Recipes R Simple Archive

Useful Tips: Kitchen and Cooking

Best way to peel Ginger

best way to peel ginger Best way to peel Ginger

Best way to peel Ginger |- Reduce Muscle Soreness and Wastage


If you, like me – enjoy using ginger in my cooking extensively – this Kitchen Hack on ‘ The best way to peel ginger’ will be useful.

I use ginger in most of my savory cooking. Although sometimes I don’t bother peeling the skin, in dishes like Asian Stir-Fries. In other dishes like curries or to make the all important  Ginger – Garlic paste (A must have in the Indian Kitchen), the ginger simply must be peeled.

Whether you peel a lot of ginger or just a few knobs, it’s always a good idea to waste less. In some parts of the world  fresh Ginger can be quite expensive. Having to peel a lot of ginger  with a knife can often cause muscle soreness. I remember the time I had to peel 6 kg of ginger in one go… towards the end I was just slicing away the precious flesh to get the task over and done with.

This method proved to become a fast favorite. No more Knives or Peelers. Watch the video. I hope this is helpful to some of you.

peelers Best way to peel Ginger

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Different oils have different smoking points making them better or least suitable for different cooking methods. Other factors to be considered are the aroma and flavor. Here is a list of various cooking oils with the corresponding smoking temperatures and culinary uses. Hope it is useful for some of you.

Avocado oil 271 520 Frying, sautéing, flavoring oil, salad oil
Safflower oil (linoleic) 265 509 Cooking, salad dressings
Rice bran oil 254 489 Cooking, frying, deep frying, salads, dressings. Very clean flavoured & palatable.
Mustard oil 254 489 Cooking, frying, deep frying, salads, dressings, marinades, flavoring.
Ghee, clarified butter 250 482 Deep frying, cooking, sautéeing, condiment, flavoring
Sunflower oil (linoleic) 246 475 Cooking, salad dressings, margarine, shortening
Olive oil (extra light) 242 468 Sautee, stir frying, frying, cooking, salad oils, margarine
Canola oil 242 468 Frying, baking, salad dressings
Soybean oil 241 466 Cooking, salad dressings, vegetable oil, margarine, shortening
Corn oil 236 457 Frying, baking, salad dressings, margarine, shortening
Sesame oil (light) 232 450 Cooking, deep frying
Peanut oil 231 448 Frying, cooking, salad oils, margarine
Palm oil 230 446 Cooking, flavoring, vegetable oil, shortening
Olive oil (refined) 225 437 Sautee, stir frying, cooking, salad oils, margarine
Almond oil 221 430 Baking, sauces, flavoring
Cottonseed oil 216 421 Margarine, shortening, salad dressings, commercially fried products
Olive oil (virgin) 215 419 Cooking, salad oils, margarine
Grapeseed oil 204 399 Cooking, salad dressings, margarine
Walnut oil 204 399 Cooking (most chefs refrain from using walnut oil for high temperature cooking, as heating removes some of the oil’s flavour & nutrition and produce a slight bitterness), cold dishes, salad dressings
Lard 201 394 Baking, frying
Butter, salted 200 400 Cooking, baking, condiments, sauces, flavoring
Butter, without salt 200 400 Cooking, baking, condiments, sauces, flavoring
Olive oil (extra virgin) 190 374 Cooking, salad oils, margarine
Coconut oil 177 351 Commercial baked goods, candy and sweets, whipped toppings, nondairy coffee creamers, shortening, regional stir frying
Sesame oil (dark) 177 351 Cooking
Hemp oil 165 329 Cooking, salad dressings,
Margarine, soft 160 320 Cooking, baking, condiment
Butter oil, anhydrous 150 302 Cooking, baking, condiment, sauces, flavoring
Margarine, hard 150 302 Cooking, baking, condiment

How to Sprout Mung Beans

how to sprout mung beans1 How to Sprout Mung Beans

How to Sprout Mung Beans

Sprouted Mung Beans are a good source of minerals such as iron, potassium, folate and vitamin C. They are also a good source of protein. Often some of the most nutritious foods like Beans, cause flatulence and bloating. However sprouting these beans reduces the flatulence. Great to toss into Salads or Light Stir Frying. I am trying to incorporate this into my diet to increase my iron intake. The low calories are a great plus. Although Sprouted beans and Mung Beans are available in the supermarkets, nothing beats the freshness and flavor of making your own.  Today I’m sharing how to sprout mung beans, the way I do it at home. I learnt this in primary school and its a great method.

how to sprout mung beans 11 How to Sprout Mung Beans

You are here: Home > Vegetarian  > How to sprout Mung Beans

Recipe Name: How to Sprout Mung Beans
Recipe Type: Basics
Author: Shana c/o Recipes ‘R’ Simple
Prep time: 5 minutes
Soaking time: 24 hours
Resting Time: 24 hours
Total time: 2 days
Yield: A large bowlful of Mung bean sprouts

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Tomato Ketchup Recipe – How to make Tomato Ketchup

home made ketchupe Tomato Ketchup Recipe How to make Tomato Ketchup

Tomato Ketchup Recipe


Are you someone who likes a lot of ketchup with just about anything?

