These are some of the very useful tips which aayi keeps telling me always. When I follow them properly, the result is always good.

  • While cooking potatoes, Cut them into half and add a pinch of turmeric. This makes the potatoes cook faster.
  • While cooking toor dal, add a pinch of turmeric and a drop of oil. Toor dal cookes faster.
  • While cooking pulav, wash the rice in water and spread it on a cloth or paper for drying. Leave it for around 15-30 min. This makes the rice grains separate.
  • While cooking pulav in kadai (i mean not using cooker), do not mix the ingredients frequently, if u mix it, the rice becomes paste. So after 10-15 min of cooking, just open the lid and have a look. If you feel it is cooked, gently mix the contents once or twice.
  • Use water always in 1(rice) : 2 (water) for pulav. After 10-15min of cooking, if u feel water is less, just add little water.
  • Always cook pulav on very low flame.
  • While making chapathi, leave the dough for 30 min to make soft chapathis. Some more tips here
  • Over roasting/burning/over frying any spice changes the taste of the dish. So be careful while handling the spices. (Mustard turns bitter when fried for a long time).
  • Puri dough should be made little harder than chapathi dough. This prevents puri from retaining more oil when it is deep fried. Also once dough is prepared, make the puri immediately. Some more tips here
  • While adding tadka(seasoning) to any curry or dal, add it once the curry/dal is completely cooked. Close the lid immediately & remove from flame. This will retain the seasoning aroma. Do not cook after adding seasoning.
  • Put the brinjal(eggplants) pieces or peeled smoked brinjal in water for around 10 mins. Discard the water. This removes any bitter taste from them.
  • Do not hold any spice powder packets directly on the dish while cooking, the hot vapors get into the packet and spoil the powder. Take out the required amount of powder on a spoon and then add it to the dish.
  • Always use a flat bottomed pan for cooking (except for frying puris, they need depth), this helps in equal distribution of heat. Also, use broader vessel compared to thin tall vessel.
  • If your kitchen stove has got black mess on it, spread some baking soda and rub lightly. Leave it for around 15mins and give it a good rub and wipe off. The hard mess usually comes off easily.
  • For good fermentation of idlis and dosa batter, read this post and comments.
  • While cutting boiled potatoes, dip the knife in water. This avoids sticking to knife.
  • While grinding coconut during cold days or while grinding frozen/cold coconut, use warm water. This helps in easy grinding and also avoids the fat floating on top.
  • Add 1/2 tea spn of sugar while cooking beetroot in cooker. This avoids the spreading/splashing of color.
  • To remove the black marks from the stove top (the kind of stoves in US particularly), spray some oven cleaner, leave for around 10mins and then gently scrub them off. Difficult marks come off easily.
  • Never put garlic or cardamom, which are not peeled in hot oil. They pop up and can cause serious burns. If you need to use them whole, slightly open up the skin from one side.
  • Add a little salt when frying tomatoes, this helps to get them mushy faster.
  • To remove black stains in cooker or vessels, add a small piece of lemon and 1/2 cup water. Heat for few minutes and wash immediately.