These helpful hints came to me from various sources to whom I am very thankful. These are tried and tested by me. :)
- Freeze Soaked legumes: Soak various dry legumes overnight, drain them next morning and store them in freezer bags in the freezer. These are ready for use anytime.
- Freeze Chopped vegetables: Chop vegetables like ash gourd, snake gourd, radish, carrots, drumsticks, okra, sweet pumpkin, french / long beans, beetroot, raw plantains, yam, turnip, ridge gourd to the required size, after washing them well & de-skinning as applicable, divide them into required portions, store them in the freezer bags in the freezer. They are ready for use anytime.
- Freeze Palak paste: Grind together without water and salt, Indian spinach (palak), onions, tomatoes, ginger and green chillies (as per taste) - all according to the proportions required for palak paneer or palak-mutter-aloo or any such dish. Divide into portions in boxes and store in the freezer. Use this paste just as you use the freshly made paste in the above dishes.
- Ready to go oats: Put together 1 serving of rolled oats, sugar (as per taste), 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, with these optional items - sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins, almond flakes, crushed walnuts, milk powder (optional), cinnamon, dried cranberries, etc - in a packet. Make such several packets with different optional items added. Empty the packet into a mug, add boiling water, mix well, let stand for a few minutes and it's ready to eat. These packets are helpful especially when traveling. This idea is from the wonderful website here. It has more options.
- Flatulence reduction: Adding bayleaf / ginger / Asafoetida (hing / Ingu) while cooking dhaals / legumes / lentils / beans, causes the flatulence causing entities to be removed from dhaals / legumes / lentils / beans.
- Nucchina Unde mixture: Soak for 4-5 hours, toor dhaal / togari beLe / split pigeon peas along with lesser quantity of both moong dhal and channa dhaal. Drain and grind without water, but along with ginger, green chillies, hing into a very coarse paste. Make a big batch and store in an airtight box in the fridge (keeps for 4-5 days in the fridge; Remember to close the lid tightly every time). When required to make nucchina unde, add salt, finely chopped vegetables like snake gourd, methi (menthya) leaves or dill leaves (sabakki or subsaige soppu) or mint leaves to the required quantity of this mixture and use. This mixture can be used for making aambode also.
- Essential oil in mopping water: Using a few drops of eucalyptus oil / any essential oil in the water used for mopping the floor keeps out insects and leaves the house smelling fresh.
- Camphor air/room freshner :Instead of using store bought air freshners, put few pieces of camphor in little netted pouches and keep in rooms, wardrobes, car. Do not keep in cupboard where you store food and utensils as the fragrance is quite strong and can latch on to them.
- Chalk pieces as de-humidifiers: Instead of the store bought de-humidifiers, tie up 2-3 pieces of chalk together with a piece of thread and hang them in wardrobes, cupboards, drawers to soak up the humidity. Put these tied-up-chalk-pieces out in the Sun for drying, once in a month and re-use. Can be re-used endlessly unlike the store bought ones which have to be thrown once the jelly forms upon water absorption.