Some Cooking Tips:

Once you've finished eating the banana don't throw the peel away; put it to good use.

Banana peel is also loaded with potassium and can be used to reduce wrinkles around the eyes. Rubbing a fresh banana peel, yellow side out, under and around the eyes can reduce worry lines and bags.

A banana peel can also reduce the itching and swelling from an insect bite. Again just rub the peel on the bite or for extended relief tape some peel to the bite.

Banana peels are great for gardening ..if dried and added to the soil especially for Rose plants it makes them shine. Rose bushes thrive on potassium so try scattering a few peels around the base of these bushes.

In a pinch I even used a banana peel to shine my shoes.

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.
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.

Many modern cooks are concerned about preparing healthy, low-fat meals. Fortunately, there are simple ways to reduce the fat content of most dishes. Here are a few general tips for adapting the recipes in this book. Throughout the book, you’ll also find specific suggestions for individual recipes—and don’t worry, they’ll still taste delicious!

Many recipes call for butter or oil to sauté vegetables or other ingredients. Using oil lowers saturated fat right away, but you can also reduce the amount of oil you use.You can also substitute a low-fat or nonfat cooking spray for oil. Sprinkling a little salt on the vegetables brings out their natural juices, so less oil is needed. It’s also a good idea to use a small, nonstick frying pan if you decide to use less oil than the recipe calls for.

Dairy products like yogurt and milk are a common source of unwanted fat. Both items are available in reduced or nonfat varieties (2% milk has more fat than skim). Another easy way to reduce the amount of fat from dairy products is simply to use smaller amounts! Also, health food stores and natural foods sections of large groceries carry rice milk and soy milks, cheeses, and yogurts. People around the world enjoy these delicious foods as low-fat alternatives to dairy products.You may want to experiment with substituting these items.

Some cooks like to replace ground beef with ground turkey to lower fat. However, since this does change the flavor, you may need to experiment a little bit to decide if you like this substitution. Buying extra-lean ground beef is also an easy way to reduce fat.

There are many ways to prepare meals that are good for you and still taste great. As you become a more experienced cook, try experimenting with recipes and substitutions to find the methods that work best for you.

The Careful Cook
Whenever you cook, there are certain safety rules you must always keep in mind. Even experienced cooks follow these rules when they are in the kitchen.
•Always wash your hands before handling food. Thoroughly wash all raw vegetables and fruits to remove dirt, chemicals, and insecticides. Wash uncooked poultry, meats, and fish under cold water.

•Use a cutting board when cutting up vegetables and fruits. Don’t cut them up in your hand! And be sure to cut in a direction away from you and your fingers.

•Long hair or loose clothing can easily catch fire if brought near the burners of a stove. If you have long hair, tie it back before you start cooking.

•Turn all pot handles toward the back of the stove so that you will not catch your sleeves or jewelry on them. This is especially important when younger brothers and sisters are around. They could easily knock off a pot and get burned.

•Always use a pot holder to steady hot pots or to take pans out of the oven. Don’t use a wet cloth on a hot pan because the steam it produces could burn you.

•Lift the lid of a steaming pot with the opening away from you so that you will not get burned.

•If you get burned, hold the burn under cold running water. Do not put grease or butter on it. Cold water helps to take the heat out, but grease or butter will only keep it in.

•If grease or cooking oil catches fire, throw baking soda or salt at the bottom of the flame to put it out. (Water will not put out a grease fire.) Call for help, and try to turn all the stove burners to “off.”

•Handle fresh chilies with care because they contain oils that can burn your eyes or mouth. After working with chilies, be sure not to touch your face until you have washed your hands thoroughly with soap and water. To be extra cautious, wear rubber gloves while fixing chilies. The way you cut the peppers will affect their hotness. If you take out the seeds, the flavor will be sharp but not fiery. If you leave the seeds in, beware!

Apart from Cooking,there are some more issues you need to consider.A few of them are listed here...

Cooking Terms

Weights and Measurements

Cooking Utensils

colander/sieve—A bowl-shaped dish with holes in it used for washing or draining food
electric grinder—A small, electric appliance used for grinding hard, dry foods such as spices, coffee beans, and grains
skewer—A thin metal or wooden rod used to hold small pieces of food for broiling or grilling
slotted spoon—A spoon with small openings in the bowl used to scoop solid food out of a liquid
spatula—A flat, thin utensil, usually metal, used to lift, toss, turn, or scoop food

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