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  • For softer chapatis, add a teaspoon oil to the flour and knead the dough with warm water. Rest the dough in a covered bowl for at least 15 minutes. 

  • To cook rice for pulao or biryani, add a few drops of lemon juice, salt and oil to the rice while cooking to get each grain separate and fluffy.

  • Dal cooks faster if you add a few drops of oil and a pinch of turmeric powder to the water. Add some extra water to dal so the dal-water can be used to prepare a light rasam or used as a stock for soup.

  • For the perfect tempering, always add spices to hot oil and transfer over the dish as soon as the mustard/cumin seeds have spluttered. Adding spices to cold oil will not carry the spice flavors into the dish.

  • Always soak beans overnight and any kind of lentils for at least 30 minutes before cooking, for quicker cooking and to negate the effect of phytates.

  • Before squeezing a lemon, microwave it whole for 10 seconds to get maximum juice out of it. This trick works for oranges too. No microwave? Roll the lemon firmly on the chopping board or kitchen countertop before squeezing. To peel ginger, use the edge of a teaspoon to scrape out the skin.

  • To get finely grated ginger every single time, freeze the peeled ginger and grate it whenever required. Storing it in the freezer makes sure it stays fresh for very long and you get very finely grated ginger too.

  • If you need just one boiled potato for a chaat, sandwich or poha, cut it in half. Place in a microwave-safe box or bowl with a lid with 2 tablespoons of water, cut side facing up. Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes (depending on size). Cool for 2 minutes, peel and use.

  • To ensure pickles last longer, always use a clean, dry spoon, or better still, heat the spoon over a flame before using it to dip into the bottle.

  • Vegetables like potato, sweet potato, plantain, eggplant etc. tend to discolor once cut, so immerse them in a bowl of water, until you are ready to cook with them.

  • While preparing green chutney (mint and coriander), add a pinch of turmeric powder and lemon juice to retain the bright green color.

  • In spinach based curries like palak paneer, to retain the bright green color, blanch spinach leaves in boiling water in refresh in cold water before pureeing.

  • If a dal or curry has become over salted, add half a peeled raw potato and simmer for a few minutes. The potato will absorb the excess salt. A tightly pressed ball of rice can also be used for the same.

  • To peel almonds, soak them in boiling hot water for 30 minutes. The skins will come off easily

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