Tuesday, 16 August 2022

THE SECRET BEHIND THE ART OF CHOPPING VEGETABLES

 

 



The art of cutting or chopping vegetable is indeed a great craft in itself. It takes a long time to master the art of cutting, chopping, slicing and also to finely complete the peeling, mincing, washing and cleaning vegetables. Checking for bruising and washing well to remove arsenic material to avoid contamination is all a science of cooking. Every step matters and interferes with the final out-come of the dish which decides the taste, flavour, fragrance, and the look of the dish.

 Vegetables are the major ingredients next to dal, spices, oil and ghee in the preparation of a dish. With the cutting itself many identify the dish being prepared because for every particular dish a vegetable needs to be chopped in a particular style.

 For example, Brinjal is chopped differently for bhajji, dal and curry. Still more easy way to understand is how differently the lemon is cut for juice and for the pickle. Vegetable added for sambhar are usually chopped in larger size, because the larger the slice, it will cook easily in the mud pot of hot water.

Onions undergo different styles of chopping from fine slices to just half of an onion. Cabbages are mostly finely chopped where cauliflower &broccoli go with a single floret.  The cutting of the vegetable and its size is directly related to the process of cooking and the methods differ with the vegetable and its cutting. 

 

How chopping is done ?

 


There are many types of cutters, knives, and chopping boards used by the chefs in hotels and cooking enthusiast at home.  Iron blade vegetable cutter (Arivaal-manai in Tamil) is mainly used in the households of Tamil Nadu. Handling these properly ensures in creating varying shapes of vegetables like

*round

*wedge

* slice

* stick

* Dice

*cube

*Julienne

*chiffonade – method of chopping greens

*Paysanne – this form of cutting includes flat, square, round or triangular.

 Many think that WHY, this sort of variation is necessary and why all can’t be one way. As the dishes are designed for a particular course and a definite process of preparation so as this also demands a standard code or style of cutting the vegetable. For instance in certain dishes the style of cutting vegetables provides

·        A good look

·        Helps to maintain the consistency

·        Helps to feel the taste when you bite

·        Enhance the taste and flavour of the dish

·        Greatly blends with the other ingredients

·        Floats and pop up in certain dishes just because of the way it is chopped

If all the vegetables are chopped in a similar way

·        Vegetables gets mashed , and makes the dish thicker in consistency

·        In some cases vegetables remain separate and unable to blend with the mixture. Because of its size, the gravy and the vegetable will be two different things

·        The flavour of the vegetable will not spread enough

There are whole some benefits of chopping vegetable in a particular pattern for a particular dish. Like any other craft this too takes its own course of time and no doubt with practice this art too can be mastered.

Do share it in the comments below about your favourite vegetable and the way you chop it  

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