Vinegar isn’t a common ingredient in Indian cooking, but you can bet that every kitchen has at least one bottle lying somewhere on the back shelf, bought at a point when the lady of these was experimenting with Chinese cooking or making a salad. That’s one end of the spectrum. On the other end, is the shelf of a global traveler with an evolved taste, replete with at least five different types of Vinegar, including Apple, White Wine, Red Wine, Balsamic and the standard distilled white Vinegar, which accompanies our version of Chinese meals.
Either way, Vinegar is readily available in most Indian kitchens, it has many, very interesting uses.
Note: Most types of Vinegars are more have less than 5% of acetic acid (which can be produced both organically and chemically, but for use during Vinegar production is mostly Organic), and it’s the 5% that’s works its magic.
Uses of Vinegar
- Keep your hands clean and beautiful: Vinegar can help remove stains such as beetroot, red grapes, or pomegranate. So after you’ve stained your hands cutting up these fruits and veggies, just wash your hands with soap, and rub distilled white vinegar on your palms!
- Deodorize: No offence intended but if you have pets or kids, you’re likely to have a car that smells. And food is probably the safest smell in there. The next time you want to get rid of these smells, just pour 500 ml of vinegar in a bowl and leave it in your car overnight. It will remove most odors and make your car smell fresh! It also helps with foot odor. If you suffer from foot odor, just soak your feet in some vinegar for 10-15 minutes a day, and you’ll notice a difference (the acid apparently neutralizes the smelly bacteria).
- Fruits and Veggie cleaner: If you’re into salads, you will know the importance of cleaning the veggies and leaves well. You will also know how hard it is to do so. There are several products now available in the market that allow you to get squeaky-clean veggies, but guess what, vinegar does the trick just as well. After you’ve washed the veggies once properly, soak them in a tub of water (which you anyway would be), but add a cup of vinegar to it. Do this twice, and you would be closer to a pesticide free meal!
- Drain de-clogger: In the bathroom or in the kitchen, this happens often enough in most homes. Next time it does, don’t fret, just pour half a bottle of soda, then ½ cup of vinegar, down the drain. Cover it with something for five minutes, and then pour boiling water down the drain. You’ll see some bubbling, which is what’s supposed to happen. Your drain will unclog. Instead of soda water, you can also use baking soda (you’ll need around half a cup).
- Fabric whitener: As a tried and tested stain remover, very few things come as close to vinegar. If you’re using a washing machine, add half a glass to the rinse cycle and keep your whites looking bright and sharp. It also helps cut through the soap build up in the machine, and gets rid of smells!
Remember use the clear varieties – white wine, white and apple cider for housekeeping jobs. The darker ones like balsamic can leave stains.