Are you ready to begin your journey in the kitchen? Welcome aboard. We know you may be a little jittery to wear your chef's hat and apron, but we want you to be excited about your new cooking adventures. Let us handhold you as you take your first steps into the world of cooking with some basic but useful tips that we have learnt over time. Every novice cook faces difficulties and experiences cooking disasters. But it should not deter you from keep trying. The following tips are sure to help you and make your ride to becoming an excellent cook as breezy as possible.
(Also Read: How To Make Food: An Ultimate Guide For Beginners)
Here're 11 Basic Cooking Tips For Beginners:
1. How To Ace The Recipe
This is cooking 101. Read the recipe, not just skim through it. Take note of all the ingredients, and gather them all together before turning on the stove. Read the steps carefully in advance so you already know what the next step will be while cooking. This will avoid any confusion and errors during the cooking process.
2. Cut Onions Without Teary Eyes
Have you ever wondered how other people cut a number of onions without shedding a single tear? And your eyes well up the moment you step foot in the kitchen. Our guess is, well, your eyes just get used to it. But till then, spread some vinegar on your knife before it touches the onion. Chef Gordon Ramsay shared another tip in one of his cooking videos - leave the root intact before chopping the onion. As soon as the root is removed, the juices are released into the air. So, directly slice the onion and take it from there to chop it further all the way to the root.
(Also Read: How To Chop Onions Like A Pro)
3. How To Knead Soft Dough
Is your dough turning out to be too sticky or too hard? You need to start doing it with patience. Always add water gradually as you go. This will let you observe how much water is needed. Also, try to use lukewarm water to knead the dough to make it soft and fluffy. And don't forget to let the dough rest for at least 15 minutes before using it.
4. How To Make Non-Sticky Rice
First things first, always wash and rinse the rice with water 3-4 times before boiling it. This removes extra starch and pesticides and prevents stickiness while cooking. Soak the rice in water for 15-20 minutes to let it soften. Make sure to let the water boil first and then toss in the rice. And avoid stirring the rice till it is almost cooked.
Rice can be cooked perfectly with simple steps.
5. How To Cook Perfect Pasta
When starting out, our pasta usually turns out either undercooked or overcooked, but not al dante. To achieve the right texture, always add pasta to boiling water. Adding a dash of salt and oil helps pasta fluff up and prevents it from sticking together. Check before turning off the gas - the pasta should not be nice and firm, not too soggy, not too hard. Rinse in cold water immediately to stop it from cooking further in the steam and to prevent it from turning sticky.
(Also Read: Pasta 101 - A Complete Guide On How To Cook Pasta)
6. How To Cook Curries
Follow the steps to the T. Roast whole spices till aromatic first. Then add cumin, onions and other spices. Tomatoes go in after onions turn brown. And only after the tomatoes wilt, add your vegetables or meat. These steps are important to let all the ingredients cook at their own pace. Mixing them up can lead to a disaster of a dish.
7. How To Season Food
If you are an inexperienced cook, you are going to take some time to understand the measurements of seasonings to be added to the dish. Follow the recipe and adjust the amount of seasonings as per the quantity of your dish. Always add salt with restriction, because you can add some salt later, if required.
8. How To Fix Extra Salty Food
One is bound to make mistakes while cooking for the first time. The most common mistake that all of us tend to make is adding extra salt. But you can fix it by adding some milk to your gravy. You can even drop some potatoes in the gravy; the potatoes should absorb excessive salt.
9. Taste To Test
Believe us, even professional chefs do this. Keep tasting your dish while it's cooking to test the level of seasoning and make adjustments as you go. Once a dish is cooked, it's even more difficult to change the ingredients and flavours, So fix your dish while you can.
10. Keep Fresh Herbs Handy
Even if you churn out a bland dish, you can add flavours later by garnishing it with herbs like coriander leaves, basil leaves, oregano, mint leaves et al. Adding herbs instantly lift up the flavours of the food - a great way for beginners to hide their cooking mistakes.
11. Don't Be Afraid To Experiment
Last but not the least, have some faith in yourself. There's no harm in experimenting with the recipe or substituting the ingredients if you are sure it would work. We learn from our mistakes and there's no success without some risks, right?
Now that you've decided to cook for yourself and your loved ones, turn it into a fun learning process. The aforementioned cooking tips are there to back you up.
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.