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Pastes and Vinegar

Spices and condiments are an integral part of every kitchen. Ingredients like vinegar, garlic paste, ginger paste are essential items in every kitchen. Earlier people made fresh pastes while cooking. Today, with changing times, trends and conveniences, we now have ready to use pastes and purees which save a lot of time.

Most Indian kitchens use these two ingredients on a daily basis, and that is garlic and ginger. With mixers now being a permanent fixture in every modern kitchen, making fresh ginger paste and garlic paste doesn't seem like a task. However, peeling the garlic can be extremely time consuming, and that's where the ready to use pastes come handy. Same goes with purees, especially tomato purees. Boiling and blending the tomatoes could take a while and these ready to use pastes quicken the kitchen chores.

Cooking can be elaborate if you have to make everything from scratch. While nothing beats the taste of freshly ground pastes and purees, it can be a cumbersome process and not practical especially when you have to multitask. Markets today have a whole range of ready to cook masalas, pastes and purees which make cooking easy. So, whether you have sudden visitors for lunch or you need to whip up a quick meal for the family, these ingredients make it all easier.

Another vital ingredient in most kitchens is vinegar. A lot of Indian homes use vinegar instead of water when grinding wet masalas and pastes. The tangy taste of vinegar adds its zing to the food and is quite popularly used in cooking meats and fish. Vinegar comes in a variety of forms and has quite a few health benefits too. Apart from that, vinegar is also used for a lot of home remedies.

Vinegar and its types

Vinegar comes in a variety of forms. Vinegar can be made from any food item which has natural sugars. The yeast ferments these sugars into alcohol; certain bacteria can break the alcohol down further. What is left after the second fermentation is known as vinegar. Let's take a look at the variety of vinegar available.

White Vinegar

This is also known as distilled white vinegar. This is the standard variety of vinegar used in kitchens. It is most commonly used in salad dressings, ketchup and pickles. This vinegar is also used as a cleaning agent when diluted with water. It has many applications as a natural cleaning agent.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has gained a lot of popularity as a home remedy to aid weight loss. This slightly tanned vinegar is made from apple cider and is known for its fruity flavour and tart taste. It is used in salads, marinades and dips.

Wine Vinegar

Wine vinegar is a blend made from white or red wine and is very commonly used in European cuisine. Some wine vinegar is infused with herbs to give it an extra hint of flavour. Red wine is most often flavoured with raspberry flavouring. Sherry and champagne vinegar are speciality vinegar and are quite expensive.

Balsamic Vinegar

This is available in two varieties traditional and commercial. Traditional balsamic vinegar is aged anywhere in between 6 to 25years in casks made of wood like oak, chestnut or cherry. The flavour of the traditional balsamic vinegar is rich, and it tastes sweet and slightly woody. Because the production takes time and only limited amounts of balsamic vinegar are available every year and hence is expensive.

The commercial balsamic vinegar has no geographical restrictions and can be made anywhere. The ageing is done for about six months in vats made of stainless steel and then aged in wood for about two years. This makes the commercial balsamic vinegar readily available and more affordable.

Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is made from rice and can be clear or pale yellow. It is a common ingredient in the Japanese cuisine. Red and black rice vinegar are more commonly used in the Asian cuisines. The red rice vinegar is known for its sweet and tart flavours; the black rice vinegar has a smoky flavour.

Coconut Vinegar

The coconut vinegar is made from the sap of the coconut palm and is known for its sharp, acidic taste. It is used in South East Asian Cuisine.

There are other kinds of vinegar like the beer vinegar, malt vinegar, cane vinegar which are used across the world.

How Vinegar aids cooking

Vinegar is a versatile ingredient, and it is often used to balance flavours, and its tartness means adding a little salt. It is used in marinades as it helps in tenderising meat along with adding flavour to it.

Health Benefits of Vinegar

  • Vinegar is known as a preservative since times immemorial; it is also known to have a whole lot of health benefits.
  • Vinegar helps control blood sugar levels.
  • Vinegar aids in weight loss. Acetic acid is known to stop body fat accumulation and increases satiety levels hence aiding weight loss.
  • Vinegar helps in lowering the cholesterol levels. It also helps in regulating the cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Vinegar is known for its anti-bacterial properties.
  • Vinegar aid in reducing acid reflux and heartburn. Vinegar provides a better acid-alkaline balance in the body hence keeping heart burns at bay.
  • Vinegar helps to keep kidney stones and urinary infections away.
  • Vinegar has antioxidant properties that help in the general well being.

Spices, condiments, purees and pastes are essential in every kitchen, and Paytm Mall has some fabulous offers and discounts on these from time to time. All one needs to do is visit the online store and make purchases. With no crowds and annoying queues to pay bills, Paytm Mall eases your shopping experience. All your shopped items are delivered to your doorstep. Shopping just got better since Paytm Mall is your one-stop shop for all your grocery needs. Go ahead and stock up those pastes, purees and vinegar and show off your culinary skills.

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