Monday, February 3, 2014

General Tips For Veggies

AVARAKAI (BROAD BEANS) :- 
# When preparing broad beans (Avarakai) or french beans add coarsely powdered Seeragam/Jeera and green chilly while cooking. This will improve the taste of the dish.

BEANS :-
# Select beans with bright green pods that are firm and plump.
 
BEETROOT :-
# They should have firm, heavy flesh and wrinkle-free skin. Avoid soft patches or sprouting. 
 

BITTER-GOURD :-
# To make Bitter-gourd less bitter, soak the sliced bitter-gourd pieces in a little buttermilk with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt.

BROCCOLI :-
# Look for undamaged tight compact heads. Outer leaves should be fresh with no signs of wilting or yellowing. The stalk should look moist and freshly cut. 
# should be refrigerated and used within a week.


BRINJAL / EGG PLANT :-
#  Soak the cut pieces of brinjal in salt water to avoid oxidation.


CABBAGE :- 
# Look for undamaged tight compact heads. Outer leaves should be fresh with no signs of wilting or yellowing. The stalk should look moist and freshly cut. 
# Cabbage helps cure ulcers and prevents colon cancer. It is rich in fiber and low in calories. 
# The fiber content helps in reduced absorption of iodine and prevents thyroid disorders. 
# It is an excellent source of beta- carotene, which helps prevent cataract.


CARROT :-
# Carrots with green tops may be avoided as they are bitter to taste.
# Carrots should have fresh looking, healthy leafy tops, not discolored or wilting.
# The sugar content is higher in mature carrots, but the younger ones are more tender.
# Choose carrots less than 1 to 1 1/3 inches in diameter. Store carrots with green tops trimmed. Carrots would keep several weeks in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator in punctured plastic bags. 
 
CAULIFLOWER :- 
# For retaining the color of cauliflower while cooking, put some sugar or lemon juice or lemon skin while boiling it.
# Look for  undamaged tight compact heads. 
# Outer leaves should be fresh with no signs of wilting or yellowing. The stalk should look moist and freshly cut. 
# should be refrigerated and used within a week.

CELERY :- 

# To keep celery fresh for long time, wrap it in aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator. 
CHANNA :- 
# If you have forgotten to soak Channa overnight, just put the Channa in a boiling water for an hour. They are ready for cooking.

CHILLIES :-
# Remove the stems from chilies before storing them, this will keep them fresher for a long time and prevents from rotting.
# Adding turmeric powder to the green chilly will avoid fast ripening of the chillies. 

CHILLIES - RED (Dried) :-
# When frying dry chilly, to avoid the smell add a little salt when frying.
# Good  variety chillies and chilli powder also gives color to the gravy. 
# Always the coarse powder gives good taste and color to the gravies and pickles. 
 

CORIANDER LEAVES :- 
# Instead of keeping Coriander leaves in plastic bag, put it in paper bag and then put it in a zip lock.

# Keep coriander leaves in a muslin (cheese) cloth bag in the refrigerator. They will remain fresh for a longer time.

CORN :-
# Choose sweetcorn with tight green husks and plump, even, shiny kernels. The kernels should be tightly packed on the cob.
# Remove the outer leaves and husks from the corn (bhutta). Holding the corn upright with the flat end firmly in a board, take a sharp knife and run it down between the kernels and the cob to strip them away.

CURRY LEAVES :- 
 # Expectant mothers can use curry leaves to reduce the discomfort of morning  sickness. Also, it helps in weight loss.
# Eating a few curry leaves  in early morning on an empty  stomach reduces the cholesterol levels in your body.
# Curry  leaves  helps  to  improve  eyesight and hair  growth.

LADY'S FINGER :-

# Add a little curd (yogurt) to ladyfingers while cooking will ensure that they do not stick to the vessel or turn black.

LEAFY GREENS / PALAK / SPINACH :-
# Leafy greens should have full, well formed head, crisp leaves with fresh green tips.   


# For retaining the green color of Palak while cooking, put some salt while boiling it .
# should be refrigerated and used within a week.


MUSHROOM :-
# Choose firm, fresh looking mushrooms that have soft "bloom" and fresh smell. The stalk end should be moist; if dry they may be slightly old. 
# Mushrooms are probably the most delicate petals when it comes to sweating. Best to store them in a brown paper bag in the fridge. If you do have to buy them from the supermarket in a plastic tray, take them out and free them when you get home.

ONIONS :-
# Onions should have dry papery skins; red onions should have no brown discoloration.
# Add little milk to onions while frying will help retain a rich color and prevent them from burning.
# When sauteing onions add a little salt to speed up the process.You will get the desired golden brown colour shortly.
# To remove the smell of onions from your hands and knife, rub them with a little salt or lemon rind and then wash.
# Soak onion in water before peeling it. This will prevent formation of tears when cutting.
# Choose firm bulbs with even colored skins and no signs of sprouting. Avoid any that look damp or smell musty. Leeks and spring onions should have dark green leaves and fresh looking roots.
# Expose small onion (Sambar Vengayam/Shallots) to sunlight for 1 hour. This will help in preserving the onion up to 1 month.
# If an onion is too strong in taste, wash, drain and toss into some beaten curd. Add a dash of salt and pepper to it to make a tasty raitha.

PEAS :-
# Peas should not have any visible dry or brown patches.
# Select peas and beans with bright green pods that are firm and plump.

PLANTAIN / RAW BANANA (VAZHAIKAI) :-
# To avoid oxidation of cut green plantain (Vazhaikai), after cutting , soak the pieces in salt water.

POTATOES :-
# Potatoes should be firm and well shaped with no "eyes" or green patches.
# Soak Potatoes  in  salt water to avoid discoloration.
# In order to make the fried potatoes crispy add salt to the oil before frying.
# Always mash potatoes when they are still quite hot. They mash more easily and can be finely mashed too.

PUMPKIN :- 
# Pumkins contain ninety percent water and are loaded with the antioxidant- beta-carotene, which has been shown to improve immune function and reduce risk of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. 
# In addtion, pumpkins also contain many vitamins and nutrients. A cup of pumpkin contains only 50 calories and three grams of fibre.
# Select heavy, untarnished pumpkin, which is free of cracks and soft spots and has a deep orange color. Pumpkins need to not be stored in the refrigerator or in a damp place.

 RADISH :-
# They should have firm, heavy flesh and wrinkle-free skin. # Avoid soft patches or sprouting. 

TOMATOES :-
Though raw tomatoes are rich in betacarotene and lycopene, cooking them a little releases their health benefits in entirety. They also do not lose any of their nutritional values when cooked or pureed.  
# Tomato skin should be smooth and firm with no cuts or blemishes.
# To retain color in the gravy always use ripe red tomatoes.
# To remove tomato skin easily, soak them in very hot water for 10 minutes. Remove, peel and then use as required.
# To remove traces of bitterness in tomatoes, add a bit of sugar to them.
# During non-season of tomatoes, tomato puree, ketchup or sauce can be used in gravies.
# Of all the vegetables, tomatoes are the most dramatically damaged by chilling injury. Not only do they lose their lovely fragrance, but the texture goes mealy and sick. If you don’t believe me, do a little experiment yourself and put some tomatoes in the fridge and keep others out for a few days and then taste side by side. 

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Related Posts :-
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Click here for more :- Vegetable Tips  
Click here for more :- Tips
Click here for more :- Recipes
 

  
     Cheers,

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