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Some examples of cooking by dry heat methods

In this either air or fat is used as the medium of cooking.

i. Air As Medium of Cooking

Grilling or Broiling:

Grilling consists of placing the food below or above or in between a red hot surface. When under the heater, the food is heated by radiation only.

This results in the browning of food. Then the heat is more slowly conducted through the surfaces of the food downward.

As heating is most superficial, grilled foods are usually reversed or rotated. If the food is above the heater, heat is transmitted to the food through convection currents as well as radiations with consequent increased efficiency.

Foods cooked by grilling are cob on the corn, papad, brinjal, phulkas, sweet potato. Barbecues are also made by this method.

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The term toasting is used to describe a process by which bread slices are kept under the grill or between the two heated elements to brown from both sides of the bread at the same time.

This can be adjusted to give the required degree of brownness through temperature control.

Advantages:

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(i) Quick method of cooking.

(ii) Less or no fat is required.

(iii) Flavour is improved.

Disadvantage:

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Constant attention is required to prevent charring.

Pan broiling or roasting:

When food is cooked uncovered on heated metal or a frying pan the method is known as pan broiling, e.g., groundnuts and chapatis.

Advantages:

(i) Improves the colour, flavour and texture of the food.

(ii) Reduces the moisture content of the food and improves the keeping quality, e.g., rava.

(iii) It is easy to powder e.gt, cumin seeds and corriander seeds after roasting.

(iv) It is one of the quick methods of cooking foods.

Disadvantages:

(i) Constant attention is required.

(ii) Losses of nutrients like amino acids occur when the food becomes brown.

Baking:

Here food gets cooked by hot air. Basically it is a dry heat method of cooking but the action of dry heat is combined with that of steam which is generated while the food is being cooked.

Foods baked are generally brown and crisp on the top, soft and porous in the centre, e.g., cakes, pudding and breads.

The principle involved in baking is the air inside the oven is heated by a source of heat either electricity or gas or wood in case of tandoori.

The oven is insulated to prevent the outside temperatures from causing fluctuations in internal temperatures of the equipment.

The methods of heat transfer involved are radiation from the source of heat to the metal wall at the base of the oven, by conduction from the base to the other walls and by convection through the heated air currents set up in the oven to the food.

The temperatures that are normally maintained in the oven are 120°C – 260°C. The oven has to be heated slightly more than required temperature before placing the food in it.

Foods prepared by baking are custards, pies, biscuits, pizzas, puffs, buns, bread, cakes, tandoori chicken, tandoori meat and fish.

Advantages:

(i) Flavour and texture are improved.

(ii) Variety of dishes can be made.

(iii) Uniform and bulk cooking can be achieved e.g., bun and bread.

Disadvantage:

Special equipment and skills are required.

ii. Fat As Medium of Cooking

Sauteing :

This method involves cooking in just enough of oil to cover the base of the pan (greasing the pan).

The food is tossed occasionally or turned over with a spatula to enable all the pieces to come in contact with the oil and get cooked evenly.

Sometimes the pan is covered with lid, reducing the flame and allowing the food to be cooked till tender in its own steam.

The product obtained in cooking by this method is slightly moist, tender but without any liquid or gravy.

Foods cooked by sauteing are generally vegetables used as side dishes in a menu. The heat is transferred to the food mainly by conduction.

Shallow fat frying :

Here the food is cooked in fat or oil but not enough to cover it. Heat is transferred to the food partially by conduction by contact with the heated pan and partially by the convection currents of the foods.

This prevents local burning of the food by keeping away the intense heat of the frying pan, e.g. paratha, chapati, fish, cutlets and tikkis.

The finished dish will be crispy brown outside, soft and tender inside. The iron content of food increases when iron tavas are used. Non-stick coated frying pan can be used.

Deep fat frying :

Food is totally immersed in hot oil and cooked by vigorous convection currents and cooking is uniform on all sides of the foods.

Cooking can be rapidly completed in deep fat frying because the temperature used is 180-220°C.

In most foods, this high temperature results in rapid drying out of the surface and the production of a hard crisp surface, brown in colour.

The absorption of fat by the food increases the calorific value of the food. Fats when heated to smoking point decompose to fatty acids and glycerol followed by the decomposition of glycerol to acrolein, which causes irritation to the eyes and nose.

Generally some 10% of oil is absorbed but larger amount of fat is absorbed when oils are used repeat­edly. Samosa, papads, chips, muruku, pakoda, bajji and bonda are made by deep fat frying.

Advantages:

(i) Taste is improved, along with the texture.

(ii) Increases the calorific value.

(iii) Fastest method of cooking.

(iv) In shallow fat frying, the amount of oil consumption can be controlled.

Disadvantages:

(i) Sometimes the food may become oily or soggy with too much absorption of oil.

(ii) More attention is required while cooking and care should be taken to avoid accidents.

(iii) The food becomes very expensive.

(iv) Fried food takes long time to digest.

(v) Repeated use of heated oils may produce harmful substances and reduce the smoking point.

iii. Combination of cooking methods braising:

Braising is a combined method of roasting and stewing in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. The meat should be sealed by browning on all sides and then placed on a lightly fried bed of root vegetables.

Stock or gravy is added which should come to 2/3 of the meat. Flavourings and seasoning are added and allowed to cook gently.

Many food preparations are made not by single method but by a combination of cooking methods.

Vermicelli payasam:

Roasting and simmering.

Vegetable curry:

Sauteing and simmering.

Upma:

Roasting and boiling.

Meat cutlet:

Boiling and deep frying.

Vegetable pulav:

Frying and simmering.

Mutter paneer:

Frying and stewing.

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