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Tips (Under construction)
These are some tips I learnt from my experience while cooking, some from my mom/ MIL and few from magazines.
(You can read the tips and know, but please do not copy and republish in your websites!! Thank you for understanding…)


Dosa Tips

  1. Keep a pan separate - one for making dosas and one for making roti. (As after making roti, you may not be able to make dosa,it will get stuck to the pan)
  2. When you are going to make dosa, take required amount of idly batter in a vessel, add little water to make the batter to pouring consistency. This makes it easily and evenly spreadable batter,perfect for dosa.
  3. When you are going to make dosa, donot apply oil first, first spread the dosa and then drizzle oil over it. Because, if you add oil first, then u may not be able to spread evenly and thin.
  4. Do not scrub(with metal scrubber or scrubber) the dosa pan while washing it. Just gently wash with water and use soap only if needed. And use a sponge for cleaning.
  5. If your dosa is not getting golden brown, add a tiny piece of jaggery or 1/4 tsp of sugar to the batter.
  6. If you want nice dosas, add ghee, it makes a lot of difference. But restrict yourself with only one or two for health reasons.
  7. Also just use 1/2 tsp of ghee and 1 tsp of oil per dosa, instead adding too much of ghee.
  8. Always use melted ghee. It makes you consume lesser.
  9. If you want to make onion uthappam, spread thick dosa and top it with chopped onion. After turn over, cook in medium flame to get golden roasted uthappam.
  10. Always iron skillets are better for this kind of dosa than the nonstick ones.

Idly Batter Tips

  1. Make sure the batter is light in weight. It is possible by grinding urad dal fluffy, by adding water little by little in regular intervals.
  2. The more airy your urad dal is, the lighter your batter and so is your idly.
  3. You should be able to see airy bubbles in the urad dal batter while grinding. If you drop a tsp of urad dal batter in a bowl of water, then it should float. Then its is correctly ground.
  4. Grind both batters separately and then mix. Then only you will get more volume of the batter.
  5. If you live in a hot temperature country, try keeping the batter for less time to ferment.
  6. If you are living in cold temperature countries, grind the batter and keep it inside the oven with oven light on. It will help in fermenting.
  7. Add a fist full of cooked rice while you grind rice, this will give extra soft idli.
  8. Another tip to get dream soft idli is to soak a fist full of poha/aval or sago/javarisi along with rice.

Cooking rice for pulav and mixed rice

  1. Soaking the basmati rice is very important for any brand of rice, with minimum time of 15 minutes to maximum as much as you can. This makes the rice absorb more water and tastes less time to cook with less water, which means soft, separate grains!
  2. Minimum rice to water ratio from 1 : 1 to maximum 1 : 2. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  3. Let the flame be in high until steam comes and then cook in medium flame to get whistles. If you cook in high flame through out, there may be water at the bottom. If you cook in medium flame through out, chances of rice getting sticky.
  4. If you are cooking rice for mixed variety rice, pressure cook rice, after the steam gets released, transfer rice to broad vessel, add a tsp of sesame oil/ any cooking oil. If needed, add salt too. This helps a lot in separating the grains.
  5. Be gentle while you mix. Before mixing, let it cool a bit for 5 minutes, then use a dosa flipper or any flat laddle for this purpose.
  6. If you keep over mixing when it is steaming hot, it will get mushy or broken.

Sambar tips

  1. For sambar, toor dal(tuvaram paruppu) is main factor. Choose best brand/ quality dal. Flat dal gets cooked easier.
  2. Use water ratio 1 : 2 and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles in medium flame.
  3. While pressure cooking dal for sambar, the optional items you can add are turmeric, asafoetida, one red chilli, few drops of ghee or sesame oil.
  4. Sesame oil and red chilli helps in easy cooking the dal.
  5. Once pressure is released and while it is still hot, mash the dal well. If there is water, drain and reserve and then mash as it will be easier.
  6. To get a tasty sambar like the one in restaurants, use a tsp of ghee while you are frying onion for sambar.
  7. Use small onion the best for sambar.
  8. Adding a 1/2 tsp of jaggery enhances the taste.
  9. Add few torn curry leaves after you switch off the stove and close with the lid.
  10. Asafoetida is also an important ingredient for flavourful sambar.
  11. For tiffin sambar, tamarind and salt should be mild so that we can relish lots of sambar with the tiffin, it should be *drinkable*.
  12. For sambar for rice, everything should be more and balanced.
  13. If your sambar is too tangy, add more dal if you have any or more sambar powder and water.
  14. If too spicy, add more tamarind and boil again. Or you can also add bit more salt if it can be balanced.
  15. If too salty, add a potato and boil. The potato will absorb the salt.

