It is rightly said that the kitchen is the heart of every home. Indian women handle kitchen duties most often and find the storage and usage of food items challenging. Hence, could be unorganised, at times. For instance, most pulses, lentils, and spices do not come in sealed packaging, therefore are vulnerable to bugs and insects. In such a case, women need to deal with maintaining the food items, efficiently. So, we have set out some of the effective useful kitchen tips and tricks to keep your kitchen and food storage free of germs and insects at all times, thus keeping your kitchen well sorted. Interesting? Go ahead and be the ‘PERFECT KITCHEN ORGANISER’!
Useful kitchen tips
1. Preserving and Storing Pulses and Lentils
There are different ways to preserve and stow your pulses and lentils:
a. Add two to three dried chillies to the pulses and lentils and store them in an airtight container. The number of chillies may be increased as per the quantity of the pulses and lentils.
b. You may dry and roast (do not over- roast) them before storing them in a packed container. Make sure to roast them every 2 to 3 months, at frequent intervals if they have been in storage for longer periods.
c. Make use of dry neem leaves. Mix them along with pulses and lentils to conserve them form pests as neem is an effectual, natural pest control agent. It is one of the most useful kitchen tips that are safe and cheap.
d. Mix around 2 to 4 tablespoons of mustard oil with pulses and lentils and leave them out for sundry. The pungent smell of the oil will repel insects and keep them at bay.
2. Use salt as an antibacterial and antifungal agent
Salt is considered to be a powerful agent in saving many food items from fungal or bacterial infections. It arrests them from infesting pulses and lentils. So, you can mix salt to the jar of lentils and pulses and stay cool! Do not worry about the pulses getting salty as they can be washed off with water.
3. Utilise matchboxes as a pest repellent
You can place matchboxes in layers within your rice jar. Keep a matchbox at the bottom pile, one at the middle and also at the top layer. The measure will prevent rots or bugs entering the jar as matchsticks contain phosphorous and sulphur which have repellent properties.
4. Preserve chickpeas with Boric Powder
Chickpeas are quickly prone to worms. So, one of the most useful kitchen tips to take care of chickpeas is to store them in a sealed container by adding some boric powder to it and placing in the freezer. The process needs to be followed especially during monsoon.
5. Bay leaves as an insect repellent
Bay leaves are another great insect repellent. All you need to do is place 6-8 bay leaves within the jar at different layers. Place 2 at the bottom, then add little pulse or grains into the jar. Set 2 leaves again and so on.
6. Add a little Hing (Asafoetida)
Hing is a great item to add to the storage boxes or containers. Just add pieces or chunks of hing between heaps of grains. If you do not have pieces of hing, you can place granulated hing in a tissue paper and drop it in the food cases.
7. Mix a little turmeric
Who has not heard of the benefits of turmeric? It is very healthy when added to your diet, but do you also know that it is also a great food preserver? Add about 5 to 6 teaspoons of turmeric powder to the sprout or whole-grain jar and mix it well to keep the pests away. Job is done!
8. Stashing peanuts with mint leaves
Peanuts need a little special attention to be stored. Mint leaves are the best helpers. Mix dried mint leaves (Mint leaves can be dried by wrapping them with a tissue paper and refrigerating them) with peanuts, and store in a closed box.
9. Look after Bajra with cloves
Add a few cloves to the jar that contains Bajra. Cloves are great for keeping worms away. You may also add a few dried neem leaves to enhance the repelling effect. It is best suited for a kitchen with serious insect infestation.
10. Spread neem leaves in pantry shelves
You can spread dry neem leaves among the piles of jars in your pantry shelves to keep them free of any type of insects such as lizards and cockroaches.
11. Get fluffy and whiter rice
Sometimes, the rice turns out to be sticky…. It happens… Don’t stress because we have a solution! Simply add a tablespoon oil and one tablespoon lemon juice to the water while boiling rice. That’s it. Simple isn’t it? Yes, one of the most useful kitchen tips that every woman needs, indeed!
12. Make soft Rotis
Add a little warm water and boiled milk to the atta and see the magic! Soft, delicious rotis to relish….
13. Prevent overflow of milk
Place a big scooping spoon in the vessel while boiling the milk to avoid overflowing.
14. Storing leftover chapati dough
Leftover atta, after making chapattis is a common occurrence in an Indian kitchen. This is no longer an issue! How? All you need to do is just apply some cooking oil over the dough and wrap it up well in a foil, put it in a zip-lock packet and store it in the fridge. The dough will remain fresh and fit for use for up to 3 days.
15. Remove sourness of curd
Sour Curd? Not a problem… Simply add a few tablespoons of milk to the curd, mix well and let it sit for a while. The sourness of curd will reduce to a great extent. Wow… Super Cool!
16. Thicken gravies with cashews or almonds
Grind 6-7 soaked cashews or blanched almonds into a paste and mix it in the gravy and allow it to cook for some time. This adds thickness, and flavour to the gravy.
17. Use baking soda to prevent milk from spoiling
Add half tablespoon of baking soda to the boiled milk to prevent it from spoiling for a long period.
18. Remove excess salt from gravy using potato
Cut a few slices of raw potato and add it to the gravy and let it simmer for 20 minutes. The raw potato will absorb the excess salt and will leave your gravy delicious. Do not forget to wash the potato and remove the peel before slicing and adding to curry. Also, remember to remove the potato from the gravy, before serving it.
19. Cook sabzi with pre-prepared gravy/masala
Heat the oil in a pan. Add finely chopped onions, green/red chillies, tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, and garam masala. Cook until you get a rich mix. Then, cool and freeze it. Just warm this prepared gravy and add paneer, potatoes, or toppings of your choice and enjoy the scrumptious meal. This is one of the most useful kitchen tips that is very handy for working women who do not have time to cook early in the morning.
20. Fix excess water in gravy with poppy seeds
You need to roast 6 to 8 tablespoons of poppy seeds and grind into a paste, add it to the watery gravy and heat on a medium flame. You will notice that the gravy will become much thicker in a few minutes!
We hope that the above mentioned useful kitchen tips will save you a good amount of time, money, and energy that have been rendered bearing in mind the basic issues that every kitchen owner faces on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, these well thought and systematic solutions can be implemented to attain fruitful results. No more hassles, worries and stress on kitchen care. Try out these simple, yet productive techniques to nurture a clean and an orderly kitchen!