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Practical Tips

Read recipes completely

Be sure to read through the recipes before you start cooking so there are no surprises halfway through.

Prepare spices

Taking a minute to measure out and have all the spices listed in a recipe ready before you start cooking can have a big impact on the outcome of your dish.

If you're not prepared, you'll be searching for spices and adding them to the pot one at a time, which is sure to burn spices.

Prepare ingredients

I know I specifically mentioned spices right before because I think that's crucial, but I also think it's a good idea to prepare the rest of the ingredients beforehand. It's best to already dice onions, mince garlic and ginger, etc. I, for example, always keep a jar of garlic paste and ginger paste in the fridge or freezer. This ensures easy and quick cooking.

Customize to taste

While you can't substitute everything in a recipe and expect it to taste the way it should, there are some instances where you can adjust a recipe to your taste. You can adjust salt or chili amounts in any recipe to your liking. If you like your food saltier, add more salt. If you want to enjoy spicier food, add more cayenne pepper or extra green chilies.


You can also adjust the consistency of a dish. If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can always boil off some liquid after cooking to reduce the sauce. Likewise, you can add water to make a thinner curry.

Use fresh ingredients

Old beans take longer to cook. Fresh seasonings have much more flavor. I usually buy whole spices when I can and grind them in a spice grinder for maximum flavor.

Use the right type of oil

I usually use vegetable oil in most of my recipes because it is a very neutral oil, but you can use any neutral oil you like. However, if I specify a certain type of oil like coconut oil, ghee, or mustard oil, please stick to it if possible because flavor will affect the outcome of a dish. For example, if I share a dish from the southern Indian state of Kerala, there is a chance that my recipe calls for coconut oil and you won't get the right flavor if you substitute it.

Garlic or onion smell on your hands

Raw garlic and onions unfortunately leave a strong odor on your hands. Rub your hands on a stainless steel pan or soap. Alternatively, you can rub food soda on your hands and wash them off.

Turmeric stains

Turmeric mercilessly stains everything the spice comes into contact with and the stains are difficult to remove. For hands and nails, vigorous scrubbing with soap and a nail brush usually helps.

For turmeric stains in clothing, you should act quickly and soak the garments in a mixture of water and detergent or baking soda. Then wash with a stain remover.

If wooden items are affected, try scrubbing the stain away with a combination of lemon juice and soap.

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