Category Archives: My thoughts on Food

5 must things for a beginner cooks in Kitchen

If you are anywhere near to be a tomboyish outlook in life or are 2 busy to cook or just started to cook(like me) you need few important things in your kitchen cupboard.I know they would sound too many to start with but trust me you would thank me for the advice later on.My capabilities in Kitchen ended applying butter to bread…..so u know my research about what you should have and my 1 year of cooking experience gives me the insight.Such a fancy statement!!!!!!!!.You can also take a trip to near by store, stroll around the kitchen section for the appliances and you would know what to buy.Fire was discovered and cooking closely followed to be known to man. With this discovery was the advent of different foods. They bloomed and paved the way to a more delicious human life. Menus are even cultural replica of different countries.

1. Pots and pans:-A must. Basic non-stick pots and sauce pans. U need to buy the best brand your pocket would afford, as low quality wouldn’t give the performance. Worst is they have horrible health effects.As a beginner we don’t know how to control the level of heat that needs to be provided for the food to get cooked, hence this is a must.Apart from health, you may burn out the food. Have to ever experienced the food u r cooking is burning out rather than cooking form inside.Its because of the pans.Non-stick pan intervenes at this cooking v/s burning by reducing the burning time of the food.Having said that if you keep your food for 1/2 hour, not only the food but the whole house would be burned.

2. Wooden stirrer and silicon spatula:- This would help to keep away the occasional heat burns that u get from a normal/steel Spatula. Its a must that these Spatula and wooden spoon are long handled.For a non-stick pans, wooden spatula helps in maintaining the non-stick coating, hence better life line for your pans.

3. Recipe Book:- Dont try to learn all the recipe in one go, it wont solve the purpose. Keep handy a recipe book which has some basic dishes that like to experiment.If not a recipe book than an online website/friend will also do.The good part is these recipe book/on-line website give away DO’S and DONT’S about making the recipe, which will help you in long run.

4. Miscellaneous equipment:-

* Good pair of Knife:- Its important you have assorted knifes which help cut different kind of vegetables and meats

*Grater/Shedder

*Bottle Opener:- If you can manage with a knife than you will fine

*Set of measuring cups

*A set of mixing blows

*Kitchen scissors

*Food scales to weigh

*Blender or magic bullet (what ever to call)

5.Spices :- Once you go through a recipe understand the spices needed. Buy these spices depending on the quantity you require for present and  further cooking.Example:-For indian cooking. black salt used while preparing chat is used in lesser quantity.So buy a smaller bag of indian salt. Bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves required for biryani is very minimal-hence restrict your quantity.In Chinese,we usually use a pinch of ajinomoto – dont buy a 1/2 kg of ajinomoto.Pepper extensively used to garnish our salads- you can buy a medium sized bag of pepper. So i guess by now you got my point.

 

 

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Lets Know spices little better

I use to wonder a lot as which spices need to be added to which vegetable & why.Finally got to know these spices very well form my granny.Let us try to  understood why some spices are used & rest of them neglected while adding them to any particular dish. I also used to get confused which spices needs to bought in how much quantity to ensure i have avalibility in my kitchen.This little research has helped me to understand these spices better…..

Let get started

1) Bay Leaves:-  They are used for flavouring all sorts of dishes.We usually use them with rice or Punjabi dishes. Hence we use lesser quantities usually 1 or 2 to flavour the dish. U can buy them in smaller quantities or say appro 100gm which would get consumed in 3 to 4 months unless u r making rice or Punjabi dishes daily.

2) Cardamoms (Green):- These are used in sweet dishes to hence the taste. U can commonly find them used in carrot halva, kheer, rasmali along with saffron. They have a really good aroma.

3) Cardamoms (Black):- Larger than their green counterparts, these are dark brown in colour with a stronger flavour and aroma.They are important ingredient in garam masala.

4) Cinnamon:- Again used for flavouring, available in stick form.Usually used while preparing rice dish in smaller quantities.

5) Cloves:- These are sued for their flovour and aroma. whole in rice dishes and ground for garam masala.

6) Coriander seeds:-personal Favourite, Widely used in spices in grounded form. They also contribute to garam masala.The grounded coriander powder is used alternate to garam masala. It adds a unique taste to a vegetables.

7) Amchoor:- This powder is made from dried green mangoes and has a unique sweet and sour taste.Buy small quantities as you will require relatively little of this ingredient. Mainly used to sprinkle over chat and few vegetables.

8) Cumin seeds:- Although the small cumin seed looks rather unassuming, its nutty peppery flavor packs a punch when it comes to adding a nutty and peppery flavor to chili and other Vegetable dishes as well playing an important role in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine where it is a key component of curry powder. Both whole and ground cumin are used widely in cooking.

Whenever possible, buy whole cumin seeds instead of cumin powder since the latter loses its flavor more quickly, and the seeds can be easily ground with a Grinder.Main ingredient for tadka or tempering.

9) Black Cumin (Kala Jeera):- Black cumin is also known asKala jeera. It is prized for its exotic floral flavor in the countries where it grows, North India, Kashmir, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Black cumin is less bitter than and somewhat more peppery than regular cumin. It is a common ingredient in the seasoning blend garam masala.

10) Fenugreek (methi) seeds :- Not to be confused with fenugreek seeds, this is a dark green leafy plant similar in height to coriander. The flavour is not as subtle as that of coriander and becomes more concentrated when the plant is dried.Known as methi commonly.

11) Mustard seeds:-can be white, yellow, black or brown, and are derived from three different plants. The black seeds are exceedingly pungent; they’re also difficult to harvest, volatile and thus more expensive.When fried, the taste is nutty rather than fiery.Often used in Tadka or Tempering cooking method.

12) Paprika:- Excellent for adding colour and a very slightly tangy/sweet flavour to curries.

13) Turmeric powder:- Its mainly used for its yellow colour & aids good digestion and has a mild earthy flavour.

14) Carom seeds:-Ajwain seeds are pale khaki colored and look like a smaller version of cumin seeds. They are highly fragrant and smell and taste like thyme (with a stronger flavor).In Indian cooking, Ajwain is often part of the Tadka in a dish. It is used in small quantities and almost always used cooked. This is because of its strong, dominant flavor. Ajwain is also used in vegetable dishes (for its distinctive taste) and pickles (for its preservative qualities). Ajwain has properties that help it reduce the flatulence causing effect of beans. It also aids in digestion.I personally use while preparing Parathas.

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How to Poach a egg

I was surfing on google, somehow bbc food URL got my attention & in i went to browse on different recipe.My husband loves egg & I cant stand the egg smell.I suppress the egg smell by adding extra sauce with omelet & some other silly tricks. The front page had an tab to browse by chief, clicked on some unknown faces & got a pop-up window for ””’How to Poach an egg””. Thought let me go through the video for the sake of it. You know we go through lot of recipe for the sake of it….. burning the bandwidth ….but i surprised myself…..wola…  Saw the video was was excited to try ……boiled egg….gosshhhhhh.

But i dont know how a poach egg should be like…I mean what temperature of water, how should be the white or the yolk look & taste etc etc etc…..all these questions bothered me.So thought to Google it out more….got more confused with different methods & process…..

Even with a confused mind i will give it a try & update you guys, mean time if anybody has tried this, let me know the basics of it. Some body has tired the recipe gives lot of comfort

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