Essentials of Good Cooking
The important invisible ingredients
while cooking are Prema
and Aapyayata (Love and Affection) which are to be added in
that the "Near and Dear" would enjoy what we cook and serve. With Prema
Aapyayata the chef devotes time, care and attention while making the
Vegetable need to be cut in varying sizes, depending upon the recipe you choose to make. Example- in Dals, and curries the size is medium,
pulses and sambar the size is a little big, in Pachhadis and fries the
smaller. Looks of the final product also enhances the taste of a dish. Therefore a chef should devote time to enhance the looks of the dish in choosing appropriate serving ware and garnishing where-ever required
On an average while preparing a recipe the flame is kept on high during the initial period and on simmering mode after seasoning. For most of the recipes the ratio is almost 40: 60 for High: Simmer modes. The recipes need to simmer in the micro wave or on the stove for allowing the physics principle of “Osmosis” to take place. In this process, salt with seasoning ingredients enter the vegetable to enhance taste. This process is controlled by nature and it takes it's own time. Excepting a few like Chinese dishes, other dishes cooked in a hurry on High flame seldom come out well.
Therefore,before embarking on cooking, Chef should mentally get ready to spend at least 45 minutes in the kitchen. Cooking involves three stages Preparations, actual Cooking and Standing Time.
Choosing the right seasoning ingredients, determines how much importance we attach to extract the taste of the vegetable we cook. Pungent ingredients like Onion, Garlic, Cardamom etc if are more, overshadow the vegetables’ native smell and taste. Remember to season the recipe on a low flame only. High flame burns the seasoning ingredients and spoils the aroma along with taste of the dish.
It has been proved scientifically that if the Chef is happy and caring while preparing the dishes, the meal comes out well. Having been a working couple, I can vouch that if the spouse is around helping the chef, the dishes generally come out excellently. The togetherness in the kitchen makes a difference. Remember to assist the chef as a helper but never to question!! Wait for your turn if you desire to experiment.
By all means avoid eating food while watching a TV or reading a newspaper or book. Concentrate on what you eat and do not forget to talk a few words on the taste of the dishes which you eat. Be polite and subtle in your comments. It works wonders to win the Chef’s heart that day, because the recipe is Chef’s creation, who has an unsaid emotional involvement. A few kind words ensures a better recipe for the next meal and joy for the remaining part of the day!!!
Often children prefer to watch cartoon shows while eating their food and parents also encourage this trend, because the child doesn't make a fuss. In this process, the child actually eats unmindful of what is served in his plate. When food is served in the child's plate and he sits down to taste it, communication takes place between the child and his parent. We come to know what the child likes and what he doesn't. It gives a scope to improve our culinary skill to win the child's applauds. Conditioning a child to eat watching a TV is akin to feeding a poultry bird with predefined concentrates so as to gain body weight.
I hope most of my readers would have noticed that birds which make their nest on big trees chirp very loudly before the nightfall and talk to one another. It's nothing but sharing their days experience. They are blessed because they haven't got a TV in their nests. In contrast for humans, though all the
family members come together only once in the day during dinner time, they do not communicate and share their days experience. Instead are
carried away by the emotions set by the TV serial or the news item. Therefore don't forget to invest some time to relish your food!!
During the daytime all of us are busy to reach our workplaces or schools and hardly find time, to talk with each other in the family. Its only in the nights we reach home exhausted and somehow want to finish off the "homework" and go to bed. We squeeze in time to watch the TV serials while eating our dinner. In the process we are neutral to the taste of the food served in our plate and hardly notice to relish it.
Mother Theresa said the family which "Eats together and Prays together, Stays together". How true she is in present day context!!!
Eat in limited quantities so that you are hungry for the next meal. There is a saying - The morning meal should be like that of a Baadsha's (King's), the afternoon's should be like that of a Begam's (Qeen's) and the night dinner should be like that of a "Gulaam's (Servant's). Scientifically also we need more calories to travel and work / play during day time, having reached office we need sustenance meal to keep the day going and in the nights we need less calories for which the meal should be with less calories and with more of fibre.
Similarly invest in acquiring essential Kitchen Aids to enjoy cooking and its procedures.
Enjoy Cooking, Enjoy Serving and Enjoy Eating!!!
Don't forget to hail your Chef!!!!!!
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