KITCHEN QUERIES

Woman's Era - - News -

Yes, it is dif­fi­cult to get per­fect slices from round things. For uni­form cut­ting or slic­ing; slice a piece off the bot­tom so the onion or tomato sits level on the cut­ting board, mak­ing our task eas­ier. In other words, the eas­i­est way to deal with a round veg­etable or fruit is to square it off. Once squared it can be uni­formly sliced, ba­toned or chopped. Yes, this is a very good ques­tion, as this is an as­pect of bak­ing which we nor­mally ig­nore and hence are dis­ap­pointed by the re­sult of our ef­forts. If you are us­ing a shiny metal or glass pan the tem­per­a­ture should be 350 de­grees F, for a dark or non- stick pan the tem­per­a­ture should be 325 de­grees F. As for the bak­ing time, if bak­ing a cake in a dark or non-stick pan, just lengthen the time by 35 min­utes. Sil­i­cone pans ( they are the new­est trend in bak­ing th­ese days) also seem to re­quire a slightly longer bak­ing time than metal pans. Glass con­ducts heat ex­tremely well, which can be both an ad­van­tage and a dis­ad­van­tage. Recipes with lots of sugar (like pound cakes and cookie bars) might start to burn be­fore be­ing cooked all the way through, but glass is fan­tas­tic for mak­ing casseroles, bread pud­ding and other dishes where brown­ing is less im­por­tant.

Glass also has the ad­van­tage of be­ing non- reactive, so you can store recipes right in the bak­ing dish with­out worry that the food will pick up metal­lic flavours of the pan. In many ways, ce­ramic is like glass: it con­ducts heat very well, but can cause over- brown­ing in sweet dishes. The big­gest ad­van­tage of ce­ramic is that th­ese dishes look pretty. Foods can be served and stored in their bak­ing dish. Curry leaves is a herb which is com­monly used as a sea­son­ing in­gre­di­ent to add flavours to var­i­ous recipes. We’ve al­ways loved curry leaves (also pop­u­larly known as meetha neem) in samb­har, dhok­las, kadhi, co­conut chut­ney, but­ter milk and in other dishes. Most of us even have a curry leaf plant in our homes. But they add more than taste to our food, they are also health- giv­ing. The health ben­e­fits of curry patta have been known for cen­turies. It is rich in min­er­als like man­ganese, chromium, zinc, mag­ne­sium, cop­per and phos­pho­rous. It is also rich in ri­boflavin, thi­amine and folic acid.

Since plants are con­nected to the earth, they are a good source of min­er­als, and there­fore an im­por­tant part of a healthy diet. They are also packed with car­bo­hy­drates, en­ergy, fi­bre, cal­cium, iron and vitamins like C,A, Band E, an­tiox­i­dants, plant sterols, amino acids, gly­co­sides and flavonoids. The use of flat- bot­tomed, stain­less steel or hardan­odized ex­te­rior cook­ware is rec­om­mended on ce­ramic/ glass cook­tops. Over­heat­ing or al­low­ing sil­i­cone polyester cook­ware to boil dry can re­sult in the fus­ing of the cook­ware to your glass cook­top. Never place a hot pan on a cool glass stove­top burner.

This can also cause fu­sion of the pan to the stove­top. Cook­ware bases should be flat for even heat con­duc­tion. Metal lids are eas­ier to use, as we can use and clean them as we wish, but it is dif­fer­ent with glass lids. Do not place glass lids di­rectly on top of, or di­rectly un­der heat­ing el­e­ments. Avoid ex­treme tem­per­a­ture changes when us­ing glass lids. Do not sub­merge a hot lid in cold water or place on a cold sur­face. Glass lids are not boiler safe. Hand wash­ing of the lids is rec­om­mended for ideal care. Yes, we should be ex­tra care­ful about what we eat in the mon­soon sea­son. Here are a few tips you need to fol­low: bread and bak­ery items get spoilt by moulds, so it is wise to con­sume th­ese items as soon as they are taken out of their pack­ets; milk and milk prod­ucts are sus­cep­ti­ble to spoilage by micro­organ­isms, par­tic­u­larly in the hu­mid weather. Var­i­ous ingredients should be kept in sealed con­tain­ers; cut fruits should be con­sumed ide­ally as soon as they are cut, fruit juices should also not be stored for long; if cooked food has to be stored, cool, cover and re­frig­er­ate.

Cooked food should be stored in the up­per shelves and raw foods in the lower shelves of the re­frig­er­a­tor; try to avoid street food, as it can cause di­ar­rhoeal dis­eases; the best way to en­sure safe drink­ing water is to fil­ter it, fol­lowed by boil­ing. – Savita Bhar­gava.

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