Cool Hacks for Indian Cooking

Mark Twain has said, “Part of secret of success in life is to eat what you like.” This cannot be more true, and food lovers or caterers will attest to it. Serving hot, scrumptious hygienic food is what makes up for happy and satisfied customers at any restaurant. Food culture is prevalent in corporate events, festivals etc. But, before relishing that delicious food or cuisine, most of the effort goes in preparing them. And if you have some cooking tips in handy, this whole scenario changes in a matter of minutes replenishing your taste buds.

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  • Salt sprinkling on Greens: Sprinkle some salt on green leafy vegetables, thus enhancing the veggies and keeping the nutrients intact even after you have chopped them finely.

  • Salt correction in curries: Most of the times, we add some salt to taste for the vegetables. But, sometimes although, the measurement differs and ruins the whole curry. Fear not, because you can simply add raw cut potato. Potato sucks in the excess salt and makes your curry back to tasty.

  • Color me right: Most Indian dishes look delicious and inviting because of its color. But what happens when you seem to have messed up the main highlight of your dish? These are 3 ingredients that will add the lost color to your dishes.

  • Add finely chopped coriander or simply and well ground coriander for GREEN.Half Boiled beet will bring back the orange / red tint to your stews.

  • Curd or cream will take away the extra hotness and restore a lighter color. Thus, even if your dish isn’t that hot but looks too dark, just add some curd to make it look right.

  • Make soft chapatis by adding warm water and some milk to the dough while kneading.
    If you want a certain consistency to your curry and it seems to be skimmed, add a spoonful of wheat flour and mix it up. This will instantly give you the desired consistency to the curry.

  • Apply a dash or oil before chopping ladies fingers or small gourds, so the sticky juices don’t stain your hands or chopping board.

  • Pureed Tomato can act as a worthy substitute if you run out of tomatoes at the 11th hour.

  • Peel off the skin of ginger, this will add to the taste wherein you prefer to add the hot gingery taste in your food.

  • Hold the nugget or stuffing that needs to be fried with long tongs for 5-6 mins over a hot pan of oil before deeply frying it. This will seal the exteriors and the stuffing with fried from the inside wholly.

  • Reheating leftover gravy or curry gets tedious on the next morning. This tip will save you from this frustrating scenario. Just pour the leftover gravy into ice trays, and reheat the next morning without any hassle.

  • When making masala, do not add iodized salt. Instead, add coarse sea salt, this will make your masalas even and finely ground to all ingredients.


What you eat should be the best

Travel dairies are loaded with self- describing journeys, the over helpful natives and how everyone needs a break from the real life every now and then. But, the worst nightmare that happens to turn true is the bland, tasteless and over cooked food sometimes you get during your travel. Oh No No! I am not at all talking about the food that you get in different parts once you reach your travel destinations; I am actually speaking about the part where you are actually travelling to reach the place. Street foods and travel snacks earlier used to be a fun part of it. But, now when you tell any one of these times, they quite wonder is this an ancient fable or the fantasy that I keep referring to. Although not so much keen about today’s street food, I do know certain industrial caterers that help me out for my travel dilemma in such times. Honestly, we like to call them as our magic beans and unlike others we never worry for this particular facet in travelling.

So back to the travel story; the travel wasn’t supposed to be a leisure trip but an industrial tour clubbed with some relaxation. And certainly, who doesn’t mix business with some pleasure. Recently, Pune as people talk has changed everyone’s perspective of the good time; from happening lifestyle to the workaholics of the Industrial spectrum, Pune has literally nailed its diversity. Here we were, boasting about Pune adding our food habits to the list of Pune Pride.

