As I took over my kitchen, I definitely struggled for the first few months. I thought stocking up on the essentials was enough and felt like that was the way to go, but I soon started to realize that my dishes were missing the zing factor. Soon I came to understand that there existed some ‘gems’ in the market that I needed to have in the kitchen - I may not use them everyday, but when I do need them and I will, they amp up my dish each time. I religiously have some stock of these in my pantry and reach out to them oh so often! So here’s a list and some quick ideas on where to use them -
This is nothing but dried methi leaves! All the paneer methi, chicken methi and million other things that you tasted in fancy restaurants and wondered how in the world do they make it taste that way - Kasuri Methi is your answer. Add this to any of your Indian curries and see how the taste enhances! Its sure a game changer and something the hoteliers do not want you to know!
You could actually make this at home too if you are super heavy on 'clean eating'! Buy some methi leaves from the market, throughly clean them, separate the leaves (you could use the stem to make some methi chutney later on!) and dry the leaves. The drying process would take a few days. Once they are dry you could fill them in a glass bottle and use it as is or you could also make a powder out of it and add it to your spice rack. I like to use the 'dried leaf' version! Mommy on the other hand prefers making a powder out of it!
This flimsy and light powder is a must-have for all the manchurians, kababs and pastas you plan to cook for those special nights! Coating the meat/vegetable with cornflour and basic masalas and frying them is what gives your sider the much needed crisp! Double fry them (i.e. fry them once, let them cool, and fry them again) and you’ll be crowned Miss Crispy! And all this while, you may have though that white sauce pasta is full of cheese? Nahhh .. The base is formed by butter + milk + cornflour! Cheese is just sprinkled on top.
Yes! That’s right! Back at home capsicum was not a favorite of my momma’s and so we did not really buy too much of it. Now that I am the boss my kitchen I’ve experimented with capsicum quite a lot and have understood what a versatile vegetable it is! It works well just on its on or as a side character is any dish. Any chinese dish, be it a started or a main dish (rice, pasta, noodles) capsicum is that nice filler that balances the dish amongst the meat and cheese. Even in our common Indian curries be it potato, egg or even the good old pulav for that matter, I always add some capsicum to the dish and we love it!!
Yup I understand - Soda is not the healthiest thing to have. But hey that’s why we say that at hungryaf.in we do not maintain any diets. Things of the times you’ve craved for some coca-cola, pepsi and all their friends. And we’ve all heard of how toxic these all are. What I like to do is make my own drinks using soda - It could be as simple as a lemonade or sometimes I spruce it up with some blue curacao and have yourself a fancy mock-tail without being hard on your pocket or your health!
If you are a coffee drinker, always envied the fancy coffee you get in CCD and Starbucks and thought I wish I could do this at home - YOU NEED THIS. When I first heard of it, I said to myself I’m sure this is yet again one of those gadgets the ‘influencers’ are trying to push on us. But then one day at IKEA (Yes, I currently live in Hyderabad) I just happened to come across this device and as we all do I first checked the price tag! Wola just 89 bucks - dropped it right into my cart. I can truly say life has changed ever since and has become much more beautiful 😀 I dunno what it is about a nicely brewed hot cup of coffee with froth on top (which now looks no less than any latte from an expensive coffee shop), it just makes me super happy!
📑 I hope this article helped you get some creative ideas for your kitchen as well! I would be thrilled to hear from you - do comment below and let me know if you've started using any of these items or any other item that is part of your 'handy items to have in the kitchen! I would love to hear! 😊
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