Food Storage Tips & Tricks
The world may be going through a crisis, but we should learn to stay calm and make the most out of what we’ve got. Staying at home and staying safe comes with its pros and cons. When it comes to food, be smart and not blindly overstock.
This is a time to get together and help each other. Those in need might not be able to get to the supplies in time if everyone starts overstocking. One skill you can pick up at such times is understanding how to store your food and how to make it last for a longer time. Learning a few tips and tricks about food storage not only helps you keep your produce safe, but also reduces wastage.
So, you can consider it as the need of the hour or a great life skill, these are a few things you should learn to have better control over your stock. Here are some products that you should know how to store:
It’s very common to find wheat flour in Indian homes. Infact, it’s a very common practice of making fresh flatbread every day to go with the curries. Sometimes, they also use other types of flours like Buckwheat Flour, Bajra Flour and Jowar Flour to make bhakris.
Here are a few things you can do to store the flour. First, when you get a new batch, keep it in the freezer for 48 hours. This helps ward off anything and everything from the flour. Then transfer the flour into an airtight container.
Store it in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. You can also opt to keep it in the freezer and take out portions whenever you need it. When it comes to storing the dough, there are a few more steps. If you only want to store it for a couple of days, just apply a thin coating of oil on its surface, put it in a stainless-steel container and keep it in the refrigerator.
However, if you’ve made enough dough to last for 4-5 days, coat it with the oil, wrap it nicely with an aluminium foil, put it in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate it. In either case, make sure you bring it to room before using it.
2. Potatoes and Onions
Potatoes and onions are some of the most commonly used vegetables in India. Not only in Indian cuisine, but these vegetables are widely used in all types of cuisines around the world. Indians have a habit of putting everything in the same basket. That’s the case for potatoes and onions as well.
It’s a common practice to keep your potatoes and onions together for convenience. It’s okay to do so if you’ve only got enough for a couple of days. But both these vegetables are best stored separately. They should also be kept in a cool and dry place with good ventilation and away from direct sunlight.
An ideal desi meal consists of four components; roti, sabzi, dal, rice. So, it’s no mystery that rice is also a staple in India. Even if you’re not an Indian, storing rice can be a hassle if you don’t use it often.
So, here’s what you need to do when you’re filling your airtight containers with a fresh batch of rice. Get some neem leaves (natural pesticides) and keep placing them at different layers of the rice while filling up the container. That way you keep the pests and worms away from the rice at every level.
Green herbs like coriander, mint and curry leaves are almost used in every desi recipe. They play an important part in cooking Indian recipes and it’s important for us to know how to store them.
So, gather the bunch of herb goodness and discard their roots and large stems. Take a container and put a layer of paper towel as a bed for the herbs. Place the herbs in the container surrounded by the paper towel. Place a layer of paper towel on top of it and cover it with a lid. Keep it in the refrigerator and they’ll remain fresh for about a week.
The paper towel absorbs all the moisture off the herbs and prevents them from spoiling. When it comes to dried herbs, the thumb rule is to let them remain whole. Whole dried herbs last longer and remain fresher. Store them in airtight containers and avoid using plastic containers, if possible. Keep them out of direct sunlight as it damages the potency of the herbs.
Lastly, just like every other ingredient in this list, keep them in a cool and dry place to get the most out of them.
These were some of the products that are essential in an Indian kitchen and it’s important to know how to keep them fresh and ready to use.
Remember, we have to be in this together. There’s no point overstocking and then making life difficult for others. Just learn to store it right, avoid food spoilage and let good and fresh food be our solace.