Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm Back .. Again!!!

Ok... The previous post was a false alarm.

This time I hope I can post more often.

It is more than a month since the new year began. Still, it is not late to start a resolution.
Today I take up a resolution that I will share my thoughts and knowledge (in addition to my rants n reminiscences, of course!) I have gained in all these years of hibernation from blogging.

Let me start with a tip on something I do on (almost) a daily basis - Cooking.
This one is for all those newbies to the kitchen/ newly wed girls who need to make rasam or kuzhambu daily.

The base for rasam/kuzhambu is the tamarind water. Moms n grandmoms would argue that it is not a big deal to make tamarind water - just soak a lemon ball size in water.

Using just one small ladle of tamarind paste is so much easier n a precious time saver.
By tamarind paste, I mean the one made at home.

  • Just take 100-150 gm of tamarind in a pressure cooker, pour water such that the tamarind is fully submerged in it and cook till one whistle on high flame and 1-2 whistles on low flame. 
  • Cool it, remove the seeds(if any) and grind it to a paste. Add a little water while grinding if the paste is too thick.
  • Pass the paste through a strainer and store the fine paste in a stainless steel box in the refrigerator.
There seems to be an additional step before storing the processed paste and that is to bring this paste to a boil and cool it. Without following this particular last step, the paste I make lasts 1-2 months in the fridge.

Depending on your need, u can process as much paste as u want.
But in my experience, storing for more than 2 months tends to make it stale/ taste funny. So make just enough to last upto 1 month.
Also, storing in airtight plastic boxes stales the paste sooner.

Making tamarind paste at home

  • reduces cooking time and does not compromise on taste
  • reduces wastage of tamarind
  • saves expenses on tamarind - 500 gms of tamarind will last upto 5-6 months depending on your usage.