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Pickling Drying Kerala Cooking Methods That Next Generation Indian Cuisine To Utilize

STEWING

Stewing i method of cooking all ingredients of a dish together in a liquid medium over  slow heat for a longer period. In kerala cuisine most of the curries are made in this style . The cooking period depends on numerous factors such as cuts of meat, quality of the ingredient , cooking equipment and method adopted . Vegatables like carrot, potato, green peas and tomatoes are the main ingredients for a stew.

In kerala most of the stewing curries are either thickened naturally by potato used in the stew or by reducing and finishing with coconut milk . Meats such as beef, chicken, lamb is suitable for slow cooking. In a stew the gravy usually covers the meat. One of the best way is to sear the meat and vegetables before stewing.

In kerala cuisine we have a prominent influence of portuguese style of cooking and some of the stewing methods has been adopted with little changes to name .Vegetable stew or Ishtew used as an accompaniment to Chapati and appam . Chefs being innovative to try lamb and chicken in similar style and got good success in those dishes.

BOILING

Boiling is ancient and traditional cooking method used in kerala cooking.It is the method of cooking food in boiling water. Boiling temparure is maintained  above 99c and you can see the vigorous wavy motion of liquid on surface. It is a very harsh technique of cooking. It is best to cook meat and root vegetables by boiling because of their hard texture. Food like rice, potatoes are suitable for boiling.Rice is boiled first , dried and then part milled to remove its husk.

In kerala almost all tea stall have a traditional boiler than is heated almost 24 hours by burning wood. it has multiple uses for steaming banana, boiling egg, making tea etc

FRYING:

cooking method in which oil is used as cooking medium.The food is cooked quickly and gets crispy texture by frying in the oil. There are different types of frying methods you can adapt by adjusting the oil quantity . Different methods Pan frying, Deep frying, Sauteing, and Stir frying. Sauteing and Stir frying is always similar which use only little amount of oil for frying in a hot surface. For Pan frying use only the required amount of oil to immerse one-third to one half of each piece of food , Deep frying is the method that totally immersing the food in the hot oil. Deep fried oil can be used several times to fry some other dishes before discarding.

some of the Kerala Dishes made by different frying methods. Deep frying – Pazham pori, uzhunnu vadai , chicken fry . Pan frying – kerala fish fry . Stir frying – Thoran , Sauteing – Vazhakka Mezhupuratty ( raw banana preparation).

STEAMING

It is a cooking method using steam by boiling water. Where thee food is not put directly into the boiling water, the food is kept separate from boiling water  using a perforated plate and is cooked by only the contact with the steam from the boiling water. By cooking in this method the food gets the moist texture. In kerala there is a special steamer pot. There are several varieties of food in kerala which is steamed, for example:- Idly, Idiyappam, Kozhukatta etc…. while steaming we get a nutritious food than boiling hence no contact with water.

PICKLING

pickling is a process of preserving food in brine or acidic medium. Brine is a solution of salt water salinity mostly equal to salt water.A common testing of brine quality is by dropping a clean washed raw and when it floats the proportion of salt to water is ideal.The  food which is preserved using this method is called pickle. Pickling enhances the flavor by concentrating the flavors.Pickling promotes Osmosis process were by moving the molecules through permeable membrane to a higher concentrated solution there by equalizing both sides.Keral has a large variety of pickles. some are raw mango, lemon, garlic, tomato, chilli etc… There are non-vegetarian pickles as well.The main fish used for pickling is Tuna. Prawns is also good for pickling. The fruits, vegetables and fish are mixed with some other ingredients such as salt, spices, mustard oil and is set to mature. Once open should preserve it well and will last for upto a year or more.

DRYING

Drying is the oldest method of preserving food using natural sunlight most of the time. The process remove all moisture from the food and do open air drying using sun and wind. Many  foods are preserved by drying and can be stored for later use . In kerala Fishes such as tuna, mackerel, sardine etc are salted and dried .This is done mostly by the fishing community were they have stock of fish left after days sale, the fish is soaked in salt water for a couple of days and is dried in the sun. The fish can be later soaked and made to curry or powdered to make chutney’s.Dried mango is also very common in kerala ,were sliced raw mango is soaked in brine for two days then strained and dried under sun or hot areas in kitchen.

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