CHENNAI: Washing your veggies before cooking can be a tiring task, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp out on the process. Popular chef Uma Raghunathan, who runs the handle @masterchefmom, shares her tips on how to ensure your produce is clean and fresh before you begin your culinary process.
Uma follows a two-wash process — first, she washes the produce under running water, and then drops the cut products into a small-holed colander for another cleaning. This ensures maximum removal of outside bacteria.
Adding natural cleaners like vinegar, lemon, salt or baking soda to a bowl of water before washing will ensure that the produce is properly cleaned.
For vegetables like lettuce and cabbage, she peels apart the first layer of leaves and discards them. She then washes the vegetable leaf-by-leaf.
Trickier vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower require more attention. She cuts them up into florets, which she boils in a water and vinegar solution for five minutes.
Root vegetables like potatoes, carrots and yams require repeated cleaning with the force of your fingers to remove additional dirt.
Certain fruits like apples, strawberries and grapes, have a thin layer of wax on them. She recommends soaking these in a 8:1 ratio of water and vinegar to remove this coating.
Mushrooms must be thoroughly cleaned with running water, as they are the dirtiest of produce. Using the vinegar solution is also helpful here.
Certain vegetables such as ladies finger cannot be washed after cutting. Therefore, ensure it is properly cleaned beforehand.
For those houses with low amounts of water, Uma says produce can be washed by collecting water in two bowls, and adding vinegar to one.
The produce can soak in the vinegar mixture for five minutes, and then rinsed off in the other.
Green vegetables are sprinkled with some water at the grocery store. Ensure that these are patted dry and stored with some tissue or covered in newspaper to ensure they last longer.