Kitchen tips and tricks

Need to take time off from posting recipes and share some known ( possibly) tips or hints to many of you.

Kitchen chores need not be boring or humdrum if you can organize your entire day well before hand ...ok a little well before hand. Many of us may be the type to just enter the domain first thing after rubbing our eyes wearily and wondering from where to start.

If you happen to be a working woman the ordeal is even greater and if you have had a late night party and sink laden with dishes, the less said the better.You will end up one grumpy person and turn out whatever you think the family deserves.

All this can be avoided if only you take a little time to plan the previous night or at least when you hit the sack. Try some of the tips which really works well for me and Iam happy sometimes and extremely proud that Iam turning out at the right moments all the right dishes. I get many hours of free time a luxury to many , yet I would have done loads of chores for the day.

At times I do face the ordeal when I have to get everything ready by 7.30 am every morning, if I hadn't planned the  previous night what I was going to serve.

1.   While you have all the burners burning and food getting prepared, sambar simmering in one,rasam  on other,veggies getting done in a third, you need not wait impatiently to get them off, instead while still keeping an eye on all the burners, tackle the dishes you have in the sink and keep clearing them out as things are getting readied. Be prepared for some stretching exercise if you have to reach for the gas knobs to avoid spillage! Great Yoga poses here.

 This way you wont face a full laden sink every-time you finish cooking. This works for me and I dont have a maid at all for any of my chores.

2. You can even start chopping veggies that you can use later for dinner or next day and Ziploc them, while waiting for the baking to get done and you cant leave the kitchen.

3. Every time you break a coconut, grate them fully and divide them into portions and ziploc them and keep in freezer so you have them ready for the week.

4. I go one step further, I even make the ready garnishing of coconut,cumin,green  chilli   in the mixie and store for the week.This is such a time saver specially for festival lunches.

5. If you have forgotten to pressure cook the dals for sambar or rasam and running short of time ,you can easily cook moong dal which cooks very fast even as the sambar is simmering. It tastes good too.

6. I get all the next days  vegetables chopped as Iam cooking so I don't do that as a separate chore.

7. Always stock up on all kinds of healthy flours available in the stores these days.They come handy to make quick dishes.

8. I also stock up on dry tadka/seasoning by dry roasting all the seasoning ingredients before hand and keep in a small jar to avoid using oil for tempering and also to keep the gas stove clean by avoiding the splatters.

9. If I have too many salad veggies left over I use them up when I make upma or khichdi.

10. All dry veggies left over get turned into fillings for tikkas,pattice,parathas for the dinner!

11. I t is very useful and handy to make different types of chutneys and sauces when you get the time.
For instance my tomato thokku/Tomato thickened sauce gets converted to  rasam when I have run out of tomatoes for rasam.

12. Left over rice and dry veggies from the lunch get turned to interesting fritters and I keep a bottle of ready bread crumbs. Sauce is also available for the accompaniment.But take care to see the veggies have not been touched by hand and must be stored well.

13. Sometimes I boldly use ingredients that I never have before. You plan to make the tamrind rice but the tamrind paste just got over or you dont have time for the tamrind sauce to get ready, then use the vattakozhambu paste or powder. It tastes delicious. Just add some roasted peanuts etc. You need to keep vattazhkozhambu paste handy though. The stores have some fabulous pastes,powders to turn out variety rice dishes.

14. While I dont really buy a lot of instant stuff available, some are pretty handy.

15.Depending on the kind of potato preparation , I usually turn the left overs for samosa filling with added masalas.

15. When green peas are in season, stock up on these and keep them shelled and handy for tossing them in various dishes.

16. Left over dal from morning chapati dal khana can become south Indian rasam in evening.Just add tomatoes, and rasam powder and tamrind paste or even tomato puree will do.

More in my next. Am sure most of you would be experts in kitchen management.Do share some interesting tips which can be passed on to others.