Tips & Tricks

* When boiling milk, smear ghee on the edges of the vessel to prevent overflow.

* While making dosas, put two tbsps of cooked rice into the batter. The dosa will flip over easily and will be crisper.

* If you want to keep any salad fresh for an evening party, first chill the bowl or tray in which you intend to serve the salad.

* Store mushrooms in paper bags rather plastic bags or trays. This stops them from becoming ‘slimy’ and prolongs their life.

* While boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the natural sweetness.

* While cooking cabbage, add a bay leaf. This will reduce the smell during cooking and also give a subtle flavor.

* While cooking mince, put a whole carrot in with the mince. The carrot will absorb the excess fat in the meat. Remove the carrot when cooked and cut up with other vegetables for soup or simply discard.

* To peel an orange or a tomato less messily, dunk it in hot water for a minute or two and then in cold water for the same amount of time. You will have an easy to peel orange or tomato.

* Place rolled ‘puris’ in the fridge for 10 minutes before frying them. They will consume less oil and turn out crisper.

* To boil a cracked egg, add some vinegar to the water and place the egg in it. The egg shell will remain inside.

*To remove seeds from lemon, just roll it on hard surface applying a little pressure from your palm. Now cut it, you will find all seeds coming out easily.

* When you prepare butter at home, you get buttermilk as a by-product. Boil this buttermilk at medium heat, and you will get paneer at no extra cost.

* Sprinkle some salt in a frying pan to prevent oil from splashing.

* Do not add salt to ‘rajma’ and ‘urad dal’ while boiling. It will take half the time to boil when salt is subtracted.

* While steaming fish, place a piece of cheesecloth at the bottom of the pan. The fish can be lifted out without breaking.

* Add a little sugar while frying onions; they will turn pink or brown faster.

* To make your omelettes more spongy and soft, add two – three spoons of milk to the egg batter and mix properly.

* If oil used for frying turns dark, add a teaspoon of white vinegar, cover with a lid and keep on slow flame. When the spluttering stops, remove the lid; the oil will have cleared and it can be strained and re-used.

* Soak two slices of bread in a cup of coconut-water and with half a tablespoon of sugar. Then blend and use the mix in your ‘idli’ or hoppers batter to ferment it.

* If you sauté sliced onions without oil, the moisture content in the onions will be reduced faster. You can then add a little oil to sauté the onions. This way, you tend to use less oil and your sautéing is faster.

50 responses to “Tips & Tricks

  1. Shehnaaz Ebrahimjee

    With my own Ayuverdic diet restrictions I will give you a tip on what I do with my soups –

    – As a thickener I add some toasted oats instead of flour or potatoes as I am not allowed either of these.
    – I use a lot of very fresh coriander in my soups as a garnish.
    – To a plain carrot soup add a touch of ginger and it becomes really tangy.
    – We sprout a lot of green grams and then refrigerate for use when required. Green sprouts soup is absolutely delicious and to add substance I boil a few sprouted grams to the soup as a garnish as we are not allowed any bread. For this soup I also add a carrot to the sprouts before cooking them and blitzing the soup with a hand held blender.
    – Instead of cream we add a little bit of full cream milk for a nice finish.
    – The tastiest soup I have ever had is made from butternut squash Try it and it is very filling and tasty.

    – By : Shehnaaz Ebrahimjee, Mombasa, Kenya

  2. Rashida

    Shehnaaz, i m from mombasa too, can you say a lil more about yourself, you sound very very familiar!
    Thank you for some very interesting tips.
    I know a lot of these too, and is a good refresher.
    To thicken soups, i too use oats, but dont roast it, just add it to the soup.
    Another way to clean oil is to peel and cut a potato into slices, and fry it. The potato will absorb the ‘dirt’ from the oil and the oil will be clean again. This method can be used two or three times to clean the oil.

  3. Rashida

    When i make an omelette with onions, what i call piyajwalu omelette, with onions, coriander leaves, green chilliles, add a little water, depending on how much the omelette mixture is. The omelette will turn out softer!

  4. Rizwana

    Thank you so much for these wonderful tips Shehnaaz jii..I would certainly try to implement those in my kitchen..

    Please help me understand as to why is wheat consumption restricted in ur diet???
    I see this as a cause of concern for me,, cos I m also diabetic and I consume a lot of wheat products on a daily basis…is it harmful??

    When I was diagnosed with diabetes in Hyderabad ,India ,,during my 1st pregnancy way back in 2003,,,I was told by my endocronologist to eat wheat in the form of Roti,bread more when compared to rice…

    • Shehnaaz

      Dear Rizwana
      If you have heard of Drs Pankaj and Smita Naram who run the Ayushakti Clinic in Mumbai and many other citiies worldwide, they apepar to commonly advocate against the use of wheat in most diets especially when on their prescribed ayurvedic medication. I am not an expert on this but would suggest from my own limited knowledge that wheat is heavy to digest and certain people develop a gluten allergy. My own mother feels bloated when she has had roti and excludign this in her diet has helped her We have taken to eatign jawar ( white millet) rotis and for breakfast take a lot of oats and barley either in the form of a cooked porridge or Oatabix. I would not suggest that you exclude wheat from yr diet without medical advise. In case you are interested, pse check the website for the Ayushakti Clinic on
      All the very best

  5. vijitha

    It would be really great if you can add some pictures to every recipe you make.

