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Almost two decades since I made the grand kitchens my workplace, but I still remember the overused word "yield management" or "yield optimisation" referring to the usage of every ingredient in the best possible manner. Frequently hitting my ears were comments like " this is not your house where you can waste it the way you want" and I laughed to myself; Ironically, as children we would ask our mother to make something very exotic, she would immediately throw a tantrum, "this is not a restaurant". Having spent years amidst the bustling kitchens and large commercial electrical appliances unlike my mother's kitchen, I observed that some things still have their roots from the simple things that happened back at home.

For instance, poultry, meat or seafood for instance can be dissected into bones, neck and boneless meat and this can be used for many different uses like making a soup out of the bones and neck while you use the boneless tender meat to make any dish of your choice.

So are you wondering what to make for the next weekend, but are also wondering how will you manage it all alone?

Do you dread buying exotic ingredients because you fear they will get spoilt by the time you get around to using them next?

Manage your kitchen by using the ingredients in a smart way and impress your loved ones using these simple tips:
Look up creative ways of using your basic home ingredients and cooking up something exotic out of it.

A simple tuvar dal can be made in over 30 varieties and your everyday vegetables can be cooked up in versatile ways.

Start with understanding your raw materials and also by knowing what marries well with what. This will help you explore an array of permutations and combinations.

The trick with using exotic ingredients the right way is to use them sparingly. Too much of anything is a recipe for disaster. The fewer the ingredients in a recipe, the more prominent is the flavor.

Don't believe what your butcher tells you, cheaper cuts of meat can also be made into amazing delicacies.

Let's not forget, left over mithai (sweetmeats) can be recycled to make a new dessert the next day.

By Chef Ajay Chopra

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