“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
– Harriet Van Horne
Cooking is a craft with a beautiful experience that is also a necessary survival skill. It involves a good level of creativity to create new dishes that fulfil the love for good food. Cooking is a pleasure and rewarding experience. Whenever someone says that the food you cooked was delicious, it feels like a big achievement.
Cooking is a bit of a long process that involves several stages. It starts with deciding what to cook, collecting its ingredients, making the ingredients fit to add like chopping vegetables, heating over the flame or chilling it down and finally comes plating. Ingredients are the elements that practically complete a dish. They can be a mix-matched for cooking different kinds of culinary.
We have listed the top 10 most common ingredients used in cooking that are useful for anyone who cooks any kind of dish:-
10. No dish is ever complete without Salt- The most common ingredient in every cooking recipe is salt to taste. Salt is a seasoning that improves the taste of a dish. Also known as the most common ingredient in cooking, salt is also used as a preservative, binder, fermenting and texturising agent in cooking. Chefs say that salt brings out the natural flavour in other ingredients. There are different types of salt like table salt, pink Himalayan salt, sea salt and rock salt used to prepare dishes. You will find a salt shaker on every eating table because the improper salt amounts make or break any dish.
9. The source of sweetness lies in Sugar- Sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and salty are the different kinds of taste to satisfy the taste buds. Sugar is the source of sweetness in food. It is the most important part of baking recipes. The human brain is relieved and gets in a good mood after eating something sweet. Sugar is also used to balance between spicy, sour and bitter flavour making the taste more complex. It is a common ingredient in half of the dishes cooked around the globe because sweet is a part of every cuisine and desserts complete a meal.
8. Cooking begins in oil- The first step for heated cooking is putting in some oil. It administers the heat from the pan or the utensil to the food. Oil is also used to stop the food from sticking at the base of the utensil. The cooking oil is usually extracted from the plants. Some common kinds of cooking oil are extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, groundnut oil, peanut oil, sesame oil etc. Oils are used in cooking for frying, sautéing and roasting.
7. Every delicacy uses the basic grain of Rice- Rice is used in every delicacy around the world. They are normally steamed or boiled that absorbs the moisture content. Rice is a popular foodstuff around the world. It is also known as the world’s most-loved staple food especially near coastal areas because rice cultivation requires extra water. Some different kinds of rice used in cooking are brown rice, white rice, converted rice, wild rice and instant rice. Short-grain and long-grain rice are added to a variety of different dishes in a combination of recipes.
6. The nutrient quality comes from Vegetables- Fresh Vegetables are commonly chopped before cooking or frozen ingredients straight from the grocery store are used in cooking. They are parts of a plant consumed by humans and they form the fundamental basis for a variety of dishes. Different vegetables like cabbage, carrot, potato, cucumber etc are used to cook for various delicacies. Vegetables are fried, pan-fried, boiled, saute, marinated or roasted for eating purposes. The identity of professional kitchens is more variety of exotic vegetables. Cooking vegetables can develop good colour, taste and texture in different cuisines around the world.
5. An exotic and strong flavour is the responsibility of Garlic- Garlic is a very popular flavouring agent used in cooking. Crushed or chopped garlic bring a good aroma and flavour that elevates a dish. Garlic is used in salad dressing, soups, stews, rice, toasts, barbecues etc. Raw sautéd garlic is used for a basic flavouring that can support a variety of different dishes and delicacies. Apart from its taste, garlic is a good source of manganese, selenium and vitamin C with other minerals.
4. Your dishes get a smooth texture with Butter- Butter is used in cooking to saute or add a smooth texture and creamy taste to dishes. It efficiently supplements and enhances the taste and richness of a dish. Butter is a dairy product formulated with churning milk. Cookies, cakes, pastries and the majority of baked dishes have a good quantity of butter in them. There is no replacement for the use of butter in cooking. Mostly placed at room temperature, melted butter. Butter is an important ingredient and kitchens can’t do without it.
3. The richness and luxury of dishes lie in Nuts- Among all the other common ingredients, nuts are the most expensive and used to be used with precautions. Nuts should be added with care and it is important to use them keeping a note of potential allergies. There are several types of nuts used in cooking like Almonds, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts and raisins etc. Nuts are added in various types of dishes and especially in baking but, they should be added in very small quantities. They can be added in raw form or they can be roasted or fried for an elegant and rich flavour.
2. The secret of taste in food is fulfilled by Herbs and spices- The source of good taste in food comes from herbs and spices. Since ancient times, herbs and spices are responsible for adding unique flavour, aroma and colour to numerous delicacies. Some popular kinds of herbs and spices are basil, bay leaf, cilantro, red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, oregano, parsley and lemongrass are commonly added in dishes. Spices are aromatic seasoning added in small and accurate quantities to perfectly balance the taste of food. No dish is ever complete without the addition of a herb or spice in cooking.
1. A dash of Lemon is the twist in delicacies- Lemon is a popular ingredient used in cooking and basic for adding a new twist and balance in dishes. It adds a bright, fresh, citrusy flavour that is a mix of sour and a bit sweet taste. Lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract are used to prepare refreshing drinks. They are used to balance excessive spicy food and they can balance out several dishes with a complex taste. A dash of lemon is good for health because it is a major source of vitamin C which is essential for wellness.
You can use these 10 common ingredients in cooking that are fundamentally found in different dishes around the globe. It is a popular saying that the best cooks are blessed with good culinary skills to get the best out of ingredients. Different kinds of delicacies in the world are cooked with the same ingredients by varied interpretations. The common ingredients are cooked with different methods and styles and give out a new taste every time. No dish is prepared perfectly without taking out the full potential of the ingredients.
“A passion for cooking starts with respect for ingredients”.