It’s a common myth that Indian cooking is difficult and time-consuming. However, the reality is that most Indians cook their meals every day, and guess what, in less than an hour. So how is that possible? What kitchen tips and tricks do they use? This article discusses exactly that. From learning about spices to using sharp knives and modern kitchen appliances like mixer grinders, kitchen hobs and induction cooktops to your benefit, we have covered all. So, go ahead and learn the 9 Tips and Tricks To Make Cooking Easier.
1. Learn About Your Spices
Spices play a fundamental part in Indian cooking. Many respected chefs say that if you have mastered the game of spices, then, essentially you have learnt everything about cooking.
A proper understanding of the aromatics these spices add to a dish will help you in creating masterpieces. This, naturally, becomes one of the most useful kitchen tips.
Tasting your spices is the perfect way to understand the flavour they are going to impart to a dish. It’s also important to know when different spices should be added. This knowledge ensures the complete layering of flavours that make our Indian foods unique.
Whole spices like black pepper, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and mustard seeds are generally cracked or tempered in oil at the beginning. Doing this releases their natural oils which is necessary before adding the other ingredients.
Powdered spices are usually added halfway through the cooking or once you have some gravy like liquid tomatoes in your cooking vessel. These include chilli, coriander, cumin powder and turmeric.
Finally, delicate flavour-enhancing spices like garam masala, mace, and fenugreek powder are added at the end of the cooking.
2. Always Use Sharp Knives
It might be surprising for you to hear that cooking with sharp knives is much safer than with old or blunt ones. This is because a blunt knife will require more pressure to cut and as a result it would be more prone to slipping, thereby potentially causing an injury.
However, a sharp knife helps you cut ingredients more quickly and precisely. While, on the other hand, a blunt or a dull knife will uninspire you or slow you down.
Another reason for using sharp knives is that they make your food look and taste better too.
Fresh ingredients like coriander or other herbs release more of their natural aromatic flavours if they are cut with a sharp blade. So if someone asks you about some tips for cooking, you should always recommend using sharp knives.
3. Never add All the Ingredients at Once
Indian cooking is strictly based on balancing layers of flavours and spices. Each ingredient has its own nutritional value and must be cooked to bring out the maximum taste.
In this case, adding all the ingredients at once is not a smart idea. Instead of simplifying the cooking process, it might make matters worse as this won’t bring out the individual flavours of a dish.
Among the best chefs, adding dry ingredients to the dish before wet ingredients is a common practice. Another practice you should avoid is sautéing onions for different time periods because this will result in the end dish tasting very differently.
In addition to that, for gravy-rich meat dishes, onions should be sautéed for a long time. However, if you grate ginger or garlic too early, then it can lead to burning.
4. Make an All-In-One Gravy
When cooking, having an already prepared sauce or gravy is a luxury if you are short on time. This solution is best for bachelors living alone or people who have busy schedules.
So, to prepare this all-in-one gravy in advance, you would need fresh tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, salt and spices as per your taste and requirements.
Firstly, cut tomatoes into small cubes and chop onions. Then, put a pan on the gas stove, heat it with some oil, add ginger garlic and saute until their smell is gone. Add onions along with dry spices and mix them together. After that, add tomatoes and let them cook till they are mushy and soft. Add salt to the sauce as per taste and cook it until it leaves oil on the sides of the pan.
Cool off this mixture and store it in airtight containers. This gravy would easily remain fresh for about a week or so.
5. Reduce Excessive Salt In Curries
Consumption of excessive salt in the long term can be detrimental to your health. It can lead to problems like high blood pressure, calcium loss, heart disease and stroke. So, naturally, our salt intake must be given proper attention.
If you are a novice or are learning to cook, then, there is a high chance that, at times, you might not get the measurements of salt or spices right. While doing so, you may add extra salt to the food like curry or similar gravy dishes.
In order to neutralise the extra salt, you can add small cubes of raw potatoes. You can also add fresh cream or milk. Another option is dropping small rice powder balls in the curry.
6. Understand the Meat You are Cooking
Different kinds of meat have separate cooking requirements. Selecting the right kind of meat for the right dish will not only help in reducing waste but will also make your cooking easier.
It’s a well-known fact that, in animals like goat or lamb, the harder working muscles require more cooking time. This means meat from their arms or limbs requires slow cooking in a pressure cooker.
Subsequently, fresh poultry meat like fish and chicken is more tender than red meat. Therefore, it takes less time to cook. Also, in most cases, using a pressure cooker is not necessary.
If you would master chefs about the most useful kitchen tips, then, undoubtedly, they would point out understanding the meat.
7. Cook with an Air Fryer
Cooking with an Air Fryer has immense advantages. From providing a healthier alternative to traditional fried foods to a significant reduction in gas consumption, they do it all. Needless, to say, as they operate on electricity, they are more safe to use as compared to conventional flame-based gas stoves.
Recent studies have found that cooking with an air fryer cuts about 70% to 80% of calories from your food when compared to using a deep fryer. As the best air fryers in India make use of the circulation of hot air within the chamber, this results in faster cooking while retaining the crisp texture and natural flavour of the dishes. If you wish to have fried potatoes or french fries you could always bake potatoes or have a healthier alternative like sweet potato.
8. Use the Auto Cook Menus of Your Microwave Oven
Modern and best Microwave Ovens are loaded with multiple pre-programmed auto-cook menus. They are specifically designed to make cooking easier. Some models even provide free breakfast recipes for weight loss through mobile applications.
Grill microwave ovens, as the name suggests are perfect for grilling meat, chicken, seafood or veggies like paneer. The auto-cook options on these ovens include grilling sandwiches, preparing kebabs and roasting chunks of meat.
As for convection ovens, you get most of the features of a grill oven, and on top of that, additional baking capabilities. So whether you are making sweet dishes cakes, puddings, pies, or snacks like pasta, casseroles, or roasted vegetables, each dish can be cooked with a single push of a button on your oven.
9. Enhance the Flavour of Your Dal
Pulses or Dals, as they are commonly called in India, are a staple in Indian food. No household can survive without Dal. So, with that said, it becomes essential to enhance its flavour and prepare it in a way that everybody will like.
Generally, people first boil Dal in a pressure cooker and prepare a masala separately. This masala is then added to the Dal. But, we have come up with a way to make your dal even richer and tastier.
What you need to do is roast your dal before cooking and then boil it. In this manner, you will end up with a nice aroma and a smoky flavour in your dal.
Our Suggested Products For Your Kitchen
Best Gas Stove
Best Mixer Grinder
Best Induction Cooktop
Best Air Fryer
Best Water Purifier
For some, cooking is an art. While for others, it may be a hobby or passion. But one thing always remains constant. That is, you can always learn more about tips for cooking, improve your craft and explore new methods, techniques and best cooking recipes.
Today, with the advent of technology, you have a ton of cooking equipment at your disposal. All you need to do is to be able to master their usage. This can happen if you try to learn the best and most efficient kitchen tips and tricks and apply them in your daily lives.