It is so frustrating to realize in the middle of making a delicious recipe that there’s an ingredient missing! Frantically searching kitchen cabinets or having to rush to the store in flour-stained clothes is not something that one wants to do at the last moment. Here we are sharing a couple of common substitutions that will work in a pinch.
Do remember that while certain ingredients will work interchangeably with one another, too many or major substitutions will change the texture and flavour of the final dish. For e.g. though both orange and lemon are citrus fruits the flavour is significantly different.
1. Self-rising flour.
Though it sounds fancy, self-rising flour is simply a combination of flour (maida), baking powder, and salt. Just take 1 cup of flour, 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt to make 1 cup of self-rising flour. For amateur bakers, who bake once in a while only, it is better to make at home versus purchasing from the supermarket. Not only is it less expensive, but self-rising flour has a lower shelf life due to the addition of baking powder.
Traditionally, buttermilk is the residual liquid left after churning butter. It is now commercially made and used widely in baking because of its tangy flavour and acidic properties that act as a good rising agent for baked goods. If not available at the store, it can easily be made at home by combining milk with lemon juice or vinegar. Just take 1 cup of milk and add 2 tablespoons of either lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes during which it will curdle, and will be ready to use.
Our favourite spread for sandwiches, it can easily be blending together an egg yolk (must be fresh), 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon mustard along with salt and pepper. Once the mixture is smooth, add ¾ cup vegetable oil a few drops at a time while whisking constantly. The mixture will gradually emulsify and become thick. In case you want to completely skip the mayonnaise, other creamy and healthier spreads include mashed avocado, hummus, Greek yoghurt or hung curd, or pesto sauce.
4. Bread Crumbs
Planning to make fried chicken for dinner, and realized you are out of breadcrumbs? Don’t worry. There are options. The first option is to just toast a few bread slices and pulse them in the food processor. In case even bread isn’t available, just blitz up some salty crackers to make crumbs that can be used for a crunchy and crispy coating.
For the practising Muslim, finding alcohol in a recipe means not being able to try it out. However, there are certain substitutes for white and red wine. If a recipe calls for 1 cup white wine, substitute with 1 cup chicken broth in savoury recipes or 1 cup apple or white grape juice in desserts. In the case of red wine substitute with 1 cup chicken or beef stock in savoury recipes or 1 cup apple juice in desserts. This substitute also works for when alcohol is required for deglazing pans for gravy.
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