Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kitchen Essentials

Kitchen Essentials : every homemaker's guide to building a good kitchen :

"beti bani biwi aur bahu.. aur maa"
Have you recently got married and are worried about entering the kitchen? About starting to cook? About the measurements?
If I have 4 members in my family then how much flour will be needed to make chapatis? Or how much rice to cook? How do I give variations in my everyday cooking?
Hmmmm ........ Toooo many questions which might at times get you puzzled...
Here are some tips which will help you get out of this situation and be considered the 'good biwi or a good bahu rani' ... Hahhahaha
Jokes apart, but here are some tips for your everyday cooking!

The measurements given are for 4 people:
Rice - 1 1/2 cup rice grains - same proportion of water or a bit more
Dal - 1 cup tuur daal - same proportion of water
Veggies - 500gms ~ 750gms
Leafy veggie - 2 bunches
Salad - 250 gms (cucumber/tomato, etc...)
Wheat flour - 4 cup wheat flour
Curd - 2 tbsp curd + 2 cups warm milk (set it overnight)
Buttermilk- 1cup thick curd+ 2 cups water
Saunf/ badishep with sugar - 4 tbsp (as mukhwas)
Tea - 4 cup water + 4 tsp tea powder (sugar as per taste)
Nimbu paani - 4 glass of water + 6 tsp sugar + 2-3 tsp lime juice + 1/2 tsp salt + 1 tsp grated ginger/juice of ginger + 1/2 tsp cardomom powder.


10 MUST HAVES!!!
Keep the following things handy, as these prove to be a life saver and can be stored easily :
1. Aam ka achaar (mango pickle) or any achaar(pickle)
2. Muramba/Murabba (sweet mango or any murabba)
3. Chutney - dry and wet both . For e.g. Garlic chutney (dry), gun powder chutney (dry), pudina chutney (wet) etc....

4.Keep all the pastes ready,so for everyday cooking you don't have to waste time in grinding. Pastes like - garlic paste, ginger paste, red chilly paste, green chilly paste, pudina paste(mint paste), chinese cooking paste, italian sauce, spanish salsa, tomato puree, lime juice.
5. Juices are a good source of instant energy, we all know that but did you know that you can add these juices to add a different flavour to your cooking.
For e.g.
Orange juice if added to pumkin sabji can give a nice twist.
Sweet lime juice + soda - an instant drink.
Sweet lime juice can be used as a salad dressing with little sugar, black pepper powder and salt mixed - pour over some roughly chopped ice-berg lettuce and sweet corn!
Orange juice with little sugar can also be used as a salad dressing. Pour it over some grated carrots and add some sultanas (kishmish) to it!
Juices come really handy!!
6. Mayonnaise is a must! - from salad dressing to sandwiches everywhere it can be used.
In addition to that try making various dips out of the same old plain mayo...
Mix tabassco sauce with red chilly paste and honey and mix it with mayo - a spicy yet sweet dip is ready!
Mint paste + salt + green chilly paste + Mayo - mint mayo dip
7. Papads - from plain roasted, fried to masala papad.. Everyone's fav!
Apart from that these can be stuffed with your favourite stuffing and served like a crispy wrap/frankie.
8. Potatoes & Onions are a must in your kitchen ! (Unless you are a jain) as add ons to your sabji or from sabjis to pakodas.... A variety can be made from these ..
9. Curd! Plain curd is always essential but try experimenting this:
In a decorative bowl, take a drop of food colouring, add some powdered sugar or sweet jam to it and then add desired fruit chopped in small pieces to it. Now mix everything well and add 1 tbsp curd + 1 cup warm milk and then let it set overnight and next day morning once its set put it in refrigerator and serve chilled!
Try it with mangoes and strawberries. (If trying with pineapple using canned pineapple instead of fresh)
And curd obviously gives you the other variations like chaas(buttermilk), lassi, etc..
10. Poha, rawa(suji), sabudana(tapioca) - serves great as breakfast, snack or starters or even desserts.
Hope these tips help you building your kitchen!!!
Will keep posting more blogs on this topic till then all the best with your cooking!!!

- beti bani biwi aur bahu aur maa!!!
Amrutha Langs