My daughter Loves Ketchup. She will ask for it with her Pasta, Fried Rice, Fries  and she likes a LOT if it. I wasn’t sure about giving her the bottled stuff regularly so I made my own. And I must say – Its just like Real Ketchup. Try this Ketchup Recipe if you love the stuff, need to make LOTS of it or just have a Lot of Tomatoes or Puree laying around.

tomato ketchup Tomato Ketchup Recipe How to make Tomato Ketchup


Tomato Ketchup Recipe

tomato ketchup recipe1 Tomato Ketchup Recipe How to make Tomato Ketchup

  • (for 5 cups of Ketchup )
  • 2 kg Tomatoes – use only Ripe & Firm Bright RED Tomatoes
  • 1 cup sugar (adjustable)
  • ½ cup of vinegar (adjustable)
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • ½ tsp onion powder – optional
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder – optional
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika powder or mild chilli powder – use a bright red chili powder that smells good.
  • Boil a large saucepan of water.
  • Add the washed tomatoes.
  • Boil for 10 minutes, no more. Drain.
  • Peel the tomatoes under running water.
  • Blend the tomatoes to a puree. Strain if possible.
  • Pour the Blended Puree into a heavy bottomed saucepan.
  • Add the ginger paste, garlic paste and heat.
  • Add sugar , a little at a time. Bring to a simmer.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, add the salt and vinegar.
  • Simmer on VERY LOW heat for about 1 hour, stirring every now and then.
  • Half way through, add the paprika or chill powder. (It must not be too hot and it must have a good aroma and bright color, or it will effect the look and aroma of the ketchup)
  • Also add onion powder and cinnamon powder, if using.
  • When the ketchup is thick and smooth and coating the saucepan, remove from heat.
  • Allow to cool and stir in a large (sterilized) jar/ bottle.
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 weeks, using a sterile spoon to use each time. Or store in a squeezable bottle with nozzle.
  • If you would like to make a smaller batch of Tomato Ketchup, use 1 ½ cups of tomato puree, 1 large clove of garlic – crushed to paste, 1 pc of ginger – crushed to paste, 1 ½ or more Tbsp of Sugar, 1 Tbsp Vinegar and ¼ tsp salt. Method is the same, cooking time will be about 15 minutes. 

Tomato Ketchup Recipe

Did you enjoy our Home Made Tomato Ketchup Recipe  Let us know.


  • You can make different types of ketchup, by adding some spices like bay leaves and chillies to make it spicier.
  • Instead of boiling the tomatoes first, you can blend fresh tomatoes to a puree, strain and then continue with the simmering. I can’t decide yet which is better.

Serve with:

ChickenBurgerRecipe 150x150 Tomato Ketchup Recipe How to make Tomato Ketchup

Best & EASIEST Chicken Burger in 30 minutes

steps for home made fries 150x150 Tomato Ketchup Recipe How to make Tomato Ketchup

Homemade French Fries

home made chicken nuggets recipe 150x150 Tomato Ketchup Recipe How to make Tomato Ketchup

Home Made Chicken Nuggets

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Baking Tips – A list of all the things to remember while baking


baking tips lets bake Baking Tips A list of all the things to remember while baking

Baking Tips

You are here: Home > Useful TIPS (Kitchen and Cooking) > Baking Tips

Baking is an art. Baking is fun. Baking is about precision, timing and knowing your basics  so that all your effort pays off in the end. Here are some tips and techniques that all home bakers should know.

This post will be updated regularly with facts as I am able to add them.


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White Christmas Snack with Coconut

white christmas snack White Christmas Snack with Coconut

White Christmas Snack with Coconut


These No Bake White Christmas Snacks are great for festive times. They look lovely and taste great. Flavored with coconut and milk – a real treat. Depending on the occasion you can change the color of the added ingredients : here it’s a Christmas Theme so we use Green and Red Glace cherries.

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What part of Lemon Grass do I use for Cooking?

