Cooking soda, known commonly as baking soda, is one of the most integral components of the Indian kitchen. Sodium bicarbonate being its scientific name, it is also called ‘soda bicarb’. It has played an important role in all those homemade cakes and the omelettes made by our mummies, as a leavening (“fluffing”) agent. Due to its alkaline nature, it creates bubbles of carbon dioxide when combined with an acid, giving rise to different kinds of batters and dough.
While known to contribute in many other ways as well, such as sterilising fruits, vegetables and other edible perishables, removing odours and stains from utensils, helping the cleaning up of the kitchen platform, it has, however, been defamed quite often as ‘being bad for our health’ – acid reflux, heart failure, rise in sodium levels in the body, etc. One important point that we tend to overlook, while giving in to this slander, is that these health issues occur only when cooking soda is used in excess quantities, and too much of anything is bad for our health.
While foods coming out of the Indian kitchen do ensure all-round health and a boost to the immune system, we also do need to maintain a sense of hygiene beyond the process of cooking as well. That’s where cooking soda comes in. Let’s get to know some of these kitchen benefits in a more descriptive manner:
1.Sanitising vegetables and fruits
A good way to sterilise the fruits and veggies brought from the market is to dunk them in a bowl full of water with some cooking soda added to it. You could take 4 spoonfuls of any cooking soda product (e.g. Tata iShakti Cooking Soda), add it to a utensil full of water and immerse your fruits and vegetables in it. Do not scrub them clean. After 10 minutes of this activity, you could take these eatables out of the water, place it in a separate utensil and clean it with warm water, ridding them of residual pesticide and other impurities.
Here’s Bharatz Kitchen giving us a visual on this how-to technique:
2.Sanitising kitchen equipment
It’s always a good practice to give your pots and pans, the countertop and the oven a good cleaning treatment with some cooking soda solution. Add 3-4 teaspoons of cooking soda to bowl of warm water, to start off with, and give your kitchen equipment a much-needed wipedown. This not only ensures the basic post-meal washing-cleaning procedure, but also helps rid the equipment of stubborn stains, and deodorises it, too, removing those lingering garlic-y and onion-y odours. Especially for chopping boards, oven insides and the refrigerator/freezer boxes.
3.Deodorise the bins and the drain
Quite often, a strong smelly odour tends to emanate from the kitchen waste bins and the basin drain – even after the washing is done. A good way to keep the bins odour-free is by sprinkling some cooking soda in the bin after every garbage throw-out, and cleaning it with cooking soda solution periodically. To unclog and deodorise a kitchen drain, pour a cup each of vinegar and cooking soda consecutively. Wait for a few minutes, and then you can flush the drain with 2-3 cups of hot water.
4.Putting out small kitchen fires
Cooking soda is quite helpful in putting out small fires due to its carbon dioxide content. Keep a batch handy on the kitchen shelf so that during such crisis times, you could always sprinkle some cooking soda onto the flames and extinguish it.
You could always use a product, such as Tata i-Shakti Cooking Soda, which offers hygiene and purity besides its functional product benefits and comes with a Food Grade mark, assuring consumer of its superior quality
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