Avoidable Accidents in Kitchen

Raindrops Basmati RiceGenerally we don’t speak much on kitchen accidents as it is considered to be of much less importance. But in this deliberate ignorance, we forget that every year thousands of lives are lost due to negligence in kitchen while cooking. Raindrops Basmati Rice is highly concerned about the safety of your family and especially who engage with cooking in the kitchen. Hence Raindrops Basmati Rice is providing some useful tips which can save you from accidents.

• Clean up spills as soon as they happen. Even small puddles of liquid can cause you to slip and fall. Leaving spills on counter-tops can cause cross-contamination. A quick easy solution is to run a half a lemon across the affected area. The acidity of the lemon kills bacterial almost instantly.

• Never leave a cooking pot unattended. It is easy to forget if you’ve gone to answer the door or the telephone. If you have something cooking and you leave the kitchen, check back frequently. Turning on your timer will remind you.

• If a fire should catch in a pot, quickly cover with a cutting board, a lid or a sauté pan. Cutting off the oxygen will extinguish the fire. Throwing water on it super-heats the water and vaporizes any oils in the cooking pot which then spatter in the immediate area creating the potential for new miniature fires.

• Don’t lean across a burner. Your clothing can easily catch fire while you’re attention is elsewhere.

• Use a colander when straining vegetables or pasta. Holding back the food with the lid while pouring the water out can cause the steam to burn your hands.

• Avoid wearing loosely fitted clothing while cooking. Sleeves, sashes and shirt tails can get caught on knobs or catch fire.

• Use oven-mitts or pot-holders, not a dish-towel when removing pots from the stove or oven. The latter can catch fire and does not protect your hands adequately.

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A Crash Course on Rice

Crash course on rice - Raindrops Basamti Rice

Staple food: Rice is used as a staple food by more than 60% of world population. Cooking of rice is a most popular way of eating.

Starch: Rice starch is used in making ice cream, custard powder, puddings, gel, distillation of potable alcohol, etc.  

Rice bran: It is used in confectionery products like bread, snacks, cookies and biscuits. The defatted bran is also used as cattle feed, organic fertilizer (compost), and medicinal purpose and in wax making.

Rice bran oil: Rice bran oil is used as edible oil, in soap and fatty acids manufacturing. It is also used in cosmetics, synthetic fibres, detergents and emulsifiers. It is nutritionally superior and provides better protection to heart.

Flaked rice: It is made from parboiled rice and used in many preparations.

Puffed rice: It is made from paddy and used as whole for eating.

Parched rice: It is made from parboiled rice and is easily digestible.

Rice husk: It is used as a fuel, in board and paper manufacturing, packing and building materials and as an insulator. It is also used for compost making and chemical derivatives.


Rice straw:
Mainly used as: animal feed, fuel, mushroom bed, for mulching in horticultural crops and in preparation of paper and compost.Rice broken: It is used for making food item like breakfast cereals, baby foods, rice flour, noodles, rice cakes, etc. and also used as poultry feed.

Paddy as a seed: The paddy is used as seed to prepare new crop.

Tracing the Spicy Tradition

IndianSpicesUse of Spices in Ancient India has been one of the most important parts of Indian cooking. Because of the popularity of Indian Spices, major countries of the world have trade relations with Indian spice markets from thousands of years.

Use of spices in ancient India began with the Indus Valley Civilization which largely used spices like long pepper, black pepper, asafoetida along with salt. Among the ancient literatures, Buddhists and Jains, five varieties of salts were popular which included sea salt, black salt, rock salt, kitchen salt and red salt.

Use of Spices in Ancient India developed significantly during the Maurya Empire when Indian farmers cultivated some new variety of spices. Kautilya laid a lot of stress on the cultivation of spices. As such under the supervision of the superintendent of salts, the farmers of Maurya Empire cultivated six types of salts ranging from rock salt, sea salt, bida salt, nitre, Sauvarcala and Udbhedaja along with four types of cardamoms like white, reddish white, short and black mottled and friable along with other spices which include long pepper, ginger, cumin seeds, white mustard, coriander, cloves and turmeric.
Use of Spices in Ancient India as such remained one of the specialities of India that went on to become popular all over the world. The magic of Indian spices not only made ancient India one of the richest countries of South Asia, but also helped India to develop trade relations with ancient Romans and Arabs who travelled all the way to buy the spices of India.

Cooking Up A Tradition of Love

Cooking up a tradition of loveHere is a recipe for the special occasion of Love – Valentine’s Day.

Heart Shaped Cookies

Ingredients
3 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract

Method of Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  Mix butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla and almond.  Add dry ingredients gradually and mix well.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes to an hour.

Roll out dough on floured board or counter until about 1/4 inch thick (nice and even). Cut into shapes – we picked hearts (and some stars).  We also popped a white chocolate chip in the center of some of those lucky stars.

Line two cookie trays with parchment paper (you’ll be glad you did) and bake cookies for 11 minutes. They should still be soft in the middle, but puffed.