Lemongrass, (Cymbopogon citratus) is a stalky plant, a perennial  with a lemony scent that grows in  tropical climates, most notably in Southeast-Asia. A common ingredient in Thai cooking, lemongrass provides a zesty lemon flavor and aroma to many Thai dishes. Lemongrass is also thought to have numerous health benefits ,

When purchasing lemongrass, look for firm stalks (not soft or rubbery, which means it’s too old). Lower stalk should be pale yellow (almost white) in color, while upper stalks are green (do not purchase if outer leaves are crusty or brown). Usually fresh lemongrass is sold in groupings of 3-4 stalks, secured with an elastic band. Stalks are approximately 1 foot long (or more). Look for fresh lemongrass at your local grocery store or Asian market. If you can’t find it with the fresh produce, check the freezer section – lemongrass stalks are also sold in frozen packets.

What part of Lemon Grass do I use for Cooking?

lemongrass What part of Lemon Grass do I use for Cooking?

Which Part of Lemongrass to use?


 To use ; cut off the root tip, peel off the tough outer leaves, and cut away the top part of the stalk. It is the bulb section, (the paler,fleshier part) that is used.

The leaves however can be boiled to give aroma to soups, curries etc.The stalk will last for several days in the fridge or can be chopped and frozen for later use.

In aromatherapy, lemongrass essential oil is a toning, revitalizing, and antiseptic herb. It is used to treat circulation, digestion, as a muscle toner, and for acne and oily skin. It blends well with basil, geranium, jasmine, and lavender. It is excellent for post-diet saggy skin.



Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips

Removing rust stains

IMG 1468 e1373598842682 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips


rust10 150x150 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tipsrust14 150x150 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips








Cast Iron  Skillets:

Why they are preferred for certain dishes:

  • Studies have shown that  cooking in iron pots can help reduce the risk of anaemia. When you cook food in iron skillets, it reacts with the metal surface. As a result, iron gets released in the food. This is why green vegetables cooked in an iron wok become darker in colour!
  • Iron pots and pans heat up evenly and keep food warm for a longer time. They are also ideal for slow cooking.

However the following notes to be taken into consideration

  • It is best not to cook in Iron pans every day. Using it only two to three times a week can help to prevent an overload of iron in your body.

  • Sour or acidic foods may react with the iron to create an unpleasant metallic taste. Lemon, Vinegar or Tomato based dishes etc are best cooked in other cookware.

  • It is best not to use dish soap at all but if you need to : Wash iron pans with a mild detergent and dry immediately with a kitchen towel. Wipe with a thin coat of vegetable oil all over to protect it from rust.

  • Water and other fluids should not be stored in iron cookware. Iron reacts with moisture and forms rust. Drinking water will be contaminated. For the same reason, any food cooked in iron cookware should be transferred immediately to a glass or enamel dish.

  • Transferring food to other cookware will keep the food from going dark, and changing in taste as well.

  • Difference between Cast Iron and Carbon Steel woks or skillets.
  • Carbon Steel is lighter, tougher and arguably more responsive to heating/cooling (traditional woks are carbon steel).
  • Widely, Cast Iron  is preferred over carbon steel for everything except the Wok.
  • If seasoned and maintained correctly, both have the same non-stick properties as teflon without the leaching chemicals or flake factor.  
  • Carbon steel is preferred for its ability to heat up rapidly to the correct high temperatures and once well seasoned will have a natural non stick patina surface that lasts.
  • Some Carbon Steel woks come from the store with an anti-rust oil applied to it.Rinse and dry thoroughly over your stove burner.


Seasoning,Cleaning and Preventing Rust on  Carbon Steel:

  • After initial cleaning and wiping dry, Put in two tablespoons of cooking oil [any will do except olive oil, groundnut is preferred]. When the oil is warm rub the interior with a paper towel until the whole surface is lightly coated with oil. Heat the wok on very low burner for about 15 mins wiping occasionally with more oil. You will see it start to darken in colour. This means your wok is becoming seasoned and with use it will get darker and even black.

  • Never scrub your wok after it has become seasoned especially with any harsh cleaners or metal scouring pads. Just wash it gently under the tap with plain hot water and gently wipe off food debris with a sponge or traditionally with a Bamboo brush cleaner.

  • If food has burned on or you think it has to be washed more thouroughly, try to remove food debris as carefully as possible without harsh detergents or scouring pads.  Rinse and dry the inside and outside with paper towels. Then to finish drying, place the wok over a medium heat and ‘burn’ to sterilise it ready for your next cooking session. Wipe the inside of the wok with a small amount of oil and season as before.

  • Always remember to season before storing for any lengthy period of time to avoid rusting. If rust does occur gently remove this by using a little cream cleanser on the spot and then re-season. 

