Random Thoughts

Whats Cooking?


Disclaimer: This write-up is not meant for expert cooks, both male and female.

In the present day colloquial talk ‘What’s cooking?’ means ‘What is happening?’ This isn’t that. Let me share something about my experiences with ‘actual cooking’. It is just ordinary vegetarian day-to-day cooking.

Many women do it in a jiffy; and some men too. Some men and women cannot do it for nuts.

I remember once my colleague said that he wanted to prepare rice with a pressure cooker and kept the rice in the cooker and waited for whistles and allowed it to cool and open to see just ‘rice’ only. I was a bit surprised ‘what else did you expect? Some sambar or curry?’ I taunted him.

‘No. I wanted rice only.’

‘Then what is the problem’ I asked. Pat came the reply. ‘It wasn’t’t cooked at all. Just raw rice as I kept it.’ Then it dawned on me.

‘You didn’t put water with rice?’ I asked. He replied. ‘No. I added water to the cooker only. Cooker’s job is to cook. Is it not?’ ‘Oh,’ he presumed that the steam produced by the heating of the cooker would cook the rice.

‘You need to add the required amount of water to rice also. It is an essential ingredient.’ I said.

‘Oh!’ exclaimed my colleague. Remember he is a scientist; he considered the reaction in a scientific way.

So please remember ‘cooking’ is just another game or art by itself. ‘Good Cooking’ is one step further.

One may know how much sambar powder, tamarind, vegetables, dhal, salt, asafoetida to be added for a ‘sambar’ or ‘rasam’ depending on the number of persons to be served. But, while we allow them to boil it to integrate into a homogenous item, we need to know the exact time it should be boiled. Generally, there is a point while boiling that a specific and characteristic aroma will come that the ‘cooking’ is done. We should know that point or identify that stage and stop further heating. It holds good for even frying of vegetables etc. Leave the onion flavor; this is a different one; especially for ‘rasam’. I was able to identify that while I was cooking long back.

Now, I can also comment like others. That’s all.


More by :  G Swaminathan

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