Many people waste energy in cooking due to many reasons.
Posted on March 12th, 2014

Dr Hector Perera   London

Some energy can be saved with low fire cooking that means you must not waste energy unnecessarily. There are many acceptable reasons why one should cook on low fire. One of the reasons is then only the water in the form of juice in foods such as vegetables, fish and meat come out slowly or ooze out then slowly react and interact with the spices or margarine or butter in the cooking pan.

Many people including the TV chefs in Britain, just put fire at full blast and cook. What might happens is likely to burn the whole thing because the liquid evaporates quickly without cooking the food. Sometimes I leave the food to cook very slowly then attends some other work in the kitchen or watch the TV but not forgetting to come back after a few minutes.

The other thing is if anyone puts high fire, the spices and oil vapours escape quickly and some of it likely to deposit on the person who cooks. The spices have aromatic chemicals with very low boiling points that means they are very sensitive to temperature. When the people walk about they might smell like mobile or tandoori kitchens. You might not notice but any outsider who comes in sense the smell immediately. Some ladies cover up these smells with body sprays.

My scientific energy saving method helps to cook food better, slowly, save electricity and gas, allowing time to do other things and you do not get curry smell or oil smell on the clothes and on the face and hair. Some Sri Lankan ladies desperately open the boiling curries such as chicken, beef and fish then they are likely to get a shower of curry and spicy smell. They have a habit of tasting the salt, not once but a few times while cooking.

Very often they use a long handled wooden spoon or “Polkatu handa”. In some of the TV cooking programmes, the chefs also do the same but with a different spoon. It is not the problem of the type of the spoon but this kind of practice is not quite right. I am sure they are unaware that every time they open the boiling curries, energy is lost and some of the escaping vapours are likely to get deposited on them. I have witnessed their cooking so I am aware of the mistakes they make. Some of them told me that the curries must be stirred when boiling in order to turn around the things so they also get cooked.

I was thinking in that case why not they stir the boiling rice because the rice at the top are not cooked so must be turned around. Suppose if we could bring the temperature even all around the pot of rice then rice would cook evenly from bottom to the top. This can be achieved if the temperature is allowed to maintain evenly. Some people might ask how do we know exactly it has achieved an even temperature.

To my surprise those days our servants could cook with little facilities and cook nicely. They never had gas or electric fires, just smoking firewood stoves. I am sure they never knew any science but they got the idea how to cook nicely by constantly cooking. Some so called posh ladies told me, “We don’t cook we got servants”.

Would these people understand that cooking involves lots and lots of chemistry, chemical reactions and science? To me all foods are nothing but chemicals such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen combined to form different chemicals.

How to cook in a scientific way cannot be fully explained with just few words in that case anyone should understand how to drive, swim or play tennis and cricket by reading articles and books.

They need to be shown practically, must be given a chance to practice then only anyone would believe that scientific way of cooking saves energy. I had the chance to show the public then even a teenage girl also cooked my way while both her parents and a crowd of about 50 people were watching then video recorded the incident by a professional cameraman. Any comments from energy saving experts or from anyone else are welcomed.

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