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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dadi,Nani ke nuskhe (Grandma's everyday wisdom)

I recollect my maternal grandma would be constantly looking out for me on my ritual visits to her during summer vacations.The reason I was "stalked" by her was because I would be deeply immersed playing away with my brother and my cousins who happened to be all boys and I was lone girl amongst them! My grandmother would want me to learn the fine arts of kitchen  - probably she was trying to tell me that way to a man's heart is -- as goes the adage! No idea where I stand with it after all these years of matrimony!
I wish good sense had prevailed that time to make notes of all the pearls of wisdom. At that time, never realized that later on in life I would be writing or making calls to all these lovely ladies naniammi, dadiammi or my mom and mother-in-law seeking help with BIG issues, something like "how do I keep the samosas crisp after frying them?" Many more of such problems that came my way. At this stage in life I now have a compilation of such tips which I wanted to share and may prove helpful!
Sometimes old ideas work best. Here are some vintage tips for you to consider!

Crisp samosas: To keep the samosas crisp after frying, sprinkle a little besan/gramflour over them. You would be surprised how the trick works!
Chana daal: When cooking chana daal add a pinch of turmeric, this fastens the cooking time and enhances the flavor!
Evenly baked cake: If the cake is rising with uneven color during baking time and the toothpick comes out sticky - place foil paper over the cake.This will prevent the cake from further getting dark and will have an even browning effect!
Bring out the freshness of naan: Make a mix of 2teaspoon olive oil, half cup of water. Store this in a spray bottle and refrigerate. As and when required spray the mix on the naan on either side and either microwave or heat in moderately preheated oven or on the tava!
Pakoras: To the besan  add one egg, 1tablespoon yoghurt,spices of your choice, make the batter with warm water and fry. The pakoras will be devoid of oil!
Blunt knives: To get the sharpness of the knives back, put them in boiling water!
Crisp onion rings: For crisp onion rings used to garnish salads or before serving dishes that require garnishing with onion rings, place the onion rings in a bowl of water and refrigerate until ready to use.
How to retain the green color and flavor of peas: Bring some water to boil, add a little bit of salt and a pinch or two of sugar. Put the peas in the boiling water and remove after a minute or two.Adding sugar will retain the flavor of the peas. Add the peas to the dish only towards the end or just before serving and do not cover, by placing the lid/cover the peas will lose their fresh green color and look unappetizing!
How to have juicier Gulab Jamuns: Do not over cook the sugar syrup. Once the sugar gets dissolved in the water and boils for a minute or two switch off the stove. Sticky sugar syrup will coat the gulab jamuns from outside and prevent the sugar syrup to seep through the jamuns! Place the fried jamuns in warm syrup and put back the dish on the stove covered and cook for 1-2 minutes!

Photo courtesy: http://www.123rf.com/photo