Dr Hector Perera London
I have experimented my scientific energy saving and smell saving cooking for a number of years before I demonstrated the technique in several TVs in Sri Lanka, including Sirasa TV. I managed to convince the respective authorities in TVs to give me a place to demonstrate the technique so that the public would benefit. First I appeared in ITN with my practical cooking demonstration done at the place I stayed in Colombo. The TV studio send about 7 members of staff to film the work. They took so much trouble to film the work then it was shown in the TV at a later date. I think in the following year as well they send another team to do a similar programme. Two presenters were there and the name of the programme was called “Venessa”. They accepted the fact that the method saved some energy wasted in cooking things such as rice and chicken curries. This was a few years ago, may be 2005.
Then I wanted to show the method to the sustainable energy authority at the headquarters in Colombo. Fortunately one day two officials turned up to my place to witness the method. While they were watching, I cooked some rice and lentil curry. They accepted the fact some energy is saved in cooking. They also tasted the food that was cooked under energy saving method. I was delighted to hear that it was perfectly cooked and taste well.
There after it took a few years before I could contact them again. I understand that they are quite busy officials. When I met them again at their office they agreed to visit my place within a few days. My aim was to show energy saving and smell avoiding cooking based on scientific reasons so I added all the ingredients to chicken curry and left it to marinade before they arrived. No point of cutting onions and chilies as I didn’t want to waste their official time watch me doing those things. Once they arrived to my place, I showed it then placed on the gas cooker to cook then I placed some water to boil before I washed the rice. The reason is a few minutes to warm the water while I washed the rice. Then after adding rice, it took a few minutes before it attains to the boiling state. In the meantime chicken curry started to boil then I reduced the flame to keep the flame down. It reached the equilibrium state then allowed to cook without opening the lid to avoid any chemical vapours escape. Yes chemical vapours escaped but not enough to deposit on the person who is cooking. When one opens the lid while it boils, then the vapours directly hit the person and likely to get some deposited on them. I showed them how I reduced the flame in order to save energy. When they reached the thermodynamic equilibrium state, noted the time then allowed to cook without disturbing the boiling state. Some heat is absorbed to the contents while some are lot due to radiation that is why I had to keep it even at low heat. These could be properly explained with a practical demonstration.
I showed the officials how I attained the thermodynamic equilibrium state then allowed to cook for a certain time before it was turned off. In the meantime they had a good look at the flame to witness the amount of gas I used in cooking. They accepted the fact that I used around 30% of the gas that means nearly 70% was not used. Actually I mentioned that I could save around 60% of the gas so when I used only 30% of the gas, have I not achieved more than I promised? This is what I wanted to share with the public by demonstrating, not just by writing this kind of articles only.
Have you witnessed Sri Lankan ladies cooking?
I have witnessed back in Sri Lanka how some ladies keep on adding this and that to the boiling chicken curry then kept on constantly stirring as if they wanted to smell the escaping cooking aroma so that they can shower as well with the cooking aroma. May be they are not revealing the reason as it may be a traditional secret aroma beauty therapy, who knows.
In cooking rice these ladies do it in their traditional way. When it boils and started to over flow then opens the lid, then give a quick stir with a long wooden handled spoon called “Polkatu handa” then it was closed again and reduced the flame. They opened the lid several times and used that long handled spoon to check the water in the pot of rice. It reminded me the dip stick in the car to check the engine oil. I was surprised how they cooked perfectly with all that work. Then keep on opening the lid in the chicken curry and kept on stirring then tasted it several times, I am sure it may be for the taste of salt. The point is while they stirred the boiling curry, a stream of cooking aroma escaped but they didn’t care about them. It is possible some of those smelly ingredients are likely to get deposited on their hands, face, the hair then some on the clothes as well. The speed of the escaping gas molecules are sometimes faster than a jumbo jet due to gain of kinetic energy but as they lose the heat, they get deposited on anywhere including on them. That is not smell avoiding cooking, am I correct? Their argument is that is the normal way of cooking chicken or any other curries. I have observed that at the same time some energy is wasted unnecessarily and that can be avoided in my kind of cooking. Sometimes that excess heat makes the whole environment very hot and too difficult to bear that heat for a long time. The escaping cooking aroma plus the burning gas makes one sweaty and sometimes made them cough and sometimes drool through the nose. Who prefer that kind of cooking, certainly not me? No wonder they employ servants in cooking.
I demonstrated the method for free to some people
I stayed in a block of flats in Colombo then I thought to let them know this energy saving cooking. I had to hire nearly everything from tables, chairs, cookers, plates and many more. Not that I gained anything by demonstrating the technique but wanted to show them that energy could be saved if they followed my method of cooking. That time, I didn’t have any official approval of my method but I had already demonstrated the method in several TVs in Sri Lanka. I even got a professional photographer to video record the whole event.
Only in May 2016 I got an official approval for the scientific energy saving cooking technique from The Sustainable Energy Authority in Sri Lanka. One of my questions is if my work was good enough to the TVs in Sri Lanka why not it is good enough to TVs in England?
Dr Hector Perera