More than her recipes, Zubaida Apa was famous as the person you'd call when your mother doesn't have the solution to a problem.

Also read: 'She was a desi knowledge machine': Fans pay rich tribute to Zubaida Apa on Twitter

Her ready supply of home remedies (or totkas) for every beauty, cooking or housekeeping issue made her a household name, even though not everyone believed they worked.

We dove into the archives of Zubaida Apa's popular Hum Masala TV show Handi to unearth her most sought-after home remedies. Here are 10 totkas that show up as most popular on Youtube :

1) How to bug-proof your kitchen

Zubaida Apa's hack for keeping your kitchen an ant-free zone: Sprinkle salt and turmeric on the stove and kitchen counters after swiping them clean in the night. If you're adventurous, there's also a totka involving diesel, kerosene oil and your kitchen floor in this vid. Follow at your own risk.

2) How to lose weight

Zubaida Apa always said there's no weight loss without effort. Her suggested weight loss regime goes a little like this: Start the day with five small glasses of lukewarm water, which will help in melting the body's fat deposits. Follow that up with a breakfast comprising brown bread, a boiled egg and an apple. Have fruits and vegetables at two-hour intervals as snacks, which eliminate the craving for rice and roti. Eat lentil soup for lunch. Avoid afternoon naps and walk daily with correct posture and your stomach held in.

3) How to get rid of bed bugs

The house must get a fair share of sunlight, so keep the curtains parted in the daylight hours, suggested Zubaida Apa. Also, dip cotton balls in kerosene oil and apply in the usual trouble spots on furniture. For a more lethal attack, watch the video above for Apa's anti-bedbug concoction.

4) How to do an at-home pedicure

Watch how Vaseline, beetroot (!) and pink lipstick (!!) can keep your heels moisturised in Zubaida Apa's footcare secret.

5) How to keep your kids' hair lice-free

Grind tulsi leaves and mix in your usual hair oil and apply to the hair roots, says Apa. Yep, that simple.

6) How to soften dry hair

Zubaida Apa recommended applying a quarter teaspoon of olive oil and some lemon juice to wet washed hair and dry in the sunlight for softness and shine.

7) How to easily make yogurt at home

Where do you stow yogurt in the kitchen so that it's allowed to set? Zubaida Apa says put it in the oven (and don't turn it on, of course).

8) How to treat dark circles

Olive oil doesn't work for you? Zubaida Apa shared how mashed raw potatoes can get rid of under-eye darkness.

9) How to counter dampness in the rainy season

Watch how Zubaida Apa kept dampness from seeping into the home in this video.

10) How to treat dandruff

Zubaida Apa's anti-dandruff solution just requires some mouthwash! Watch it here.


Share your experiences with Zubaida Apa's totkas in the comments below.

Email