Top 10 Food Queries

Chef Mrs Reetu Uday Kugaji PicEvery once in a while we come across some very basic yet vital doubts regarding cooking – so whether you’re a stay at home mum, a working professional or a dude of a guy who loves to cook for his wife/ girlfriend take notes, as we at The Lifestyle Portal roped in a celebrated Chef to answer your food queries and doubts.

Dear friends, we’re happy to introduce to you Chef (Mrs.) Reetu Uday Kugaji, who has answered 10 basic food queries/ doubts for our readers. She is a Programme Head –B.A. International Culinary Arts – Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh at the ITM Institute of Hotel Management at Nerul, Navi Mumbai

She is also a Speciality Chef with and as a Food Author with , and

Apart from that, she also runs a popular page on Facebook called “Food For Thought by Chef Mrs Reetu Uday Kugaji”.

~ Top 10 Food Queries ~

Q 1 – Cooking Oil – Can I re-heat cooking oil? With the costs going up, many times inIndian households, we tendcooking oil by Mister GC to reuse/ reheat cooking oil. Is it safe? Can it be done at least once, any other alternative?

Answer – Use fresh cooking oil each time you fry, for safety and quality. If you wish to reuse the oil, make sure you strain it and store it after it cools to prevent bacteria from spoiling the oil. There are chances that the oil may turn rancid – which is a sign that it has become spoilt. But if you still wish to reuse heated oil for cooking, then you can use it at least twice if properly strained and stored.

Q 2 – Can we use the stalks of the mushroom in cooking or do they need to be discarded?

Answer – Yes the stalks of mushrooms may be used in the preparation of certain recipes.

Eggs by phasinphotoQ 3 – Boiling Eggs– Ideally how long should an egg be boiled to be a hardboiled egg or safe to be consumed by kids? We believed, that eggs should be boiled for at least 20 mins, is that true?

Answer – Hard boiled eggs take 10 to 12 minutes for boiling, to fasten up the coagulation process in the eggs you may add vinegar and salt to the water in which it is boiled. Children above the age of 05 years can safely consume/ eat hard boiled eggs.

Q 4. Cooking Rice– What is the ratio of water and rice if cooking in a pressure cooker, microwave or in an open vessel. How much time does it take for all three methods?

  • Pressure Cooker the ratio of water to rice is 1.5:1
  • Microwave the ratio of water to rice is 1.5:1
  • Open vessel – Two methods may be used Absorption and Draining method
  • In absorption method, the ratio of water to rice is 2:1
  • In draining method, the ratio of water to rice is 8:1

Q 5 – Deep-freezing gravies–  I have heard of friends who freeze gravies/ curries from takeaways/ restaurants, so that the next time they are in a hurry to cook curry by rakratchada torsapsomething, they can reuse this gravy. Is it safe to use such frozen gravies/ curries esp. from a restaurant/takeaway?

Answer – Discard all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and casseroles, left at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in air temperatures above 90 °F. This includes leftovers taken home from a restaurant.

Q 6 – Salads– Owing to the busy schedule most of us lead, when should we chop veggies for salads? 

Answer – You may chop veggies the previous night prior taking care that they are not exposed to air or moisture, keeping them in an airtight container or wrapped in a cling wrap.

Salt Shaker by Mister GCQ 7 – Adding salt while cookingIdeally when is the right time to add the salt to the dish while cooking? 

Answer – There are two main times to think about seasoning –at the beginning and at the end. For slow cooked dishes it’s a good to add some salt in early so it can spread through the whole dish over the time. For most other things seasoning at the end is the best way to go.

Q 8 – What is the best substitute for eggs for preparing muffins?

Answer – The best substitute for eggs is curd. As curds tend to impart fluffiness and softness and gives the muffins a better volume.

Q 9 – Can milk be coupled with fish recipes? (Bengalis will be super happy – ‘doi maach’) – 😉 fish curry by rakratchada torsap

Answer – Yes, very much. In fact, many of the continental recipes are prepared with the combination of milk and fish. So it’s completely a myth that fish and milk together cannot be incorporated in a recipe.

Q 10 – How can we prevent the lemons from drying in the refrigerator?

The best way to prevent the lemon from drying in the refrigerator is to apply a few drops of refined oil to it evenly.

Note to our readers – We invite our readers to send in their food queries to us at and we will get the best ones answered by Chef  Reetu.

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