VATHAL KUZHAMBU/ PULI KUZHAMBU TIPS

  1. For this kind of kuzhambu, it is always good to use more tamarind. But it is important to balance the spiciness and salt. So add more sambar powder and salt accordingly.
  2. Adding jaggery enhances the taste, but only a peanut sized.
  3. Other flavour enhancers that you can add towards the end and switch off the stove are fenugreek seeds roasted and powdered, black pepper powder.
  4. Using sesame oil for seasoning this kuzhambu is also a great tip.
  5. Cut curry leaves very finely and use while tempering. This makes the kuzhambu very flavorful. 

COOKING RICE, PASTA AND DALS

  1. For basmati rice, I always soak it as much as possible hours. Minimum 1/2 hour to maximum 4 hours. This makes the rice absorb water and takes less time to cook and we can use less water to cook as well. Since it absorbs water, it gets cooked soft and moist. 
  2. Same for pasta. I soak pasta over night if I am going to cook for my kid the next morning for his lunch box. Morning I just boil water with salt and add the soaked pasta, bring to boil. Ta...da...! The pasta is cooked at no time! 
  3. If you are going to cook dals for mashing, like for sambar, and your dal is poor qualitly and doesnt gets cooked easily, you can soak it as well for an hour. 
  4. Add a drop of sesame oil and you can add a dry red chilli. These things make the dal cook easily and softly.
  5. I usually add turmeric and asafoetida while cooking dal for my sambar.



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47 comments:

  1. Thanks u rak's for your tips.

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  2. super raks we are eat tasty every day............ thanks for your great work

    siva
    chennai

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  3. hi raks,
    can i use baking soda and baking powder instead of yeast for buns?

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. All your receipes are wonderful and so easy to follow...Whenever I have doubts or like to try some new ones ...I just open your blog and search...Iam trying your receipes for years but dind leave a comment till now...I feel so sorry for that...Love all your receipes and step by step process too...Raks keep Rocking....

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  6. your cooking page is the best I have seen so far, and your recipes too, you have made this a passion and have made it so easy to follow.

    How wonderful that you share all this...your goodness comes out in your recipes

    You are a super woman....thanks so much
    God Bless you..

    Roopa Jaya Rao

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  7. I am also staying in singapore now,as like you,recently i started cooking n full fledge! All ur recipes are good! Keep going!

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  8. Raks ka, I am alone at Kerala while my family is in chennai. Its been two and half years here. I am done with eating outside. Happen to know your site. I tried the coconut rice and tomato pulao. It Came out really well and tasted like wat my mother used to do :) While making Garlic rice, i dint have red chilies so used green ones and grinded in mixie. Added some water too/ Mixed it with rice. It came out different. Will try your exact menu one day. M sure to use ur recipes daily. Thanks a lot. Ur website s a treasure to all those who are alone like me and are vexed with outside fud :) I forgot hotels :) Thanks once again ka.

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  9. hey raks,
    ur recipes r vry simple n easy...i tried some of them.....really appreciable work....u knw i tried for muffins many times but nevr succed but following ur recipe my first attempt was gud....thnks to u....u knw earlier i cnt even make a perfect tea but now i m trying some of ur recipes n in first attempt i succed atlest 90 percent ..alll bcz of ur recipes.....thnks dear

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  10. am going to get married very useful tips for me

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  11. A big appreciation from a person who is almost your mother's age .Your tips are very useful to one and all.

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  12. You have inspired my day to day cooking ............I always try out recipes but most of them never used to come out right and I always used to blame myself for that rather than the recipes. I just used to stick on to my usual daily cooking which I knew and was confident in making.

    Whenever I try new recipes I used to try in small quantities, only if it tastes good i tried on a larger scale. With your recipes I can confidently try for my whole family. No one could ever go wrong..... Right quantity. I have tried even parathas after coming back from work its so quick and easy ....Hats off to you:) Thanks very much....Sangeetha

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  13. Thank you very much everyone :)

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  14. hi raji...
    can you post the recepie for mysore pak....