  • Do not put the wok in the dishwasher. If rust appears or it is accidentally cleaned in the dishwasher, simply re-season it, being careful to remove all the rust. The wok will build up a black layer, but don’t worry this will prevent it going rusty and helps the non stick process.

Removing Rust Methods for Cast Iron and Carbon Steel

rust3 300x247 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips

Gentle scrub and rinse

  • rust17 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips

    Rusty spots all over

    Wash with water and gentle detergent  once. Scrub if needed. Dry completely outside and inside with towel.





  • Add lemon juice or vinegar and a good spoonof salt.rust4 300x247 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips
  • Scrub gently for 10 minutes.You will see the liquid turning dark.





  • rust5 255x300 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tipsRinse out. Scrub well with steel scrubber(Important:You will never use steelscrubber on the pans once seasoned)
  • Dry well with paper towel. Add lemon juice/vinegar again and Sprinkle Baking Soda all over surface. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Scrub again.
  • Rinse. Dry Immediately with kitchen towel.
    rust6 224x300 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips

    Rust is gone


  • Continue to Season: Place cookware on stove on gentle
  • heat and apply a thin coating of oil all over the surface. Allow to warm up.Wipe with kitchen paper towel till it no longer returns color.
  • Allow to cool. Also apply a thin layer of oil on outsides and store till next use.

rust8 300x254 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips rust7 280x300 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips

  • After Cooking: Once a wok/skillet is ‘seasoned’ it should never be scrubbed with steel scrubber or You will have to ‘re – season’ from scratch.
  • If food has stuck to bottom Pour water and bring to boil. Add mild detergent and allow to sit, overnight if needed.
  • In the morning, scrub gently with a plastic brush or scrubber. Rinse. Dry. Apply a thin coat of oil each time before setting away  for best results.
  • Over time, with well seasoning your cast iron and carbon steel will give the best non- stick effectiveness and you wont be able to do without them. They last a lifetime.
  • If at any point you want to scrub your woks clean. Do so and repeat the entire process.

rust12 150x150 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips rust13 150x150 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips







rust9 150x150 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips rust10 150x150 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips Back to Useful Tips






rust11 150x150 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips rust14 150x150 Removing rust stains :Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Skillets/Woks: Facts & Seasoning tips

‘Cream of Tartar’ Uses

CreamTartar Cream of Tartar Uses

‘Cream of Tartar’ Uses

Cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate/potassium hydrogen bitartrate/potassium acid tartrate) is a by-product of the wine-making process. It is obtained from a crystalline acid that deposits on the sides of wine barrels. Here are ways to use it.

  • Use it to keep beaten egg whites from drying out. When beating egg whites, the addition of cream of tartar creates a chemical reaction that lets the egg whites reach maximum volume and also prevents them from drying out. The same chemical reaction occurs when egg whites are beaten in an unlined copper bowl.
  • Add cream of tartar to whipping cream. It stabilizes the cream after it has been whipped. Just add a pinch.
  • Prevent sugar from crystallizing. Adding cream of tartar to sugar as it is cooking (for making candies, etc.) will help prevent crystallization of the sugar. This makes the sugar ideal for candies and frosting, as the texture ends up being creamier.
  • Make your own baking powder using cream of tartar. Combine two parts cream of tartar with one part baking soda and one part cornstarch.
  • Clean with cream of tartar:
    • Clean a tub stain: Fill a small cup with cream of tartar; gradually add drops of hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Use this paste to cleanse a bathtub stain; simply apply, leave to dry, and then wipe off. The stain will come off with it.

    • Fix discolored aluminum pots: Dissolve 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar in 1 quart (1 liter) of water. Bring to a boil in the discolored pot for 10 minutes. Discard and the stain should be gone. Cream of tartar can also be used to clean brass and copper cookware.
  •  ‘Cream of Tartar’ Uses

    • Cream of tartar is usually sold in the baking section of the supermarket.
    • Store cream of tartar away from humidity. It will form lumps and eventually clump together if humidity affects it. Store in a cool, dry place and replace if it clumps. If kept in an airtight container, it can last for a long time.
    • While it is possible to substitute cream of tartar, it’s not really an ingredient that should be substituted and it is best to get the cream of tartar if you can.
    • Grapes are the only significant source of tartaric acid; hence the production of it from wine-making.

    ‘Cream of Tartar’ Uses

    • Cream of tartar has a high potassium content. Be aware of that if you have kidney disease or cannot pass potassium easily.
    • Too much cream of tartar can have a laxative effect but in the usual small amounts it is used, it should be fine.

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    To Prevent Crying While Cutting Onions

    DSC 0208 1024x680 To Prevent Crying While Cutting Onions

    No More Onion Tears

    To Prevent Crying While Cutting Onions

    So what causes the onion to act as a tear-gas bomb?

