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Make cooking easy with these tips and tricks:

For making melt-in mouth Kadai paneer or any Paneer dish, soak paneer cubes in hot water for 10 minutes before using them in a recipe.

Always sear the whole slab of paneer in butter or ghee on a tawa or pan and then cut cubes. An amazing recipe of Kadhai Paneer is here.

Invest in a good mini chopper to make things easier and fast. Read my review of the cheapest but awesome chopper from Pigeon here.

Put 1-2 sticks of Cinnamon in sugar tin (container) to keep ants away.

To use slivers of almond for garnishing, soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes, peel, slice, dry and use. Usage ideas include SheerKhurma toppings. Check out the recipe here.

If Gulab jamuns turn out hard, place them in the pressure cooker with sugar -syrup  and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat  and then serve warm.

It is much easier to grind small cardamom if you add some sugar to it while grinding.

Store coriander leaves or your favorite herbs fresh for longer in the fridge : Cut the roots, clean and Store it upside down in a glass or plastic jar with a hole in the lid. Leaves facing the bottom and stems near the lid. Also Check out, How to store and preserve Dhaniya and Pudina in the freezer

To keep green chilies fresh for a longer time, remove and discard its stem before storing in refrigerator.

Open a coconut easily:  Drain the water. Keep the coconut in the freezer for 1 hr. Take out and leave for 30 minutes. (The coconut meat will leave the shell easily this way)
Now Note the seam that runs between the “eyes.” Follow the seam to the equator of the coconut. Using the blunt edge of a heavy knife (tap firmly around its equator as you rotate the coconut in the palm of your hand. Continue to tap and rotate until the coconut splits completely open. If it’s done right, after just a few turns, the coconut will break open into two equal halves.Using a blunt knife, the coconut meat can be taken out easily.

Serve plain vanilla ice-cream with a generous sprinkling of Bournvita. Check out some easy homemade ice cream recipes here.

Make Achaari Puri’s for picnic by adding ½  tbsp pickle masala, 2 tsp pickle oil  and a pinch of salt in a cup of wheat flour. Fenugreek (Methi) leaves can be added for making it nutritious and tastier. Check out my Masala Methi Puri Recipe.

To make fluffy and light Medu-wadas, beat the batter for a good 5-10 minutes to incorporate air. Test if the batter is ready by dropping some batter to a bowl of water, If the batter floats on water, it is ready but If it sinks then beat for some more time for a better result.

If you don’t have the starter culture for setting curd, use some dried red chilies and put it (with the stem) in a bowl of warm milk and cover. Let rest overnight. Use this as a jaaman or starter culture for setting curd. Detailed procedure can be found here.