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In our daily cooking routine we use tamarind, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, green chillies, etc. If we prepare them once, we can use them for 1 month
Letís see some tips on preparing these ingredients for cooking
In most of our dishes, we use tomatoes. Let’s see how to prepare tomato puree
We need to clean the tomatoes first
Take a bowl full of water and add 1/2 cup vinegar
Soak for 5 minutes, wash under running water and dry the tomatoes.
Cut the tomatoes into pieces and put them in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and boil it.
Boil for 10 minutes and let it cool down. Grind it into a soft paste.
Fill the paste into an ice tray. Cover with a wrap or silver foil.
This will prevent frost from forming on the tomato pieces. Put it in the freezer for 5-6 hours.
Put these tomato cubes into a plate, take a zip-lock bag and move the cubes into it.
Freezer friendly boxes also could be used.
Put the tomato cubes in a zip-lock bag, seal it without any air bubbles and put it in the freezer.
To thaw, put the frozen tomato paste outside for 15-20 minutes.
This puree could be used in any curry
We could use these tomatoes for 3-4 months.
Some people feel that the frozen food is not good for health, but using food frozen at home is better that eating food prepared outside

Letís see how to store green chillies
Remove the stems of green chillies.
To a bowl of water add 1/2 cup vinegar. Vinegar or salt could be used.
Soak the green chillies for 10 minutes. Wash the chillies under running water once or twice.
Dry them. Putting them on a kitchen towel and wiping with another one will dry them faster.
Put the green chillies in a mixie jar, add 1 teaspoon salt and grind it into a soft paste.
Salt will act as a preservative.
By putting them in a container it will stay fresh for 3-4 days outside and for 1 week to 10 days in a fridge.

Let’s see how to store this paste for 2-3 months. Put the green chilli paste in ice trays.
Small containers also could be used. Cover it with clean wrap or silver foil.
A lid also could be used.
Put the tray in deep freezer for 4-5 hours.
Remove the chilli blocks from the tray and put them in a zip-lock bag. A container also could be used, but zip-lock bags save space.
Seal the zip-lock bag without air and put it in the deep freezer. We can use these chillies blocks for 3-4 months.

Letís see how to prepare tamarind paste
Tamarind paste could be used for making tamarind rice, sambar, curries etc.

Here I used 1/2 kg tamarind. For 1/2 kg tamarind I used 1 kg tomatoes.
Wash tomatoes and cut them into pieces.
To make tamarind paste, tamarind: tomatoes: salt ratio is 1:2:1/2.
Remove seeds, stems from tamarind.
Wash tamarind mildly so that only dust is cleaned off. Don’t press tamarind while washing.
Move it into a strainer.
In pan with thick base
Boil washed tamarind, diced tomatoes.
Add salt.
Here I used crystal salt.
For 1/2 kg tamarind, use 1/4 kg salt.
Keep stirring occasionally.
Boil on medium flame till the water seeping out boils away
Keep stirring occasionally.
When tomatoes become soft, cut off stove
Let it cool down.
Grind tamarind mixture into a soft paste in a grinder.
It could be grinded in a mixer or with hand also.
We have to store it in an air tight container.
Tamarind paste will get spoiled if it gets in contact with water.
It can be stored for up to 1 year when refrigerated.
Tamarind paste could be used for making tamarind rice, sambar, curries etc.

Let’s see how to prepare ginger garlic paste.

Soak ginger for 30 minutes.
Peel the skin, clean and cut ginger into pieces.
Peel the skin of garlic cloves also.
Separate the cloves from the bunch put it in a container and shake it.
This will allow the peel to come off easier.
Take equal quantities of ginger and garlic cloves.
Put garlic cloves in a mixie jar.
Also add ginger pieces.
Here I took 1/4 kg ginger and 1/4 kg garlic cloves.
Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and grind it into a soft paste.
The salt and turmeric powder added will make the paste last longer and keep it fresh.
Store this paste in a glass jar.
The paste could be used for up to 1 month in fridge and 10-15 days without it.

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Enjoy Cooking…

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