    Then the users will get attracted 🙂

    • Shehnaaz

      Dear Vijitha
      I am at best an experimental cook but perhaps some day when I turn to it on a more serious note maybe after retirement I will publish recipes with photos and share them with you
      All the best

  6. Srutakirti sarkar

    If you want to protect your lemons for a long time then keep them in a bowl of water in the fridge

  7. Neha Daruka

    Always soak the whole pulses over night. This will take less cooking time the next day. Also always add hot water to the gravy. This will enhance the taste of the dish!

  8. Mohamed Siddiq

    when you make ginger garlic paste add oil it will help to keep the colour and flavour of that even if you keep fridge for long time

  9. Sharayu Kirkole (Bhagwat)

    Dear friends,
    1.If you want to enhance color of gravy, then when u add oil to pan , when the oil is warm add sugar and caramel it. it gives nice red color to gravy.
    2. I refrigerate washed and cut vegitables for whole wk. I store them in big sqare plastic boxes having humidity control holes, and cover upside and down side with tissues. It makes me easy to cook vegitables fast as all ingredients are ready.
    3. If u cut onion and corriander and mix togather and store in refrigerator, it remains fresh for a wk.
    4. for any dosa or utappa or omlet, i take half cut onion, dip in oil and when pan is hot i spread it all over, it creates nonstick coat, and i get success in those recipies.

  10. shagufta

    while boiling milk if u suspect that it is about to turn sour den add a pinch or two of cooking soda. it will prevent it from turning sour and the milk can be used normally.

  11. shagufta

    when you make biryani cover the bottom of the utencil with bay leaves and then start layering it and let it cook at low flame. this will prevent rice from sticking to the bottom and will also provide nice aroma!

  12. shagufta siddiqui

    to prevent cut apple pieces from turning black mix some lemon juice,toss it and stored in a plastic bag. this can be added to the fruit salad at the time of serving!

    • All your tips are very useful and effective. Thanks a lot. You must be passionate about cooking. Might be more than me!

      • shagufta

        thanks mam but its not possible coz i m jst a little above 20 so ders a long way to go!
        yes i love cooking and i learnt all dis by watching my mom but nowadays evn my dad cant tell d difference!
        ur site is really very inspiring especially d e-books as it has helped me a lot in d process of learning. thanks

  13. If the gravy is too salty, just knead a little dough of maida or wheat flour and make small balls. Add these to the simmering gravy.These will soak the excess salt.Remove them before serving.

  14. Add a little salt while boiling eggs to avoid cracking.

  15. Add a pinch of baking soda while boiling or blanching the greens. This will retain the green colour of the veggies.

  16. To get soft and spongy idlis, add a little cooked rice while grinding the batter.
    You may use the leftover rice too.

  17. To make the curd thick and firm consistency, add a little milk powder to the milk while boiling.

  18. garima sethia

    Try using carrots instead of sugar to sweeten your sauces.

  19. garima sethia

    Soak potatoes and eggplant after cutting, to avoid discoloration.

  20. garima sethia

    While cooking okra (ladyfingers) add a few drops of lemon juice or a spoonful of yogurt to avoid becoming sticky.!

  21. garima sethia

    one should never add lemon juice when your food is on the flame as it destroys vit c .1st put off the flame then one should add the juice it will enhace the taste as will helps to increase nutritive value.

  22. Navinchandra M Doshi

    Very nice tips but there is one more tip. Drop banana skin in a half pale of water at night, Take out banana skin nexy morning, Use the water for rubbing floor, Itwill work

  23. K. Achu

    Very very thanks for your tips

  24. renuka

    It is possible to preserve fresh fruit/vegetable juice for long time, if yes then what is the process to keep fresh for long time. We can store in plastic bottle like taparware or good quality of bottle.

  25. trupti dustakar

    if u think that paneer is to hard then keep paneer in bolied water for 1hr & see paneer is become soft. & for used.

  26. trupti dustakar

    while preparing a dalcha put some methi leaves in it .

  27. Shri

    If you want to store coriander leaves for a long time, wrap the leaves in a paper and then put it in a plastic tissue. Keep it in the fridge. It will remain fresh even for 15 days.

  28. Nikita Naresh Panchmatia

    Add Sugar and a tbsp of rava while preparing Bhaturas…..and knead the dough with cold water…….which will make your bhatura more soft and yummy to eat

  29. arti pandya

    To make instant bhatura,add a soaked bread slice(pcs.depend on quantity)while preparing the dough.after 5-10 min. its ready to prepare.

  30. Mamta Thakur

    When the bowl is empty in which the milk was can see cream stuck on the sides of the bowl, instead of washing it off..rather scrap the cream from the bowl your palms add water…this water can be used for kheading the dough .it makes the roti softer and looks whiter as well…try it…you are adding a little bit of calcium as well to ur roti..s

  31. rohit verma

    how you deseeded pomenagrate easily??
    when yiu peel pomenagrate for deseeding. put pomenagrate in cold water. and try to deseed in water. you easily get

  32. while making rasam add little sugar to increase the taste.

  33. neha maria

    to prevent tears while cutting onions, chew gum while chopping them.

  34. naseem

    To keep yong and smart to your boday kindly receit sure roum

  35. M.Satish kumar

    Cutting onions sharpens knife ,cutting green chillies blunts knife so first cut onions then chilley.

  36. teena

    prevent tears while chopping onions, wash and soak onions in water about 5 mins before chopping.

  37. teena

    store potatoes for long time, put ginger in potato basket, potatoes will last longer and fresh.

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