Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, we were compelled to stay at home and manage everything ourselves. With no house help available, we were forced to fulfil office deadlines while still performing domestic tasks. And, as much as one may like cooking, the process takes a long time. With our increasingly hectic lifestyles, this might be challenging at times. Nobody wants to spend the entire day in the kitchen. 


There is no doubt that cooking is a beautiful hobby; it lets you play around with the delectable flavour & aroma of spices & create delicious dishes that you & your loved ones can devour. It is a hobby that you may truly appreciate and have a lot of fun with. However, it gets irritating when it becomes a regular thing, especially when we are running out of time. In situations like this, knowing useful kitchen hacks will make your life so much simpler. 


So, without further ado, let's dive right in & see a few unique kitchen/cooking hacks.


Plan in Advance: 

Make a list of everything you'll need in the following week. That will not only help you buy what you need, but it will also help you plan your meals for the week ahead of time. If you have plans for the weekend, plan ahead of time to prevent last-minute trips to the market. And finish the tedious task of pealing & boiling all the veggies beforehand. This kitchen hack for cooking will save loads of your time.


Label the Containers: 

Even if your storage boxes are transparent, don't you think labelling them would make it simpler to find what you're looking for? Guess why brands label their items in the first place. You may easily identify your goods while rushing through a supermarket shop since it is correctly labelled. So, take some time this weekend to mark those storage boxes properly, and you'll be ready for the hectic week ahead. 


Store the Herbs & Spice Properly: 

If you dwell in a humid climate, the fungus can grow on spices, dried chillies, and jaggery. It's a heart breaking scenario, especially during the winter, because spices are EXPENSIVE, and we don't want to squander them. Add a few cloves to each of your spice jars or boxes. Jaggery can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated; it will prevent waste of your products. 


We tend to use some combination of spices and herbs in most recipes. If you want to make your work easier, combine all of the often used spices. While certain herbs are available all year, some are only available during certain seasons. Here's a tip for keeping a year-round supply of seasonal herbs. To do so, rinse the herbs and sun-dry them to eliminate any moisture & retain freshness. Once dried, store it in an airtight jar, and you've got yourself an annual supply of seasonal herbs.


Lemon to Rescue:

Lemon is a magic ingredient when it comes to cooking. Its acidic nature comes in handy in a variety of situations. Lemon can also be used to preserve the colour of green chutneys such as pudina or coriander chutney. People who are away from home prepare in bulk and preserve food in order to save time. Chutneys are a major yes since they require less time to make and maybe eaten with rice, roti, dosa, idli, etc. However, when refrigerated, these chutneys lose colour and flavour. To avoid this, we have one unique kitchen tip- add one whole lemon while grinding the chutney. It imparts a tangy flavour and aids in the preservation of colour and freshness. Alternatively, when grinding, add a scoop of thick curd. 


Curry- Too Liquidly??

Mastering the quantity of water needed for curries takes time and practice. There may be occasions when we make an incorrect measurement and add too much water. It is not always possible to simply boil it over high heat to allow the water to evaporate. No, we do not always have time to wait till the water evaporates; in this case, toast and ground a tablespoon of poppy seeds and stir them into the curry. You may also add a teaspoon of corn starch to the curry after mixing it with a tablespoon of water. If you wish to thicken it even more, repeat the corn-starch step.


For more food & spice related content, stay tuned with Vasant Masala. We know you'll give these kitchen tricks a shot the next time you cook! Let us know about your experience in the comments.