There was a time when most of us only saw cooking as some heavily burdening household chore that we have to do whether we like it or not, or some life-skill that we should know in order to be able to survive independently. However, thanks to all those master-chef episodes and a dearth of food channels on the satellite, more young people are now taking uo cooking as a passion. People have now realized that cooking can be imaginative and therapeutic and a lot more fun than what you think it is. Whether you are a newbie who has just moved independently and need to learn the skill, or you are taking it up out of sheer passion, as a beginner it is important to know a few basic things.
Most newbies think that resorting to a recipe book is all that they need to be able to cook. However, there is a lot more to cooking than the recipe. In fact, the recipe is just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, no recipe book will ever give you those important tips that are crucial for you to get your cuisine right. Moreover, having a good grip on the key areas will open new avenues and dimensions of the culinary world for you and you can get as creative and imaginative with your dishes as you want.
Ingredients and Flavors
A great dish is a combination of many ingredients that come together to give a certain flavor. Interestingly, each ingredient also has a taste of its own. You need to have an understanding on how different spices, herbs, sauces, and seasonings have their own distinct taste and how they come together to form new flavors. Having an understanding of different flavors will help you go a long way if you are aspiring for some experimental cooking.
Once you get a grip on tastes and flavors, you need to understand how using the same ingredients in different proportions can modify the entire dish and its flavor. For example, both Chinese and Indian dishes use chilies in their respective cuisines. However, the spice level is very subtle in the Chinese cuisine while it heavily dominates the Indian ones. Using your ingredients in the right proportions and in the right manner makes a huge difference.
Cookware and Utensils
Cooking is said to be an art for all the right reasons. Just like your art work will not come out as you expect if you do not use the right tools, similarly, your recipe will not turn out to be as expected if you do not use the right tools. Using the right cookware and cooking utensils during the process is crucial. Cookware and cooking utensils are available in different materials and types and you should know which one to be used for what purpose. For example, woks and pans used in Asian cuisine are generally carbon steel ones. On the other hand dedicated non-stick pans are recommended for cooking omelets, pancakes and other batter oriented food. Likewise, some cookware might not work with ovens and microwaves. Likewise, you need to understand how different cooking utensils serve different purposes.