How to Make Cooking Easy
COOKING is my PASSION
It’s AN ART
I started cooking at a very early age of just around 12years; I could almost make a round Roti & serve my Dad. As I grew a little older this small flame within me turned into a major Fire & I would harass my Mom to allow me to cook.
The first thing my Mom taught me was NOT to go just by the Book but to even add a few twists of my own… HER word “Andaj” still rings in my ears; Andaj means to assess the quantity or measurement of the ingredients to be taken especially of salt, sugar, pepper, red chilli powder as that varies from person to person, so even if a recipe calls for say 2 tsp of red chilli powder, u can increase or decrease the amount as per the taste.
This is very important if you want to have your dish appreciated; for example, if your guests prefer a less spicy dish, one should be able to assess how much chilli powder would be needed & not just follow the recipe blindly. This is just a basic guideline to be followed so that one can get the hang of cooking..
I would not say the same thing for baking or any other procedures as here the recipe has to be followed to the completion.
As I grew older, I started reading a lot of books by Indian as well as International authors & realised there are different methods of Cooking about which I am going to be writing about.
THE BASIC Methods of Cooking would be
It is to cook food in boiling water or any other liquid like a vegetable stock or could be even milk. The water or the liquid that is used for boiling should not be thrown away as it contains all the nourishment & flavours; use it to flavour gravies or add in the soup, even some of the water in which the pasta has been boiled must be preserved to be added to the pasta water as the starch in it helps the sauce to stick well to the pasta.
When one wants to steam the food, the boiling water is kept separate from the food in a colander so that the steam from the boiling water carries its heat to the food in the colander & cooks the food. Steamed vegetables are great to include in your diet as they retain all the nutrients & are so HEALTHY. Leafy greens should be immediately put in cold water so that it stops cooking any further & retains its colour.
Maybe one of the oldest methods of cooking when Food was cooked in the open air on coal or logs of wood, it has now advanced significantly. Food to be cooked is grilled on a Grill or a Tandoor which has the heat source below, nowadays we have Grilling options even in a Microwave or a Convection Oven. Grill Pans which are similar to frying pans but have raised edges are excellent for grilling food quick. Grilled Food is a Rage in Todays Time.
Whilst cooking the food if the Heat source is direct it is called Broiling; the food is exposed to direct heat through coals or some Radiant heat from above or below, the food has to be turned so as to cook on one side at a time. It is Dry Cooking & is closely associated with Grilling.
Baking in modern times is usually done in Convection Ovens as against earlier when hot ashes or hot stones would be used. Baking is a process that uses Dry Heat in the oven & the heat slowly rises from the surface of the cake or the bread to the centre.
Whilst baking, it is very important to Preheat the Oven at the desired temperature for at least 20 mins.
Place the baking tray on the middle rack of the oven to get the best results.
Bake Breads usually at a higher temperature & Rich Dense cakes at a lower temperature, TRy Sticking to the Recipe as much as possible while baking.
DO NOT open the oven door for the first 10 mins of baking as it will lower the temperature & the cake would go flat.
One of the most used & loved method of Cooking especially in India; Oil is heated at a high temperature & the food is submerged in it. It is used to brown the outside & cook the inside of the food. Frying adds Flavour as also Crunchiness to the Food.
Shallow Frying / Sauteing
When a very little amount of oil is taken in a frying pan & the food is cooked; the pan must have a thick bottom so that the food is not burnt. Add seasoning to the food before sauteing to bring out the flavours, foods with a high water content must be drained before shallow frying.
There are also many other methods of Cooking like Braising, Roasting, Poaching, Stewing.
This is just some of My Experience & some of my Reading of various Books that I have shared with All of U.
KEEP COOKING & SMILING, STAY SAFE!!!!!