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Planning Tips

Planning your menu and recipe is a big part of being successful in making that recipe.

Menu Planning : While planning a menu-Combine into your menu a rice dish ,an entree (main dish)& a salad or raita. You may include parathas too. A good menu should generally cater to the sweet and spicy tastes, say when your main dish is spicy, choose a raita that is sweet. this way you can ensure that your guests don't end up eating only spicy or only sweet food. Also never make just one dish. If that one dish fails to appease your guests taste buds, they'll go home hungry.

Keeping Greens Fresh: Leafy vegetables die within a couple of days even when kept in refrigerator. To keep them fresh for a longer period of time, clean & wrap them in paper. Refrigerate this bundle and the vegetables will remain fresh for a longer time.

Keeping the work area clean : Work in a clean and uncluttered space. This will help you organize your thoughts better. It may mean clearing up the counter and table top space but it
will be worth it.

Reading cooking steps ahead of time : Many a times reading the recipe and familiarizing yourself with the cooking method is a great way of starting out.

Following the recipe to the T : Try a recipe once, the way it is recommended the first time. Make changes as you see fit the next time, this way you can taste the recipe as it was meant to be cooked.

Pre-tasting a recipe : Try to taste the recipe in a restaurant as you will have some idea of how it should taste.

Fermentation of Dosa batter : If you live in a centrally air conditioned flat and want to make dosas, keep the dosa batter overnight in the microwave (switched off, of course), as the interior of the microwave will be warmer than the rest of the house. Also, a pinch of sugar into the batter gives a lovely brown color to the dosa.

Ginger Garlic Paste Freshness : Mix a pinch of salt to the Ginger/Garlic paste and refrigerate it for a fresh cooking . Paste will last longer and fresh for months.

Pre-prepare Ginger & Garlic paste : When you have free time, use it to prepare a bottle of ginger garlic paste, which can be used to be used later while cooking.

Pre-Preparing Masalas: Pre-Prepare most of your "masalas" ahead of time.

Methi pre-prepare for future use: If you are a fan of fresh methi (fenugreek leaves) then on a weekend you can clean them up and place the methi in a freezer ziploc bag and freeze it. It can be stored for months. You can use this to make a quick methi aloo accompanied with some sweet raita at time of emergency .

Cooking :

Crispy Samosas: To make crispy samosas add 1 tsp of rice flour to 1 cup of maida.

Crispy Pakoras: For crispy pakoras add little hot oil in the batter before frying.

Browning Onions: Add a little salt, onions become brown faster.

Storing leftover rice: Rice is best stored in containers that can be re-heated.

Handy Dishtowel: Pull a dishtowel or rag partially through the belt loop on your jeans/sari. The towel is handy to wipe your hands on at any time, and you don't have to keep looking for one when you need it most.

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