While we started with the travel, I realized my friend had packed some of the favorite foods from our usual caterer. Another friend that brought the usual packed foods from distant food arenas. Obviously, we chose the earlier as they were fresher, more hygienic and tastier. Being a regular diner at Adhik Resorts we always relied for travel foods to them. The freshness, the flavor and the feeling of home food is what makes us go back to them again and again. We quite do not understand the fuss that has been trending with the packaged foods or organic foods and the claims that these companies keep doing. Anytime, I would rather choose the freshly made food packed with nutrition, and hygiene. Navigating through the big bagpack of the food, I opened up my share and there it was my favorite dish of Maasvadi and the ever refreshing solkadi(one of their specials). Taking a small bit of it, I really wonder how they can manage to feed almost whole of the chakan industrial area with such a universal taste delivered to everyone. I sure appreciate their uniqueness in their work. So, when you are tired of packaged foods or wish to try the freshly made food, for a change experiment with the industrial caterer who also happens to be the best diner of Chakan industrial area.

Why so Diet

Of all the things we ought to follow from celebrity, we never just follow their diet plan or the exercise regime. We like to dress like them, style like them, shop like them but when it comes to fulfil the healthy routine its absurdly tedious. That’s because, whatever we read or see is only the half part of it. With the current trend of health consciousness and strict work outs, achieving the enjoyable and hermit able life isn’t that tough.

As much the salads might look bland and plain, ironically, they can taste equally good if you choose to. The secret lies in the dressings or as we Indians call it the chatni. What is actually a salad? It’s either a raita for North Indians, Koshimbir for Maharashtrians and South Indians call it Palya. But ultimately it acts as a cold refreshing nutrition anyways. The cold refreshments offered by Indians, or the salads that taste delicious rawness and the dried chatnis are a way for changing a healthy food lifestyle. Most of the industrial caterers have opted for compulsorily providing some sort of salad in their daily diet. Of the health consciousness, the salads do have a native touch of the cook who prepares it.

And now you must be feeling that I am drifting off from what this article is totally about. This article is not just about health consciousness, or nutrition or bland salads. Its about the food culture that prevails in whole of India and the hint of native touch it adds to the dish that familiarises different regions. For eg: When you travel south, use of coconut and jaggery is utmost in everything. So how will salads will be an exception to it. All the salads have a staple dressing of coconut oil or coconut milk in it. Pr0obably that’s the reason why the caterers from south have an infamous attitude for ruining the continental salads. But as they mark in continentals, they literally ace when it comes to any dressing, any chatni of the native herbs.

Coconut is highly rich in iron and essential vitamins. Therefore, having salads can not only benefit you weight management routine but is a perfect intake for good hair and good skin. So, achieving a celebrity look with green salads is a win-win for everything. Until recently people were unaware about yet another tasteful Smoothie. Although, not so much of an indian origin, however, smoothies have gained momentum in healthy food lists. So, if you are not a salad person, you definitely can try different health drinks or smoothies. Every single day breakfast or muesli or pancakes can be overwhelming because of the calorie consciousness. But, smoothie or health drinks are a rescue and Holy Grail for weight conscious people. While I was travelling with the locals, I saw that almost everyday consumption of coconut water has benefitted them with shining skin and healthy body. So adding the fresh ripe and slimy coconut into your smoothies will also be of significant importance to your health.

Back in Love with Indian Food

Growing up in an Indian household from a mediocre city, you somehow indulge in kitchen and cooking. Summers fill in with the aroma of pickles, Papad, Muramba and what not traditional recipes any Maharashtrian household has. As the atmosphere gets colder, the kitchen gets warmer and cosier. From the aromas and crazy neighbours to the warm spicyness and overwhelming mothers bring to us the best chatpatas in the monsoons. The transition of the kitchen as per the climate has always made me indulge in the kitchen diaries I have. But as life grew, so did my reluctance for cooking. I was never a fan of cooking, though all my family just loves to be in kitchen making some new thing, experimenting the traditional recipes. But if you ask me, I really love the stereotypical Indian tastes. Holi calls for malpua, padwa calls for Puranpoli and rains call for kandyachi bhaji. Until recently, I did not worry to go and make something for myself anytime. My eagerly awaiting family was always serving me with things that I would just like to enjoy. But, as people got busy and take away menus piling onto our doors, we sort of drifted from kitchen to our living room. The family room turned from a general chitter chatter to rumbling tummies. While we were wondering who will take to kitchen I remembered that awesome place where we could spend some quality time and indulge in our favourite foods of indianness. And when I suggested, I was more than happy because my family liked the place just the way I have been liking it since the day I accidentally set my foot onto it.

