Vegetables are an integral part of a majority of Indian kitchens, especially since a majority of the Indian households are vegans. They are the most important ingredients of any form of cooking. Therefore, before rushing to cook your favorite vegetables at home, it’s important to understand and practice some simple techniques to make sure that color, flavor and taste of the vegetables are given as much importance as their food-value.
Some vegetables taste good in raw form as salads, while some others taste better when cooked. Before cooking begins, the vegetables must be chopped properly and diced the way you’d like them to look in your finished recipe.
Make sure you always wash the raw vegetables properly once you buy from the market, to remove dirt and any kind of bacteria, e.g. E.coli, Listeria and salmonella, which comes along with the dirt. Discard the outer leaves of the leafy vegetables which are susceptible of carrying more bacteria with it. Always wash your vegetables under running water and use a scrubber to wash vegetables like potatoes, carrots, radish, etc. However, never wash vegetables for too long as it may affect the shelf life of the vegetables. Even storing vegetables after washing spoils their nutritional value, especially if you don’t use them soon enough.
Never wash vegetables after slicing, since it destroys the natural oils and vitamins.
Boiling vegetables is the easiest while cooking, though not always. You should know how to boil your vegetables so that it doesn’t cart-off the color, flavor and the nutrient content. As such, depending on the type of vegetables, it’s important to cover the boiling pot.
Half-Boiling is another faster way of cooking, which retains the original flavor and taste of vegetables. This process retains the nutritional value to the maximum! To get the best nutritional value and flavor out of half-boiled cooking, the vegetables need to be cut in bigger slices or hand-broken into pieces, as practiced traditionally.
When boiling green vegetables – especially the leafy ones – do not cover the lid of the pot. This helps in retaining the green color to the maximum.
In order to boil the green vegetables you should use more water as it helps in keeping the water warm while adding the raw veggies. Do not over-boil the vegetables by keeping them in water for more than the required time. Therefore boil your vegetables carefully to keep the maximum flavor, color and nutrients, while making sure you don’t end up with a watery and tasteless vegetable recipe.
Never cook the vegetables by taking out straight from the refrigerator. Keeping the diced vegetables in room temperature for sometime before cooking can give you amazing results and make cooking easier and faster for you. It also reduces the risk of getting veggies over-cooked or burnt.
Depending on the needs of your recipe, slice the vegetables in proper sizes. Smaller sizes or cubes speeds up the cooking and helps some vegetables – especially onions – in attaining the desired brown color quickly when u start sautéing it.
Never cook your vegetables more than the stipulated time as it may spoil the taste of the entire recipe. The best way is to taste a piece of it to check whether it’s fully cooked. When your taste-bud gets the correct taste, then it is done.
Therefore, washing, cutting, boiling and then cooking the vegetables should be the correct stages in making a perfect vegetable recipe. Following the right techniques can make it real easy for you to cook your perfect vegetarian recipes. The simple tips mentioned above will make an amateur cook prove more experienced than making him frustrated while cooking vegetables the right way.
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