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Jan 26, 2005

Cooking Tips for those who dislike cooking

Cooking Tips for those who dislike cooking

Cooking tips for those who dislike cooking
Without wasting time on why we dislike cooking and importance of cooking etc, I will come straight to the point.

1.Throw out the recipes books. Err atleast most of the recipe books. If you are a Tamilian, Meenakshi ammal's Cook and See is ok for giving an insight. But otherwise, today's cookbooks just mention recipes, we havent eaten before and we have no idea of whether it tastes bad because of our skills or the recipe.

2. Decide on what you like in your food. Eg, onion, peas etc which can be added to many things. Make it a point to include it.

3. Invest in a good vessel. Copper bottom vessels may seem good for fast cooking but you will have to stick around to stir continously to prevent the food from burning. I prefer a real teflon and if you buy the teflon, use the wooden spoon.

4. Avoid having many vessels. And its worse when you have to spend time to wash them all afterwards. Keep a small one for frying, one teflon for curry, one saucepan for boiling water stuff, one vessel for the sambar/rasam etc stuff and a cooker or anothe vessel for rice. For a person who dislikes cooking, having a kitchen with less vessels is less intimidating :)

5.Have a measuring cup and a teaspoon and tablespoon  for measuring stuff. So that next time u can do it if turns out well and write down what you did whenever anything comes out well.

6.Food is not just for hunger but also for nutrition. Thankfully we dont have to spend lots of time for cooking nutritious food. Soups, juices, salads all dont take lot of time. For tasty unhealthy food there is always a restaurant.

Nutrition basics
Use preferably extravirgin olive oil, forget butter, ghee, cheese, etc and go easy on deep frying
Dont use salt in everything. A teaspoon of salt is the average for  one food item cooked for upto three persons. Dont add salt to salads. Grated carrots, cabbage with just lemon juice tastes good too.
Limit the use of coconut.
When making sweets, use sugar substitute.
Instead of using more sugar and ghee to enrich a sweet, use more dryfruits.
If you are a veggie, soya is useful since it has omega3.
Have atleast one fruit a day,
Everyone knows but never drink 8 glasses of water. Drink from a bottle and count the glasses you drink per day. Of course 8 is a general rule.
Coffee is good for health if we filter it through a Paper filter. Dont confuse this with the filter coffee.
Wholemeal bread is better than brown bread. same with wheat.

Fengreek seed is good idea while eating oily or spicy food and is also used as a preservative factor in pickles etc.

7.Taste equilibrium.
Basically its about balancing the spicy and salt. (Generally equal proportions). The spicy options are red chillies, green chillies, pepper, and smaller extent corainder seeds and onion which is not sauted.
Salt is just salt, unless you use a salt substitute
Sour mainly tamarind and lemon and mild substitute sour buttermilk and raw mango
Sugar is sometimes the other element. It could be sugar, jaggery and the milder ones include coconut, fennel seeds

I am not classifying the cumin seeds which generally goes with pepper or green chillies, the corainder seeds goes with red chillies and bengal gram dhal and stuff like basil, thyme etc which depends on individual tastes.

8.Damage control
If your food is spicy, add salt or water or sweet element or all in combination. (If you add water dont forget to bring it to boil)
For excess of other tastes use similar logic.

If it is too thin, mix a tablespoon of riceflour or cornflour in half cup of cold or lukewarm water and then add it to ur food and bring it to a boil. Dont add directly it will just lump.

9.Keep a plan of what you want to cook. Generally we buy what is available and cook according to it. Its important to have an idea of what we want to eat  and it is definitely less stressing. Having a plan also helps when it comes to preparation. Eg stuff like channa or other dry beans variety have to be soaked overnight are a good source of protein. But unless we plan, we might not cook them.

10. Never waste your time aiming for perfection. Chapathi is important not a round chapathi.

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1 comment:

  1. This is the most sensible advise I have ever read...

    "Chapatis are important. Not round chapatis"

    So true...And goes for all the recipes...Take comfort that you tried, even if you had to add water to make it less spicy and ended up with such a huge quantity that you had to eat it for 4 days.


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