There are some things which are part of a normal kitchen, and yet, need to be learned.. by trial and error.. - hang on, baj, is it 'learned' or 'learnt' ?? Do clear me up on that I always get worried :)
Acha, so here are some things I have learnt. If you have any, let me have them and they will be added to the list. I am sure even if you are only reading this leaning over 'someone' else's shoulder, you still have wisdom to share ;)
- whenever you make parathas, always use a wooden spoon. From the lathering of ghee in the pera to the frying bit and the turning over. I have experimented many a times and it always comes down to the best parathas - done with a wooden spoon
- dito milk deserts, especially custard. Mix and cook with a wooden spoon - a metal one will let u turn for ages without thickening
- ever wondered why the mince kebabs you make always seem to shrink? I confess, I hate to peel and cut or do anything else with onions. That always made me be miserly with them in kebabs. Till I had too many sliced onions and I crushed them and added them to my mince and voila! The kebabs were SO very soft and didnt event shrink and certainly did not smell oniony
- we all use bread for our koftas na. Try using breadcrumbs - not the ones we make at home, the commercial ones bought from the market
- meatballs for spagetti? Mix in parmesan cheese with the meatballs. Out of this world taste!
- squeezing lemons? Put them in HOT water for 10 mins and then roll them with the palm of ur hand. U'll have more lemon juice than u need!
- best way to boil eggs: put eggs in cold water, add salt, cover and let the water come to a boil. Once its boiling, switch off the heat and leave it on the stove. Let it stand, covered, for 15 minutes. The eggs will be boiled full and the yolk will be soft and moist not hard and dry
- burnt the pot? Take away the burnt food, sprinkle soda bicarbonate on the base of the pot, add a little water and let it heat up once. Let it cool and wash. The burnt food will come off easily. I havent broken any nails since ages :)
- and one which has to do with faith. My Ma told me this one. Whenever you have sweet stuff, desert, ice cream, cake, mithai or even the sugar pot.. to leave it on the counter is inviting ants, right? Wrong - if you follow this: pick it up from its place, take a deep breath and say Bismillah, keep holding the breath and put the dish/container down somewhere else. I've been doing this the past 17 years. It has not failed me once. In fact, I even experimented with a heap of sugar! Only condition, u have to believe it! Try it :) Inshallah it will work.
So - tune in again.. I have to rush, lots more where that came from - namely my head :) Will write again soon.