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Home Cooking

Professional cooks can skillfully add the right ingredients to create rich and powerful flavors that open up the taste buds. To top it off, wining and dining to entertain (someone) at a friendly restaurant with good food, wine, etc., is incredibly refreshing. However, with prices increasing at an alarming pace it encourages home cooking!

Several years back and with an urge to try my own cooking skills, I realized there was a long way to go. Week after week I had set out the purchased ingredient such as chicken, onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, ginger and umpteen spices and condiments. Spices include turmeric, chili, garam masala or tandoori Indian curry, paprika, coriander, amongst others whereas condiments are things like salt and pepper, mustard, pickle, Worcester sauce, ketchup, etc.

Over time seasonings have been added to spice up the dishes and appreciate the final result. Preparing chicken thighs as they are fatter than chicken breast though often both cuts are mixed in smallish squares and then bathed in spice mix overnight. This tip adds flavor to the meat. The sauce with all the vegetables is blended in an electric liquidizer and either everything is cooked in one pan, or as on most occasions one frying pan is used for meat and another for the sauce.

Sometimes Indian curry powders are not incorporated, and a preference for hot peppers such as fresh chilis, flakes, and powders are used to create a massive explosion in one’s mouth when eating. The good thing about chili is its incredibly good for you. It not only speeds up the metabolism and stimulates weight loss, but is also has been said to reduce inflammation and decrease the chances of heart disease.

Another spice I’ve been using frequently of late is turmeric which like other colorful plant-based foods is rich in phytonutrients that may protect the body by neutralizing free radicals like pollution and sunlight. It also shields the cells from damage. Diets rich in plant-based foods are associated with prevention of medical conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

Another seed and powder that I use is cumin which is a (an) herb. The seeds of the plant are used to make medicine, but personally I add to olive oil in the pans before starting the frying process. Thick cast iron pans are used to cook more effectively. When the meat is lightly charbroiled it goes into the sauce or vice versa and simmered.

People also take cumin for digestion problems including diarrhea, colic, bowel spasms, and gas. Cumin is also used to increase urine flow to relieve bloating (as a diuretic); to start menstruation; and to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac).

It takes practice to make perfect. When there is a will, there is a way. Save money and start eating really great tasting food at home soon!

Have a terrific day!

Prof. Carl Boniface

Vocabulary builder:

Umpteen = many, a lot of

A or an herb? = In American English, it's an herb since the “h” is silent. In Britain, by contrast, the “h” is typically sounded, so they say “a herb”. Remember, the rule for using “a” or “an” is based on pronunciation, not spelling. Follow the same convention with the word herbal i.e., “A herbal remedy”.

Charbroiled = North America: (of food, especially meat) grilled on a rack over charcoal.

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