So here I am taking a time off to talk about something that matters to me and my family the most and which is very close to my heart. In this big fast forwarding home delivery world, where continental cuisines and foreign food has taken its place where will us foolish Indian food lovers find a sanctuary? Us Indian food lovers are constantly on a quest to be treated with the desi taste and desi style eating. Once when I was running late for a meeting, I planned to drop to this place that said a traditional royal dining experience. Half sceptical and half hungry I went ahead to try it. Although experimental but not about outside food, I tried my luck just this one time. And I was astonished, not because of the food or anything of it, but, what I could see in the menu. There was Taak, there was vangyachi bhaji, there was chhunda and then there also was dodkyachi chatni. Most people would not understand what I am blabbering about, but any Maharashtrain can feel what I am talking about. Even after witnessing the menu I didn’t get my hopes high because I do know how it works. Yet again, I was overwhelmed since my judgement was flawed. I asked for the things and to my surprise I was well-fed with exactly what I ordered. And so, I went to my meeting satisfied and well fed by my proxy family O’Zara- the royal dining experience in the hearts of chakan industrial area.

The Different Tastes of Diwali

This October marks yet another overwhelming start of the double trouble festival season. Usually, Diwali is more likely the mid pattern of nearing the year end. So from October, every month is a chance of every new festival that is influentially very significant and calls for a celebration in itself. However, the IT sector or the work pressure does not call for holiday or quits to indulge us with a bit of rest. Which specifically means, the industries are opened up, the caterers are supplying and we are eating just what we usually have. The difference lies only in the market that has lighted up with new merchandise and new spirits.

Amongst the cranked up markets, there are people still owing themselves to the corporate routine who need tiffin every 5 days a week. Amidst this routine, sometimes the caterers surprise you with a big dollop of basundi, or most certainly 3 balls of gulab jamun. And that’s how we know today is something special. Otherwise, festival does not bother us with any more special treatments. In this festive routine, there happens to be a rising hope for more balanced diet and nutritious delicacies with some of the caterers. The equal nutrition given through karanji, chakli, shev and ladoo is what makes the festival more special. Most prominently people end up eating too much of sweet in festive times, or gain weight through overeating. Any which ways calls for a controlling diet in the post festive season. Instead, what if we gave you an option for a low cal festive delicacies. Yes! There happens to be such a thing called low cal festive foods.

Paushtik/ Nutritious Ladoo:

So for starters let’s assume you like Laddoos. Just substitute the boondi/ rava/ besan Ladoo with paushtik Laddo. Paushtik Ladoo are made from different ingredients. There may be multigrain, or multi vitamin laddoos. Whatever you prefer, paushtik laddoo is the most nutritious guilty pleasure you can try this festive season.

Wheat Chakli/ Baked Chakli:

Chakli has been the favourite foods of Diwali. Earlier when the era of cooking prevailed all ladies did an Armstrong job while making chakli. The twirling circular food has made in the top three of Diwali foodstuff since long. But, along with the most wanted snack it has also added up to highest weight gainer snack for everyone. The oily and prickly snack can be your best friend if you alter some of the ingredients. Usually Chakli is made of a specific blend of flours, often called Bhajani. Instead of this blend you can use just the wheat flour and fry them. Or if you don’t like frying, you can bake them in microwave which taste exactly the same minus the extra calories they can put you up.

Diet Chivda:

This might bring the smirky look on you, but, yes, there is something called diet chivda. Although, chivda is just another snack that tastes good and is quick stomach feeling bite but since you are on the weight control regime why not practice it in full swing? So, diet chivda is nothing but a mixture of different crunchy ingredients that can make you feel light and strong even in the most awaited festival of Diwali. Ask your tiffin supplier for it, and you will know that he takes special order for such stuff.