What to do when the food is too watery?

Here are some cool tricks to help you when the food you have cooked turns out too watery...

Cornstarch thickens any watery dish.

Sometimes, while cooking, it’s common to add too much water rendering the dish watery and diluted. Instead of starting the whole process again, here are some neat cooking hacks that can right your wrong and give the dish all the flavours:

Stews/ soups

• Cornstarch: Prepare a solution by adding cornstarch. Take a little water from the dish and mix it with the cornstarch and put it back to the dish. Cornstarch thickens the watery element in the dish.

• Beurre manie: Make a ‘beurre manie’ for richer dishes. This can be prepared by mixing equal parts of softened butter and flour combined together and stirring it into your hot liquid. It will thicken the sauce plus give a buttery texture to the dish.

Curries

• Tomato paste or sauce: It’s a traditional housewife’s recipe to add tomato puree when the curry is watery as it thickens the curry. Add the tomato puree during the cooking process rather than adding it in the end as it thickens the sauce and speeds up the cooking time.

• Yoghurt: Yoghurt is the best ingredient to get rid of excess water and can also be used as a cream substitute. This is another most common thickening agent used in India as well as Italy. Add little yoghurt at a time and keep stirring. You can use yoghurt and tomato puree depending on what is your sauce base.

Simmer: Simmer your sauce on low heat without covering the pan. Do the same until the sauce reduces. When cooking with vegetables, reduce the sauce first in order to not overcook the vegetables, therefore retaining the nutrients.

Cornflour: This is mostly used for Chinese or Thai sauces. However, it’s used in India as well. Add a tablespoon of cornflour to water, mix it, and add it to the dish. This thickens the curry.

Cooked rice

Never forget the basic kitchen rule while cooking rice, which is to ‘never lift the lid’. After the stove is switched off, that’s when the excess water is absorbed by the rice in the cooker, so do not take off the lid immediately. However, even after doing this, if the rice is watery, open the cooker and cook on low heat until the water gets evaporated, or you can turn the rice onto a baking sheet and dry it in the oven.

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