Cool on a rack.  This recipe makes somewhere between 42 and 64 cookies depending on the size of your cookie cutters.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Another side of rice

Interesting facts about riceYou may not heard these about rice before. We though why not bring it to the platter for you 🙂

  • Rice is the primary dietary staple for more than half of the world’s population.
  • Instead of saying “How are you?” as a typical greeting, the Chinese ask “Have you had your rice today?”
  • Asia, has more than 200 million rice farms
  • Rice is grown in more than a hundred countries, with a total harvested area in 2009 of approximately 158 million hectares, producing more than 700 million tons annually. About 90% of the rice in the world is grown in Asia (nearly 640 million tons).
  • In Thailand, men aren’t allowed to enter rice paddies because the deity Mae Posop, who is considered to be the ‘mother of rice’  resides in the rice fields.
  • Rice grains in Japan are affectionately called ‘Little Buddhas’.
  • One of the secrets to Chinese architecture under the Chinese Ming dynasty (1300-1600) can be found hidden in limestone. Rice, which adds strength and stability, was used in the walls of the city of Nanjing.
  • In India, rice is the first meal that a wife serves to her husband after their marriage, but it is also the first food given to newborn babies, as it’s considered auspicious for future prosperity.
  • Originating in Switzerland, pillows made of natural textiles stuffed with rice are an excellent aid for relieving back and neck pain. First heated up in the microwave, they are then positioned over the painful area.

 

Celebrated Chefs of India

Celebarted Chefs of IndiaOscar Wilde, one of the most popular playwrights of England once said…  To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect. And this exactly what goes with the creative minds in the kitchen, when they visualize something and create something more unusual, which have brought countless smiles from generations. Yes, we are talking about the artists who have portrayed their artistic skills through culinary and cuisines, to whom we state as Chefs in fact the Master Chefs.

But unfortunately, despite chefs being artists or historians, as they carry with them from the centuries, the traditions and stories associated with cuisines, little is known about them collectively.

For the same, India’s two organisations, both leading in their discipline joined hands to fill this void. Times Group, India’s largest mass media company and Raindrops Basmati Rice, a product of REI Agro Ltd, world’s largest basmati rice processing company came together to give due respect to the Master Chefs and their art in the book ‘Celebrated Chefs of India‘. Authored by Marryam H. Reshii, the book interestingly covers not only the recipes but also many life stories about the celebrated chefs. This book also sheds light on the evolution of cooking in India by tracing some very old recipes from the times of Atharva Veda. No doubt, as soon as this book hit the stores, it became one of the top 10 best-selling books online. We are sure; even you would love to be among the proud owners of this compilation of culinary history.

 

Share with us your ‘Pyaar Ka Pulaav’ Moment!

Raindrops 'Pyaar ka Pulaav' Contest

There must be a moment of love that finally pushed all apprehensions aside, pulled the violins to play music in ears and confirmed that yes, you are in love. At Raindrops, we have decided to call that very moment as – ‘Pyaar ka Pulaav’ moment. And we are asking our Facebook fans and offline fans too to come and share with us the story when you started smelling the Pulaav being cooked between you two.

We are giving away couple rice packs as gifts and trying to give to every participant :)) Wow!! Now that’s some unusual about a contest.

All you need to do is share your Pyaar ka Pulaav moment along with a picture that defines the moment as well. Below are gist of entries received till now. Not sharing the complete story but of course the line that would tell you about the magical moment.

~ We kept meeting in summer vacations and once we realized that we like and love each other.

~ the first look that he gave me melted my heart…

~ The time we spent together was magical and could not be explained in words. And at that time We realized Bingo !!!

~ Aankhon se need udi… aur dil se gaya karaar, Tab samajh aaya ki… ho gaya hai mujhe Pyaar ka bukhaar !!

Just click the image above to participate and win the Couple Rice Packs!

Regaining The Paramount

The art of serving the right way ~ makes all the difference!

etiquette-proper-table-setting-formal

Competition is a word which is a close associate of mankind from the time immemorial. A close associate of the competition is “showing off” one-self superior. In fact this social act of showing off plays at its best in community gatherings, where somehow proving it-self better than the others, gives immense pleasure but also gives heart burns when positions change.

Recently, I was at the receiving end. At the kitty party, in which women of our society gather and boast of their recent possessions or talents, a new member of our group, took away my crown of being the best chef of continental delicacies. The reason was her mastery on American cuisines.

But I am a believer of mores, which states that old is gold. Soon I invited all to my house, and my credence in mores stood its reputation. I regained my status. Cooking is definitely a parameter but not the final one. I presented the delicacies, which I prepared, with what is called “The Etiquettes of Proper Table Setting”.  When the women approached the serving table they saw a microcosm of a formal restaurant.serving-food

  • Service plates were positioned so that patterns of the plate face the diner.
  • Butter plate was placed above the forks at the left hand side of the place setting.
  • Wine glasses, positioned according to size.
  • Since the salad is served as a first course, the salad fork is placed to the left of the dinner fork.
  • Meat fork, positioned to the left of the salad fork.
  • Fish fork, positioned to the left of the meat fork. Since it is used first, it is the farthest from the place as we work outside in.
  • Knife, just to the right of the plate
  • Soup spoon and/or fruit spoon placed outside the knives.
  • And yes napkins on the go!

“Cooking is unfinished without such presentation. Mrs. Varma is best with western cuisines”. With these words of compliments, I regained the paramount.