Most of the books define cooking as an art and science.The modern definition of cooking is "since the world is going to be a global village of taste, technique, and glamor, the food habits,taste, and presentation are also varying day to day". So, "Cooking is a professional glamour, it is a creation and a flare of presentation of food so as to counterpart new changes in the taste and lifestyle of people." Food cooking is very much a part of the culture of the region, each country or culture has its own methods of cooking.
Aim and objectives of cooking
Cooking in suitable temperature kills germs and bacteria present in food.
Cooking makes food easily chewable and digestible.
Food can be easily palatable when fully cooked.
Cooking imparts flavor and ambiance in the food.
Cooking enhances the taste of the food.
Method of cooking
Great care and expertise are needed while cooking food. All foods are not necessarily prepared using the same method of cooking. The different methods of cooking are:
Cooking food with the help of fat and heat is called roasting. Roasting is of following types:
Spit roasting:The food to be cooked is brought in direct contact with the flame of a clear, bright fire. The is based on fat and is also turned regularly to ensure even in cooking and browning. Superior quality meat is only cooked by using this method. Split roasted meats, however, have a very good flavor, and are a part of the regular menu items in large hotels and specialty restaurants. E.g. barbecued chicken, pork chops, and steaks.
Oven roasting:This is a method of roasting a joint in a closed oven with the help of fat. Nowadays oven roasting is used instead of spit roasting because of its convenience. Joint are marinated in advance and then put into fairly hot (250-300) degree Celsius. Oven for 5 to 10 minutes and then the temperature is lowered to allow the joints to be cooked through. Cooking in a moderate oven for a longer time produces a better-cooked joint and less shrinkage than cooking at a high temperature for a shorter period. Aluminum foil is now used in oven roasting. The joint can be cooked on the bed of a mirepoix, which imparts flavor to the food and retains its juiciness.
Pot roasting:This method is used to cook small meals in heavy thick pans if the oven is not available. Enough fat is used to grease the bottom of the pan which prevents the joints from sticking to the pan. The joint should just touch the fat. The pan is then covered tightly with a well-fitting lid and cooked over a very slow fire. The joint could be busted if lean and turned occasionally ensure even cooking. Root vegetables and potatoes can be cooked with the meat in the same process.
Tandoori roasting:Food is cooked in a clay oven calledtandoori. Tandoori is very popular in north India. It is heated by charcoal. The foods cooked made from tandoori roasting are; tandoori chicken, Nan-roti,tandoori paratha.
The food to be cooked is surrounded by hot air in a closed oven. The action of dry heat is modified by the steam which arises from the food while cooking. Bread, cakes, pastry, puddings are some of the examples of baking.
This is a method of cooking whereby the food to be cooked is brought into contact with hot fat. In other words, it is cooking food in hot oil or fat. It makes food crispy and crunchy. Food cooked in this way is said to be indigestible, but if the method is correctly and carefully carried out, the foods are quite suitable for normal people. The advantages of frying are:
Fried food is very tasty.
It is a quick method of cooking.
The keeping quality of fried food is strengthened.
Itis, however, an expensive method of cooking meat as only the best parts are suitable (chops, liver, etc.)
There are two types of frying:
Shallow fat frying Only a little fat is used and the food is turned over to have even cooking and even browning. Generally, this method is applied to pre – cooked foods which take a very little time to be fully cooked (omelet, liver, etc). Fat absorption is greater when food is shallow fried than deep fried.
Deep fat frying The food is completely immersed in hot fat and therefore, a large quantity of fat is required. Special care must be taken to prevent overheating of fats, as this spoils both the food as well as the fat. The fat decomposes at high temperatures.
If it is not hot enough, the foods break up and it absorbs extra fat thus making the product unfit for consumption. Use a frying basket wherever possible to remove fired food easily. Deep- frying has a special significance in Nepalese homes, as it is done for special occasions and ceremonies only.
Almost all foods require coating before frying since not only the juice and flavor of the food to be kept in, but thefatmust be kept out. Materials used are:
Egg and bread crumbs
Batter (flour, milk, and eggs)
Besan (gram flour or chickpea flour)
Food cooked deep fat frying has a much better appearance than that cooked by shallow fat frying, as it is evenly browned
General rules of frying
Apply coating evenly. The breadcrumbs used should not be coarse.
Have the fire clear and hot.
When frying meat products, dry off all moisture before dipping into the flour.
Use fat in smoking point. The fat should have the right temperature.
Do not put in too many pieces of food at the same time as this will lower the temperature.
See that the temperature is not decreased for increased output.
Follow a time and the temperature chart.
Fry till golden brown on the both sides turning over the food if necessary.
Drain well on paper and serve.
Once fat has been used for frying, strain and restore in cans in a refrigerator
Fats get gummy or syrupy, with continuous use. This condition is known as polymerization and such fats are more viscous than fresh fat. The fat that has reached this stage is no longer fit for use.
Fats that are used for frying should have a high stability. Normally fats themselves do not get rancid during the frying process but rancidity in the finished product affects keeping quality and acceptability of the product. For commercial purpose, fats of over 100 hours stability are desired for continuous trouble –free frying.
Darkening of the fat is caused by cooking at too high a temperature which carbonizes loose breadcrumbs and small particles of fried food. Such fat should be strained and replenished with fresh fat before being used again.
Joshi, Basant Prasad et.al., Fundamentals of Hotel Management-XII, Sukunda Pustak Bhandar, Kathmandu
Bhandari, Saroj Sing et.al., Principle of Hotel Management-XII, Asmita Publication, Kathmandu
Oli, Gopal Singh et.al., Hotel Management Principle and practices-XII, Buddha Prakashan, Kathmandu
Spit roasting, oven roasting, pot roasting and tandoori roasting are the types of roasting.
Baking means cooking food by hot air in a closed oven.
Shallow fat frying and deep-fat frying are the types of frying.