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50 NIGERIAN KITCHEN TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE HOME

Palm oil

Do not soften female cow head with paracetamol tablets. Don't do it please. That drug abuse can destroy you and those eating the paracetamol meats in the long run. Imagine how many more times you are going to do this and overload your system before retiring from cooking. Not good for you, your family nor customers if you are a food vendor/caterer. Paracetamol is a painkiller that stays longer in your system, stays longer there more than some medications sef. There are ways to soften or tenderize tough meats like that female cow head with ease, read along to see how. There are tricks, tips and hacks to make life easier, save some coins and reduce time spent in the kitchen cooking, especially when it comes to some Nigerian dishes like beans, cow leg and other time consuming food stuff. Most of these tips and tricks have always been there but for some who do not know that cooking Nigerian food doesn't have to be that intense, we'll share these tips. Starting with palm oil because I already posted kitchen tips for palm oil on the blog: Palm oil is very important in our Nigerian Kitchens because it is that colorful ingredient that goes into most, if not all Nigerian dishes and if the palm oil is bad, then your pot of soup or stew is bad as well. Palm oil has the singular power to ruin all your effort at making a great pot of soup, it can make you dispose of your soup as soon as it is cooked. Palm oil can make you waste all ingredients after cooking and emptying into the waste bin. That
shouldn't happen if you know the trick. Why palm oil gets bad or starts to taste funny is because there is still some little amount of water under the palm oil bottle, jar, gallon or pot.

 During the process of making this oil, the final product is supposed to be boiled to do away with any water residue from the boiling of the palm nuts. Sometimes, this final stage is ignored and the oil is sold. It stays good for a short period, then the water in there begins to kind of smell and affect the oil and affect the taste of whatever is cooked with that oil. That's why women who know, always try to have a taste of their oil before buying and that kinda helps but not all the time. If the good oil you bought was not cooked the last time before being taken to the market for sale, after a while in your kitchen, especially if you do not use oil always, it starts to get bad and you wonder what happened... Nothing happened, you bought that oil immediately it got supplied to the seller and with time, the little drops of water in it began to react and ruin your good palm oil.

SEE ALL THE TIPS AND TRICKS TO SAVE YOUR TIME AND MONEY:

