Useful Tips

Tropical Delight
If mangoes are not in season, ½ cup of tinned alphonso pulp may be used.

Jackfruit Pops
These pops should cook slowly on a medium low heat. Avoid cooking on high heat, as it causes the pops to brown before cooking through.

Ultimate Eggless Chocolate Cake
The baking time may vary from oven to oven and according to the size and material of the cake pan.

Moringa and Eggplant Soup
For a milder and creamier soup, add 100 ml of thick coconut milk to the blended liquid in step 6 (I like this version better).

Toasted Idli Sandwich
Any vegetarian or non–vegetarian curry with a thick gravy or the fillings used for stuffed parathas may be used. Shred the chicken meat, mutton pieces or fish pieces from the gravy to use as a filling.Any tomato based sauce/ ketchup combined with sautéed vegetables, stir fried prawns, shredded cooked chicken or chopped boiled egg may be used for filling.

Toffee Nut Marbles
Place a roasted almond or cashew nut inside each marble.

Toffee Oats Pudding
If the pudding is to be served chilled, place a piece of cling film on the surface of the pudding while chilling, to avoid a skin from forming on the top of the pudding.

Coffee Toffee Cake
If you wish to frost also the sides, use ¾ cup of toffee. Let the icing set for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving the cake.

Barfi for Dummies
For richer taste, the semolina in the recipe may be reduced and cashew nut powder may be increased. The quantity of condensed milk will vary slightly when the proportion is altered. Just keep the consistency of the mix like soft chapathi dough. Try the following proportions: ½ cup semolina, 1 tablespoon ghee, 1 cup cashew nut powder, 1 cup icing sugar, ¼ cup semolina, 2 teaspoon ghee, 1 ¼ cup cashew nut powder, 1 cup icing sugar

Non Deep Fried Vegetable Pakoda
¼ cup of Shredded cabbage may be used instead of red capsicum. Reduce the heat to low if the pakodas are browning fast. They should cook slowly and develop a crisp crust. The quantity of oil may be adjusted to suit your diet plan.Serve hot with a chutney or sauce of your choice.

Velvet Cream Caramel
If an electric rice cooker is not available, the dessert may be steamed in a pressure cooker without the weight. When the water in the cooker begins to boil, lower the heat and keep it barely simmering till the custard is set, about 35-40 minutes. Monitor carefully to ensure the water is just simmering very gently by adjusting the heat while cooking (You may have to increase and decrease it a few times).

Celebration Mutton Biriyani
When cooking rice for pulaos, Biriyanis or plain white rice, wash the rice well and drain completely. Add the required amount of water. (The amount of water depends on the quality of rice and the desired texture of cooked rice. Generally for pulaos and biriyanis, the ratio is 1 cup rice and 2cups water.) Leave aside to soak for 15-30 minutes. Cook the rice in the same water in which it was soaking. An electric cooker makes this easy. If you wish to it cook on stove top, place the rice with the soaking water in a strong based pan. Place it on high flame till it begins to boil. Once it starts boiling, lower the flame to medium low and cover with a lid. Let the rice simmer gently till all the water is absorbed. Leave the cooked rice (either cooked in electric cooker or stove top) without disturbing for 10-15 minutes and then fluff it up gently with a fork without breaking the grains)

Uthappam Waffles
Wash the rice and /or dal before soaking them in water when preparing batters. If it is soaked before washing, the “dirt” will get absorbed by the grains along with the soaking water. Also, some of the nutrients are lost if this water is thrown away and the rice and dal are washed after soaking. In case of idlis, if the water in which the urad is soaked is thrown away, some of the “rising” property of urad will be lost and cause the idlis to be less fluffy. So soak the urad in just enough water (to come up to about 3-4 cm above the level of the dal) and use all that water for grinding the batter.

Broccoli Salad with Chilli Peanut Dressing
To get the perfect “tender crisp” texture, place the vegetables in the steamer only when the water in the steamer begins to boil briskly.

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