    There is a compound  called propanethial-S-oxide in the tissue of the onion, which is a type of sulfoxide. When the misty droplets come in contact with a wet surface (such as your eyes or nose membranes) it reacts to  form of  mild type of sulphuric / sulfuric acid, which is understandably irritating to your sensitive organs. 

    What can be done to prevent this dilemma?
    There are quite a few ways  that people attempt to stop from crying profusely while cutting onions. Many a folk remedy handed down from old wives to their daughters over the generations. Some are good and Some are kinda silly and do not work! Now  taking into consideration that everyone has thier own unique threshhold to withstand these vapours..
    Some are virtually unaffected,while others are overly sensitive to the onion vapors. Different onions also produce different amount of these vapors.
    A few of the offered methods  to reduce tears are”
    1. Using a sharp knife.
    A clean slice will reduce the onion spray! Less Spray : Less Chemical Reaction. Simple.
    2. Hold a wooden matchstick between your teeth — match head out. 
    This does not work for me and I find it quite silly
    3. Hold a piece of bread in your mouth. 
    This may not be completely inaffective. It does seem to delay the process.
    However I might not want to eat bread!
    4. Breathe only through your mouth. 
    Did not work. It may reduce sensitivity to your nose.
    5. Chew on a raw onion. 
    This is just plain ridiculous!
    More onion? Does not work for me either! If you love onion raw try it.
    6. Don’t chop the onion root — or do it last and keep the outer skin on the onion as long as possible.
    Since the root end of the onion has a higher concentration of these chemicals.
    Did you know, that keeping the basal root portion of an onion INTACT, while slicing can help greatly reduce the tears due to onion slicing?
    Keeping in mind that the tears are caused by the SULPHUR compounds in the onion that combine with the water in our eyes to form a mild sulphuric acid! These sulphur compounds are most concentrated in the root portion(bottom) of the onion. Therefore, keeping this part intact (UN SLICED) till the end, helps to reduce the ‘ONION TEARS’ drastically. TRY IT! 

    7. Chop the onion under water, under running water, or pre-soak in water. 
    Okay this is suggested by many, however chopping onions underwater seems very difficult to do with pieces floating away everywhere.
    • Next chopping under running water. Again not so easy to do as you’ll have to place the onions in the sink! Also not a fan of running water needlessly.
    • Chopping water next to running water. The water is supposed to distract the vapors away. Okay so try this if someone is washing dishes next to you . It may be slightly affective but again not completely appropriate.
    8. Contact lenses – conflicting arguments.
    Some say ‘Wear contact lenses’ ;it acts as a shield to the delicate skin of the iris. Others recommend NOT to wear contact lenses as the acid gets between the contact lens and eye proving to be more irritating and uncomfortable.
    I don’t wear contacts so I haven’t a clue
    9. Wear swim goggles or a diving mask.
    This is far too uncomfortable  even though it works.
    10. Use a fan to blow away or suck up the fumes.
    If you can get a small table fan in your kitchen to blow away the fumes it is helpful.
    11. Place onions in the freezer for 20 minutes before cutting.
    This is a popular suggestion but I dont find it to work.
    Unless your unions are frozen but that spoils the texture for most use.
    Or if you chill them in the fridge you just have to wait too long. And I dont like the idea of storing onions in the fridge as a long term solution.
    12. Put white vinegar on the chopping block to neutralize chemicals. 
    This works for the most part . However not a pleasant smell and it may mess up your  onions if used in frying as they tend to absorb moisture and also the flavour may spoil some dishes.
    So what seems to be the most effective method/s of all?
    Burn a candle near the chopping area.
    This rarely-known technique is based on the fact that the candle flame pulls air from around it and sends it up the smoke fume. This is surprisingly effective if you not using a huge amount of onions. I use this method the most on those sensitive days.
    Place the cutting board next to a gas range and turn on a burner or two.
    This is good if youve got something cooking or boiling away that doesnt require much attention. I chop onions near the stove and it works well.
     Don’t chop the onion root — or do it last and keep the outer skin on the onion as long as possible.
    I found this method to reduce the onion tears significantly. Just need to get used to not chopping off the root portion first. Wash onion thoroughly after removing outer skin. Cut off only the top of the bulb, leaving the basal root portion intact. Slice the onion into two halves.
    Slice the onion all the way through to the cutting board but slice a cm away from the root. This keeps the onion intact till the end. When slicing is done for all the onion halves, chop off the basal root portion and discard.
    chopping onion no tear To Prevent Crying While Cutting Onions


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