  1. Empty bad tasting palm oil in a deep pot, boil until the little drops of water left behind dry up and the oil retains it's good taste.
  2. When making amala, semo and wheat meal fufu, add some drops of vegetable oil to the boiling water before adding the flour and stirring. That gives a smoother fufu swallow without lumps and fluffy and prevents some from sticking to the bottom of your cooking pot.
  3. After boiling spaghetti or macaroni, rinse with clean water to remove starch and your spaghetti remains free flowing and non sticky. You can also drop some oil and salt to the boiling pot to prevent some sticking together.
  4. You can boil rice with much water, drain excess when rice is cooked and enjoy free non-sticky grains.
  5. Add seasoning cube and salt to boiling rice and you can enjoy it without stew or sauce.
  6. Chop or dice vegetables like okra, ugu, afang, ewedu and others, store in the freezer for as long as you want and when it's time to use, do not defrost, just go ahead and cook your fresh vegetables and enjoy.
  7. Drop moi moi broad leaves in the freezer, leave them frozen and hard for as long as you want, when it's time for moi moi making or ofada rice, rinse and use your fresh looking leaves.
  8. For accidents with hot pots or kitchen disasters with fire while cooking, apply your baking flour immediately and it will heal without a scar.
  9. Parboil beans and rinse like rice before cooking to avoid heart burns.
  10. Chop and blend peeled raw yam before stirring in the pot like amala for quick poundo.
  11. Use pressure cooker for cow head, cow leg and others to quick cook, avoid putting metals like nails for your health sake.
  12. Sugar can make your yam taste better but is it really necessary?
  13. Start chewing gum or an empty mouth before you start chopping the onion to avoid tears. If you put even a little cut on the onion before you begin to chew, it might not work as onion juice travels fast and may have reached your eyes already.
  14. For salty boiled yam, add more clean water and drain before serving.
  15. For Quick akara balls or moin moin, wash your beans as usual, dry very well and mill or grind. Store bean flour in airtight containers. Take the quantity needed at any given time and just mix with water, add other ingredients and cook with no stress. 
  16. To make ogbono soup that's thick but not too drawy, fry the ogbono after grinding. But sha why is it ogbono soup if it won't draw?
  17. Crayfish is the medicine for ogbono soup. Without meat or fish, add enough crayfish and enjoy delicious ogbono soup.
  18. Too much crayfish, oil and onion too can reduce the drawy strength of your ogbono soup.
  19. Adding butter or vegetable oil to boiling pot gives nice texture to your boiled rice.
  20. Close containers tight immediately after use to preserve your ingredients.
  21. Female cow head takes really long to cook and Nigerians have started to use paracetamol tablets to make it cook faster. PLEASE ASK YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT THIS TRICK. Paracetamol is medicine and if we start cooking it as food, what happens when we fall ill and the body is already saturated with paracetamol? Disaster. Please use pressure pot for tough meats. Save and get one for your health sake.
  22. Drop peeled irish potatoes in your pot of salty soup and warm to remove the salty taste.
  23. Blend raw yam, wrap in cellophane bags and drop in boiling water to cook and your poundo is ready but cooking with nylon bags is not healthy so I'll go with blending and stirring like amala.
  24. Use a food blender for ewedu instead of broom or potash.
  25. To prevent your unripe plantain from ripening, keep in a bowl of water for as long as you want them to remain unripe, take them out when you want to ripen.
  26. Lick salt as soon as pepper from the tough meat accidently enters your eye while struggling to bite. Salt calms the pepper immediately.
  27. Keep your yams head down and tails up to prevent them from germinating and growing in the store room.
  28. Sprinkle some salt on fresh pepper while pounding to prevent your pepper jumping out the mortar and landing on the floor.
  29. Drop boiled eggs immediately in cold water to help with the shells.
  30. AA salt to boiled eggs to harden and prevent cracks. 
  31. Boiling eggs straight from the fridge can cause cracks.
  32. Freeze crayfish to preserve
  33. Sun dry very well, clean and store crayfish in airtight containers and they can last for a year or more.
  34. Wash eggs with detergent before boiling to harden the shells and prevent cracking.
  35. Sprinkle some raw garri or flour to your watery soup to thicken.
  36. Without food blender? Use a grater to wash and skin beans in seconds for your akara or moin moin.
  37. Parboil washed beef with seasoning and onion only till dry, before adding water. That's how to get the taste.
  38. Wash snails with lime orange to remove slime and harden.
  39. Drop washed snails in already salted boiling water to harden and cook nicely.
  40. Blend boiled yam for your smooth poundo. Great for small families o. Don't ruin your blender grinding yam for battalion.
  41. Use food processor too to blend boiled yam into smooth swallow. Use for small quantity so you don't ruin your food processor making pounded yam for a whole village or football team family.
  42. Chop okra and other vegetables quick quick with a food processor.
  43. Place oil stained plastic bowls under the sun and they automatically clean up.
  44. For lingering onion and garlic smells that refuse to go away even after washing hands, rub your palms on a stainless steel like the kitchen sink and it clears off. 
  45. Use iron sponge to clean smoked fish or dip in hot water and use salt to scrub off all the sand and dirt.
  46. To remove tomato stains from plastic bowls, place them under sun for a few hours.
  47. To reuse cooking oil, fry some ginger in it first and the taste of whatever that was cooked disappears leaving you with good oil.
  48. To prevent cut ripe fruits like apples, avocados, cut ripe plantains from changing to brown, sprinkle the cut area with lemon juice. Sprinkle cut ripe plantains with lemon juice and store in the fridge to use later, the cut area remains fresh.
  49. 49. If two drinking glasses become stuck together
    after stacking or during cleaning, it’s possible to unstick
    them. Just put ice in the inner glass and place the
    outer glass in warm water. The warm glass will
    expand and the cold glass will contract, making
    the glasses separate easily.  That's easy.
    50.For your burnt pot of rice. Place a piece of white bread on the hot rice, place the lid back on and leave for about 5 minutes to absorb all that smell, open, take out the bread, then serve and enjoy.
    Can you think of other kitchen tips to share with us?

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