes white boiling, they will remain white.
  • Most Indian like their curries to look rich and red. To give your curry a nice and red colour, deseed two red chillies and soak them in water. When the chillies become soft, crush them and add the water to the gravy.
  • Let us face it; colours do play a very important part in cooking. Peas don’t look half as good, if they do not have a garden fresh green colour. While using green peas in ‘pulao’, apply a little oil to them so that they retain their original colour.
  • For garnishing pulaos, fry onions with a pich of sugar. They will turn brown faster and impart a nice colour to the pulao, too.
  • Using the right substitute is an art by itself. If you run out of breadcrumbs while making cutlets, use crushed cornflakes or sieved semolina and they will be equally crisp.
  • Frying onions is a chore I detest. One can go on and on, trying to fry them to the right degree. But I have learnt a trick. Add a pinch of salt to the chopped onion while frying them for seasoning. They will turn soft quicker.
  • While on frying onions, I must share a tip for those who want to use very little oil and manage to burn their onions. Adding a little milk the onions while frying will give them a rich colour and prevent burning.
  • I never remember to soak the ‘Rajmah’, ‘chana’ etc., the previous night and so I can never get down to cooking this pulse. But, now I have discovered a method, which eliminates the problem. When you have to cook pulses like ‘chana’ etc. and have forgotten to soak them overnight, don’t panic. Just put the chana in a flask full of boiling water for an hour. They will be ready for cooking within no time.
  • Germinated legumes can be a very healthy addiction. A friend of mine always adds dried and powdered germinated legumes to baby food to improve the nutritive value. Needless to say, her baby wins all the ‘healthy baby’ contests.
  • Many Indian recipes, especially the ones from Maharashtra and down South, require roasted groundnuts. To get perfectly roasted groundnuts, sprinkle a little water over them to prevent the nuts from getting burnt. They will become crisper and the skin will come off easily.
  • Before roasting brinjals for making ‘baingan bharta’, smear them with mustard oil. The skin will peel off easily.
  • For the novice cook who always misjudges the water used for the gravies and finds the resultant gravy quite a thin one, here is a very helpful tip. Roast groundnuts and sesame seeds and powder them. This powder can be used to thicken gravies as well as to add a delicious flavour to the curry.
  • If you are fed up of the soggy taste of your ‘bhindi fry’, just add a few drops of lemon juice to the ladyfingers while cooking them. You will love the crispy taste.
  • Most mothers have a problem with their children as far as bitter-ground is concerned. Yet, it is one of the vegetables that we want our children to eat. What you can do to remove the bitterness is to soak the bitter gourd pieces in curd, overnight. In the morning you can either stuff them or cook them in any other method. Children will not complain about the bitterness.
  • To add a fresh taste to leftover gravies, roast and grind cumin seeds and store in a bottle. Add a pinch in gravies and ‘raitas’ to get a deliciously fresh flavour.
  • This tip is for those who can never decide the amount of salt to add to the ‘sambar’, soup or gravy, add a bowl of cooked rice.
  • Using leftover stuff is a big challenge. Each time I make ‘dosas’, I am left with a substantial amount of the coconut chutney. I always fretted over the wastage till a friend taught me the trick of using the leftover chutney. It can be used to make a delicious dish. Add cooked potatoes, beans, green peas and a spoonful of coconut oil for flavour and boil for 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves. The resulting vegetable korma can be served with hot chapattis.

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Added by  : SSRawat