We may have spent years in the kitchen, mastered the art of cooking, and prepared exceptional delicacies for ourselves and friends and family. However, all of this would not be possible without the backbone of any dish - the ingredients. The common food items like tomatoes, chilies, and potatoes do not receive as much credit as their famous counterparts like meat, paneer, and exotic vegetables. However, it is these common food items that make the base of the many finger-licking curries and dishes that we prepare on a daily basis. Storing these common ingredients in the right way doesn't only increase their shelf life, but also ensures that your everyday cooking is easy and delicious. If you are looking for a way to eliminate the daily grocery run, here are some tips on what not to do while storing these common foods.
How Not To Store These 7 Common Foods:
Potatoes are one of the most used ingredients in Indian cooking. From aloo matar ki sabji to aloo ke parathe to even aloo biryani, the humble potatoes fit the bill as the perfect breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Some of the steps to avoid while storing potatoes for a better shelf life are: Avoid washing potatoes before storing them; the moisture will fasten the rotting process. Do not store half-cut potatoes because exposure to the moisture in the environment will turn them grey. Store potatoes in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place.
Tomatoes are next in line when talking of essential items in Indian cooking. It is advised to not store tomatoes with the stems that they come with. The area where the stems are attached to the fruit leads to a loss of moisture and freshness. Cut off the stem and keep them stem side down to prevent loss of moisture and taste for a longer time.
This one's for all the spice junkies out there. Have you had to throw away bags of chillies because they went bad too soon? Well here is what you may be doing wrong - storing them with moisture. One of the biggest no-nos for storing chilli is letting them sit in moisture. If you want your chillies to have a longer shelf life, store them either in an airtight container, zip lock bag, or aluminum foil, but only after you have taken off the stems and dried them properly.
One of the most accessible and multi-purposed fruits, bananas are some of the most loved fruits out there. From adding them to shakes and smoothies to creating banana bread and even serving them as is for a healthy breakfast platter, the fruit is a common feature in most of our homes. However, are you aware of the mistakes that you are committing while storing these fruits? Keeping them exposed. Yes, it is said that keeping the stems of the banana fruit exposed speeds up the rotting process. For longer shelf life, wrap the stems in aluminum foil or cling wrap.
Herbs like dhaniya and pudina have helped us add extra hint of freshness and vibrancy to our many dishes. However, if you want to store these herbs for a longer time, do not store them in the same condition that you have bought them from the market. Always remember to lightly wash these herbs to get rid of any dust, and then cut the stems and let them dry well. Store in a jar with little water and cover using a zip lock bag.
A common ingredient in our breakfast paratha and favorite curries, a dollop of butter instantly enhances the taste of any dish that we are consuming. However, did you know that we are unknowingly committing some mistakes while storing butter? It is said that you should not keep butter near any ingredients that have a strong aroma to it. Butter has a tendency to absorb aromas and will end up inedible if we do not take care of its storage. Also, it is better to store the butter in the freezer if you aren't going to use it within a short span of time.
We tend to buy eggs in a bulk and keep them for later consumption. However, if you want your eggs to be fresh and safe for a longer time, do not remove them from the original containers that they come with. It is simply because these containers are well ventilated and keep the moisture content in check. Keeping eggs in the fridge for a longer period may lead to condensation on the shells of the eggs which makes them more vulnerable to bacteria.
There you have it, avoid these common mistakes while storing food in the kitchen and enjoy them for a much longer time. Do you know of any storage hacks like these? Let us know in the comments below.