Regardless of how long you’ve been cooking, it’s normal to still struggle to get certain dishes’ flavours just right, measure ingredients precisely, and, of course, look for shortcuts to make the job simpler. Fortunately, there are a tonne of tips and techniques that can help you become a better cook and make the process much simpler.
So, in our search for such tips, we looked to Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s Instagram account, which is stocked with delectable recipes, mouthwatering treats, and easy-to-follow cooking advice to make things a breeze for you. What are you still waiting for? Come on over and up your cooking game with us.
Using a mortar and pestle
The celebrity chef claims that using a mortar and pestle to simply pound the ingredients together is a common error that many people make. However, he advised rotating the pestle while crushing and grinding for the best results.
He added that many people use a new mortar right away without seasoning it. “Simply season with sea salt and raw rice. Make sure to thoroughly crush it. Toss this in the trash and wash it with water. Use as necessary,” he advised.
According to integrative nutritionist and health coach Karishma Shah, who agreed with these tips, “You can use a mortar and pestle to grind or crush a variety of ingredients such as peppercorns, spices, herbs, rice, nuts, and other seeds.”
She provided with two additional cleaning methods for the mortar, saying, “You can rinse it with hot water if you want it to smell fresh. If not, you can typically wash it to maintain the flavour and aroma of the ingredients and then use it again to create the same mixture.
Chef Sohail Karimi, Executive Chef at the Resort and Convention Centre, Karjat, added to this by saying that the best way to use a mortar and pestle is to visualise the pestle as a tool for grinding your ingredients into the mortar’s base. “Use the pestle to scrape everything into the centre and off the sides. Then, press the pestle firmly but gently into the mortar base.
Tips for freezing purees
“Fill the freezer no more than 3/4 full when keeping purées there.” The liquid expands as it freezes. The chef suggested filling it 3/4 full to ensure that it is properly frozen and won’t come out.
Shah agreed and added that fresh purées should be made rather than being kept for an extended period of time in the freezer. It can be kept for up to a month, after which it will begin to rot.
The specialist also provided additional strategies for freezing purées. “People can freeze the purée and use it to make ice cubes. On the other hand, you can store it in the refrigerator by placing it in a ziplock bag or container.
In a similar vein, Chef Karimi advised using the ‘fast-freeze’ setting if available when freezing large quantities. Before freezing, “pack and seal items in gusseted bags to avoid moisture or cold air coming into contact with the food or cross-flavouring occurring,” he advised.
How to utilise unused chilli seeds
One can grow their own chilli plant from leftover chilli seeds, according to chef Sanjeev Kapoor. “Plant them and watch them grow. Regularly water it. You will have a chilli plant in a few months, he promised.
The same way, according to Shah, unused chilli seeds can be ground and crushed to create a chilli flake powder that can be used as seasoning on other dishes.
Chef Karimi also recommended using chilli seeds in compost. “Chilli seeds can be added to your compost bin or pile because they are organic. Natural composting transforms organic waste into nutrient-rich soil. Over time, the seeds will decompose and increase the compost’s fertility.