Cooking Terminology


1 tea spoon = 1 tsp = 5 grams or 5 ml
i table spoon = 1 tbsp = 3 tsp
1 cup = 1 ஆழாக்கு = 200 கிராம்

BAKE = To cook by dry heat usually in the oven. By way of example breads, cakes, puddings, vegetables etc. are usually cooked by this method.

BATTER = மாவு, A mixture of flour and liquid such as milk, egg etc. of a consistency that can be stirred. It is used to coat foods for frying or as pancakes. It may be sweet or savoury

BEAT = To incorporate air into food. After beating, the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. A wooden spoon is best for beating

BLANCH = To immerse the food in boiling water for a few seconds and then to refresh it cold water in order to remove the skin and to retain the colour of the food. By way of example, almonds are blanched by pouring boiling water on them to whiten and remove the skin.

BLEND = To combine all ingredients thoroughly until very smooth and uniformSALAD = A dish of raw or cooked foods, dressed and seasoned, served as a starter or as an accompaniment

BOIL = To bring a liquid to boiling point and to maintain it at that temperature. Boiling occurs at a fixed temperature eg.100?C for water. Oil and other fats used for frying have higher boiling points of upto 200?C.

CHOP = To cut food into very small pieces with a sharp knife.

DEEP FRY = To cook food by immersing in a large deep pan of very hot fats or oil. When done carefully at the right temperature, deep frying should give the surface of food a crisp dry golden coating without making it too greasy.

DICE = To cut into small cubes, generally of about 6 mm. (1/4") size.

FAT = A term used for butter, margarine, ghee and hydrogenated oils (like vanaspati).
FERMENTATION = It is a process by which yeast acts on sugar and changes them into carbon dioxide and alcohol. This release of gas produces a leavening action in yeast products, for example in breads. A fermented dough is atleast double it's original size. Dough that ferments for too long becomes sticky and hard to work.

FRY = To cook in a small amount of fat.

GARNISH = To decorate with portions of colourful anbd contrasting food.

GRILL = To cook directly under a flame or heating in an oven.

GRIND = To cut or crush ingredients into powder form

KNEADING = To work and press the dough hard with the heels of the hands so that the dough becomes stretched and elastic

LEAVEN = Any substance that can produce fermentation in a dough or batter to give it volume or aeration. By way of example, yeast is used to leaven the dough used in bread.

MARINATE = To soak food in liquid (e.g. lemon juice or a mixture such as french dressing) that will flavour it.

MIX = To stir, usually with a spoon, until the ingredients are thoroughly combined

PARBOIL = To boil food until only partly cooked.

PEEL = To strip off the outer covering e.g. for oranges.

PRE-HEAT = To heat oven to stated temperature before product goes in.

PRESERVATIVES = Additives used to stop deterioration in foods. Examples of natural preservatives are sugar, oil etc.

REDUCE = To concentrate or thicken a sauce, stock or gravy by boiling which evaporates some of the water and reduces the volume.

RUB IN = To mix the dry ingredients like flour with fat with the help of fingertips till breadcrumb consistency is obtained

SAUTE = To fry a small quantity of food in fat until golden brown and tender

SEASONING = The addition of salt, pepper, spices, to give a particular taste to food or to increase its palatability

SHALLOW FRYING = Cooking using only enough fat, which comes half way up the article of food and turning it over so that both the sides are browned

SIFT = To pass through a fine sieve so as to remove lumps.

SIMMER = To boil on a slow flame

STEAMING = To cook in the steam which arises from a pan of boiling water. STEW = To cook slowly in a small amount of liquid for a long time

STIR = To mix with a spoon etc., using a rotary motion

STOCK = The liquid in which vegetables are cooked

STRAIN = To pour the liquid through a muslin cloth or a fine sieve to remove unwanted particles or impurities.

TANDOORI FOOD = The food cooked in a clay oven i.e. tandoor is called "tandoori food". Food takes only a few minutes to cook in a tandoor oven which cooks the food simultaneously from both inside and outside. All the tandoori dishes have to be marinated first in order to tenderize them.

TEMPER = In Indian cooking, to temper means to fry the spices in hot sizzling oil and to give a "tadka". The spices include mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chillies and curry leaves

THICKENING = Thickening agents such as cornflour, cream etc. give body to a sauce, soup etc. By way of example, cornflour is mixed with a little liquid made into a fine paste and added to a boiling sauce or soup to thicken it.

TOAST = To brown and dry the surface of foods such as bread or nuts by heating

TOSSING = To lightly mix ingredients without mashing them e.g. for salads

UNTIL SET = Until the liquid has becomes firm-often refers to a gelatine, jelly or custard mixture

WHEY = The liquid portion of the milk which is left out after the milk is curdled with the help of lemon juice or any other acidic medium

WHIP = To beat rapidly to produce expansion through the incorporation of air, as in egg-whites and whipped cream.

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