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  15. hi rak...i made very tasty tomato soup by referring your recipe..it came well..thanx

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  16. Hi Raks,

    I have tried few of your recipes and all came out super delicious . Thanks for such a good blog.

    -dhanya

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  17. Great work.. especially for Foodies with too many things to manage.. :) Keep it up!

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  18. Amazing tips:) This is like a life savour for me.. Thank u so much :)

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  19. hai iam hema from chrompet
    iam using your blogg recently and made many dishes
    today i made tomato rice from yours, was really yummy,i got great credits from my hubby.
    i also noted your peanut rice recipie,but iam confused wether i can use roasted peanut or the raw one?

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  20. hi,i am from chennai.today only happen to see your site, will try your recipes from now onwards.... i can see variety of recipes in your site. very interesting & neatly organised index page..

    All the best.

    devi

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  21. thanku raks now a days your ideas very useful for me.and your all recipes are very nice.

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  22. Hi,

    While cooking rice as told by you, can i open the lid immediately after the 3 whistle.Or any standing time for releasing the steam

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    Replies
    1. If there is any pressure inside, do not force open, let the pressure gets down by itself then open the lid.

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  23. hi,

    i saw your recipe for sambar powder and i have a doubt that we can use the same sambar powder for kara kozhambu, poriyals, etc. instead of using red chill and dhaniya powder. or else we have to prepare red chill and dhaniya powder separately for kara kozhambu. kindly share the recipe for homemade red chilli and dhaniya powder.

    pls clarify my silly doubt.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sabitha Purendran

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  24. Hi Raks..

    Superb..thanks for ur tips...i m still unmarried ...really inspiring blog.. to help me :) Keep it going all the best :)

    Thanks angel sister :)

    Kausalya S
    (Bahrain- Middle East)

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  25. hi raks,

    could u give the recipe for kaima paratha plz...

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  26. hey, i luv to cook n i have learn lots of recipes from your sites.
    it was gr8.
    now im going to try ADHIRASAM RECIPE. hope it will make good as seen your pics.

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  27. hey...u just rock as ur wesite name Raks :-)
    i dnt knw why i ve become so addicted to ur website like other channels..
    i learnt a lot frm u ...thnk u sooo much !

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  28. Hi raks,
    Thanks for sharing , I have tried more than 10 items from ur list and it came will :)

    Thanks
    God Bless

    Tamil Murasu

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  29. Thanks for the receipe ur page for so useful for me raks....nowadays my husband appreciating my cooking thank uuuuuu

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  30. hi,
    i always fail in making the exact batter for dosa..may be the ingreidents i mix is wrong ..i would be glad if you post the batter reciepe for dosa...
    thanx and regards,

    kripa

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  31. Hello sis,
    Awesum blog. Thanx fr such luvly recipes. I tried the gobi manchurian n trust me it tastd so yum. Thanx 2 u:-) Keep rockin...

    Regards
    Sowmi

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  32. Hi, v nice blog...Could you please post how to prepare idly/dosa batter? I would like to confirm the ratio for such a crispy dosa....

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  33. Raks y don't u try to make chocolates... Help me on this...

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  34. really very helpful tips..thak uuu

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  35. Hi Raks,
    I made Ragi dosa with urad dal batter n the batter went sour...why did it happen?

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  36. Hi Raks, I love all your recipes and the way you explain them.

    I have been looking for how to make stuffed bell peppers. There's alot on the net but I am not able to confine myself to one. Please help me with some good cooking suggestions. Thanks.

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  37. Hi Raks,
    I love all your recipes.
    Please suggest me some good ideas on making stuffed bell peppers.

    Thanks.

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  38. Hi,

    Tried your Aval kozhukattai, this is the first time am trying your recipe. It came very well. Its actually softer than the rice kozhukattai which we usually make. It was easy to eat for my aged in-laws and for my kids. Thank u. Am gng to try your eggless cake recipe.

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  39. Hi,

    Tried paruppu urandai kulambu. it came out well. My husband liked it very much. BTW can you also include tips for storing items both in refrigerator and in normal room temperature. It will be very helpful.

    Thanks. .

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  40. hi friend
    your food recipes very use full me.weight loss tips me .and more rava food details me
    thank you
    regards
    sofiya sherin

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  41. hi.......
    Thanks for giving wonderful tips....it so helpful for me.....basically variety rice and kulambu tips is excellent....
    thank you.
    Nandhinichellappan

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  42. I am going to learn cooking and I am very much inspired by your blog...Thank you

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