Anybody can cook but one must apply the science of cooking to save energy and avoid smell depositing while cooking
Why so many cooks deny the importance of a scientific subject like chemistry? Cooking also obeys the laws of physics, chemistry, biology and also maths. Yet it is quite possible to cook without understanding any of these areas of science. Amazingly our Kussi amma cooked tasty rice and curries in a good olden firewood stove kitchen without knowing any of these sciences. She knew qualitative and quantitative aspects applied in science that is the amount of water in proportion to the amount of rice taken to cook. I noticed that when she put water into the rice pot, the level of water is measured by dipping the middle finger. Again at a certain time the rice pot was checked to see if rice is cooked or any water left. The amount of water is measured in her way then after a certain time she checked if the rice is cooked and any excess water is left in the pot. Would you not think that she has applied some science in her way of cooking? We check the oil in the car with a dip stick, similarly she checked if any water left and if rice is cooked with a long handled wooden spoon. You can cook better if you do understand what is going on, particularly if you want to deviate from the ways that people have cooked before.
British TV chefs are no better than our kussi amma
One of the mistakes she did was to let the cooking aroma shower her and also let them escape by opening the boiling curries such as chicken curries. Again these so called educated, knowledgeable British TV chefs with best facilities are no better than our kussi amma. These British TV chefs quite often shower with escaping vapours of oil and sometimes with cooking aroma. Not only this cooking aroma gives a peculiar smell when deposited on you, it is unhealthy to inhale because it can cause respiratory and cardiac problems in the long run. Why not watch a few of those cooking programmes done by British TV chefs then only you would believe what I mentioned here. I am sure they know that cooking aroma has a number of chemicals from cooking ingredients and they do not care even if they shower and inhale them for few minutes. They must be thinking it’s great because they are doing it for live TV audience. Would you not agree they smell like Tandoori chicken when they walk about?
Problem in home cooking
This is quite a problem in home cooking and that must be one of the reasons why some of our Sri Lankan people employ servants or kussi ammas to cook. This was in the past but now the things have changed because many of those kussi ammas have gone abroad for foreign, better paid employments. Still there are a few visiting kussi ammas who charge a high rate on daily basis and many people find that difficult to afford.
If you need to save energy and smell act scientifically
Many people try and cook at home by themselves as they cannot afford to have servants such as kussi ammas. I noticed some ladies open the boiling chicken curries repeatedly for several times and taste them. In the meantime with or without their knowledge they get showered with cooking aroma. No wonder when they walk about they smell like Tandoori chicken. Sometimes they cover this smell of curry colognes by spraying with far too many body sprays and colognes. Actually this smell is on their hands, face, hairs and on any other open part of the body such as the chest, not only that their clothes also get this smell. Yes I pointed out a problem and let me suggest a solution as well. If they followed my way of scientific energy saving cooking then they can save some energy, yes some energy then totally avoid this cooking aroma getting deposited on them while cooking. How did I do that, of course by applying science?
Aluminium cooking utensils not suitable for cooking
We visited an apartment block in South of Colombo to demonstrate my energy saving cooking then we visited a few apartments as well to invite some people for my cooking demonstration. To my surprise most of them had Aluminium cooking pots, cast iron, ceramic cooking pots and clay pots than stainless steel. Most of those Aluminium cooking vessels are dented on the top that is not even. Stainless steel cooking pans are resistant for chemicals in the food and also they have a high thermal capacity and an excellent conductivity. In my kind of cooking I try and avoid any Aluminium utensils because Aluminium can dissolve in some acidic as well as in alkali media. As you all know Aluminium has a property called amphoteric nature that means it may dissolve in some acidic as well as in alkali ingredients such as garcinia Indica or goraka, lime juice, tamarind and vinegar. Usually these ingredients are added in cooking, fish, beef, pork, dry fish and chicken curries and many more. Now there are plenty of stainless steel cooking utensils for sale at affordable prices even in some supermarkets in Galle road. I purchased a few stainless steel cooking pots from a supermarket that is not too far from Dehiwala fly over. Just like the ones in England, it had two floors devoted for the supermarket that is really amazing. They had anything and everything at a reasonable price so the people are tempted to buy more and more. They had baskets and trollies to shop more conveniently just like in a foreign country.
Too much fire burnt the handles
Dr Hector Perera