Hints & Tips

Sabiha’s Kitchen is a busy family kitchen and like everybody else we have better things to do than to do things the wrong way or the long way. Here are some hints and tips that might save you some time and disappointment.

If you have any favourite hints and tips that we may be able to share, please click here.

  • Use red chillies for hot taste, reduce amount for medium and omit for mild. Remember a GOOD curry is made without Curry Powder!
  • Use yoghurt or cream (about 4 tbs) or a cup of milk to repair hot taste to mild.
  • Always re-heat rice in microwave, grill or oven to avoid breaking them.
  • Add boiling water to curries for making thinner consistency, and simmer for a few minutes.
  • If curry is too salty, add peeled raw potato, boil on low heat for 15 minutes and throw out the potato (absorbs salt).
  • To keep coriander and green chillies fresh for longer, place in a Ziploc bag in the crisper.  To freeze coriander, chop finely, wash and drain on newspapers on top of boiler or overnight to dry then in freeze in plastic bags.
  • The more rice you cook, the less water you will use. E.g. for 2 cups rice, use 4 cups of water, For 6 cups of rice, reduce water to 9 cups.
  • When heating pitta bread, sprinkle with cold water and then warm both sides under a grill or in a toaster.
  • Curries freeze quite well. Do not freeze potatoes in a curry as the starch doesn’t thaw well.
  • For biryanis, keep rice slightly under-done (al dente) when boiling, and then cook the final stage in a pre-heated oven or on a very low heat for the last 15 mins.
  • To eat a healthier curry, cook as directed and remove all excess oil and reduce amount of salt.
  • Garlic is good for a lot of ailments, increase quantity if you like it. Use in ratio 2:1 with ginger.
  • Grill kebabs and fish instead of frying for a healthier option, then drain all fat, remove onto kitchen paper before serving.
  • Buy small tins of spices e.g. turmeric, red chillies, these will provide easy of storage and will remain fresh.
  • You can make the curry base in bulk and freeze in individual portions in freezer bags.
  • BASE – fry 2 finely sliced or grated onions in 8 tbs oil, add 1 tbs ginger and 1 tbs garlic, add 3 crushed tomatoes, stir well until fat separates. Cool, bag and freeze. This portion is enough for 2lb of chicken, lamb, fish or vegetables.
  • For best results, use spices marketed for South Asians e.g Indians and Pakistanis.  Avoid spices with unnecessary additions and preservatives.
  • There are a lot of pulses/dhals available on the market. For any of them, boil in plenty of water until they are cooed right through, the boil until they are like a thick soup.  Tamper (tarka) – with onions or garlic and serve with rice or chapattis.
  • To heat fresh chapattis, warm on a non-stick frying pan, for frozen, re-heat in a plastic bag in the microwave.
  • Salt is an important constituent of curry, in order for the curry to taste right, the correct amount of salt is needed.
  • To get the full juice of lemons or limes, microwave for 10 secs and then squeeze.
  • To store tomato puree in its jar once opened, top up with cooking oil and store in the fridge.
  • To cut hard boiled eggs without breaking the yolk, dip a kitchen knife in cold water then cut the egg.
  • Soak fresh whole ginger in cold water for a few hours, then scrape off some of the skin and blend until finely ground.  To store – place in tablespoon heaps in a plate, freeze, remove and freeze in bags or store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Break off garlic cloves, place in a plate and Microwave for a few seconds, peel, blend and store as for ginger.