MAD Tricks & Picks

Handy tricks and quick picks for your day-to-day cooking!!

I just felt like mentioning in my blog and sharing all the tricks related to our day-to-day┬áhousehold activities, and I feel it to be useful. Will try to┬áadd as much as I can as we grow… Mostly it will be few overall kitchen related tricks shared by my mom, family and friends. Also I will try to add stuff that I have read on cooking smart over the years. So here we go….

  • For Keeping you veggies fresh and preventing from decay, wrap them up in newspapers and store them in the refrigerator.
  • Dont boil vegetables in cold water, always use boiling water.
  • Do not throw away the water in which the vegetables have been boiled, this water has high nutritive value. Use it for kneading the dough.
  • If the vegetable is burnt, place a slice of bread on top of it and cover. Remove the slice after a while, the burnt odour will vanish.
  • To retain the color of the green vegetables sprinkle some sugar on them while cooking.
  • Vitamins and minerals of all the green veggies lie generally close to the skin, therefore its recommended that they should be peeled thinly to avoid waste of vitamin content.
  • Its easier to cut raw vegetables if you first dip the knife in a very hot water.
  • Buy ginger at wholesale price and bury it in slightly moist ground or in an earthen pot which contains soft mud. It will stay fresh longer.
  • While cooking, green leafy vegetables should not be stirred too much because the vitamins are destroyed by doing so.
  • Whenever you cook pumpkin or any other veggie that has to be mashed after cooking, cut them into big pieces as it can then be mashed well and it will also cook fast.at its centre, the bitterness if any gets eliminated.
  • To avoid smell in cabbage, cauliflower and sprouts add about one teaspoon sugar to the water.
  • If a cucumber is broken at its centre, the bitterness if any gets eliminated.
  • To crisp lady finger when frying, wash it and dry them thoroughly before cooking.
  • If you wish to cook lady finger in a hurry, add the masala and squeeze a lemon over it. The vegetable will cook within few minutes and become nice and crisp.
  • To minimize the bitterness of a karela┬á( bitter gourds) cut it into pieces and soak it for half and hour in the rice water obtained after washing rice or else dip them into salt and turmeric water few minutes before preparation.
  • Boil beetroot with leaves, it will cook in half the time it takes when the leaves are cut off.
  • To prevent beetroot from losing its color, add a piece of ginger while beetroot is being cooked.
  • Dry plenty of mint leaves in the sun when they are available. When completely┬ádry, crush them and store the powder in an airtight container. Use it for making chutneys┬áand mint parathas.
  • Coriander leaves are easily and finely chopped with a pair of scissors rather than a knife.
  • In order to keep coriander leaves fresh for a longer time, put the bunch along with the roots in a glass of water and refrigerate.
  • To bring the flavour┬áof dried herbs, soak them in hot water for a couple of minutes and then in cold.
  • To give a subtle garlic flavour to salad, cut a flake of garlic and rub the inside of the salad bowl with the cut surface.
  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water when washing salad greens. Any insects in the vegetables will drop off into water.
  • Do not add salt to beans or pulses while they are cooking as that tends to take longer to cook. Add salt when beans are tender.
  • After boiling the peas, pour cold water on them as they will remain green and fresh.
  • Take off the corn kernels as soon as they are tender else they will become tough if cooked for a longer duration.
  • To peel tomatoes effortlessly and without a mess, leave them in a deep freezer over night. The skin cracks on its own.
  • Cut tomatoes vertically instead of horizontally, to keep the slices firm and retain much of their juice.
  • To cut soft and messy tomatoes finely, immerse them in chilled water for few minutes , they will be firm and easy to cut.
  • To remove the skin of almonds easily, soak them in hot water for 15-20 minutes
  • Apply some lemon juice on the cut surface of the apple to avoid browning. They will look fresh for a longer time.
  • To keep celery fresh for a long time, wrap it in aluminium foil and place in the refrigerator.
  • If the dough sticks to the rolling-pin, place it in freezer for a few minutes.
  • To keep the chillies fresh for a longer time, remove the stems before storing.
  • Hang a peacock feather, lizards will leave your house.
  • Don`t store potatoes and onions together. Potatoes will rot quickly if stored with onions.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Dimple Bhardwaj September 27, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Awesome Anamika! Love your handy tricks :0) Keep up the good work!!!!

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madcookingfusions September 27, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Thank You Dimple:)

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tina January 3, 2012 at 1:03 AM

what is your recipe for garam masala

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madcookingfusions January 3, 2012 at 8:23 PM

I use coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, black cardamom (3-4 large pods approx), cloves, cinnamon (2 X 1ÔÇØ pieces) and crushed bay leaves. Quantity of coriander seeds and cumin seeds has to be more approx 4 tablespoon each and rest approx 1 tablespoon or less as per your own taste.
Need to gently roast all ingredients, till they turn a few shades darker and stir occasionally. Please do this slowly and donÔÇÖt hurry up else the dry masala will burn and remain raw on the inside. Once they are roasted turn off the heat and let it cool. Grind them all together, to a fine powder in a dry grinder. Store it in an air tight container like other spices.
Do let me know if you have any more clarifications, will be happy to revert. Happy Cooking!

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Nisha March 7, 2012 at 12:33 AM

Very nice collection of tips, they’re all very useful. I didn’t know half of them. Especially surprised with the cucumber one :)

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madcookingfusions March 7, 2012 at 5:49 AM

Thank you Nisha for stopping by….moving onto your space now!!

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nutan gupta September 13, 2012 at 12:10 PM

woooaaa i learned some interesting tips today…thx :0

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madcookingfusions September 13, 2012 at 4:48 PM

thanks again Nutan, do use whichever tip you feel is required in your kitchen, will keep adding in more.

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Duha Hussein January 21, 2013 at 3:07 AM

I just favorited this page! Keep up the good work… &looking forward to trying some lovely recipes from you. :]

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madcookingfusions January 21, 2013 at 8:44 AM

thank you so much Duha, I am glad you liked my space :)!

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Colleen August 29, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I loved the peacock feather suggestion to drive away lizards ! :D
Thank you! Will surely try this one

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madcookingfusions September 1, 2013 at 10:16 AM

thank you, I am glad you liked it :)

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