Hello and welcome back to the Fooddialer blog space. As promised, we will be taking up different techniques of food preparation in a little bit of more details one by one. In our last post we have discussed about three broad cooking techniques namely- Dry heat cooking method, Moist heat cooking method and Combination cooking method. If you have not followed the previous post and want to go through it now, click here.
Today we will go through the Dry Heat Cooking Methods. So let’s get started:
The four most popular techniques that fall under these category are: Baking, Roasting, Grilling and Steaming. Now why the name is ‘Dry heat cooking’ is because in these technique the heat required to cook the food is transferred to it without immersing in any liquid mediums like water or oil.
Baking- This is one of the most popular technique in India. In this process the food item is placed in the confined space of the oven and hot air is blown through it. The movement of air cooks the food uniformly from all directions. Sometimes even food items are made to rotate by placing in specially built tray.
This format of cooking generally requires lesser amount of fats and oils as compared to frying and can be considered on the healthier side. However, in India, we use huge amount of refined flour in baking cakes and cookies and breads which should be reduced and more whole wheat flour to be included in the diet.
This method of cooking is best suited for cakes, cookies, breads, and also seafoods and poultry.
Roasting- Roasting is the most primitive way of cooking and by far delivers one of the most tastiest dishes. In modern world, specially in India, this technique is considered as more royal and are mostly used in special occasions and parties.
In this format the food item to be cooked is directly exposed to the flames. The item is rotated frequently to assure even cooking and are marinated well prior to the actual process. Usage of direct flame quickly seals the outer layer of the food trapping all the juices inside which makes the food more tastier and full of nutrition.
Poultry and red meats are best suited for this method, however starchy root vegetables like potato and taro can also be prepared using this technique and let me assure you that the outcome is finger-licking.
Grilling- Grilling is gradually making its place in the Indian households because this technique is comparatively easier while being healthier than the other Indian cooking methods. Grilling is done in two methods- the first one is Charcoal grilling which is the actual ancient method and second one is Tawa grilling or pan grilling which is kind of a customized version to make it easily adaptable in the modern Indian kitchens.
In Charcoal Grill, the food to be cooked by placed over a wire rack which again placed over red hot charcoal. The warmth from beneath helps to cook the food. Flipping the food over and over is necessary to ensure even cooking. This is generally an outdoor cooking process.
Tawa Grill, as said above, is a customized process and therefore a stove top cooking method. The food item in this process is placed over specially made grill pan or tawa and are allowed to cook in low flame. Flipping is important even in this method.
Meats and vegetables are best suited for this method.
Steaming- In this method, we will make use of water. But still I like to enlist it under dry heat cooking method because the water is not used directly but transformed to vapor which in turn does the main cooking. By far this is the most used technique in Indian household as it allows to prepare even the daily staples.
There are specially made pots available in Indian market for this method of cooking. However, one can also try it by making use of a deep-bottom vessel and a colander. Water, just enough to create vapor, is poured in the vessel. The item to be cooked in placed in a perforated dish or colander and placed above the water. Water should not reach the food item even while boiling. The whole thing is then placed over the flames. The flame heats up the water which gets transformed to steam or vapor that rises through the perforations and cooks the food. This can be covered cooking or even uncovered one.
Idli, dhokla, momo are the contribution of this cooking technique. One can also cook vegetables and poultry using this method.
With that I will end my post here today. Read out post on Moist Heat Cooking methods here.
By the time, let the chef in you come out and try out some of these techniques yourself. Also do not forget to let us know about your venture in the comment box below.