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Aims & Objectives of Cooking Food

The aim or the intention of cooking is to see that the food cooked undergoes a physical change, sometimes a chemical change and is acceptable.

The objective of cooking is to achieve certain results such as:

1) To facilitate and fasten digestion, so that the cooked food is absorbed by the digestive system and subsequently assimilated by the body.

2) A physical change occurs when a substance changes its form, colour or size, but still remains that same substance, like water that changes to ice.

3) A chemical change occurs when a substance changes its form, colour or size, combining so as to form an entirely new body, e.g. milk changes to curd.

4) Cooking partly sterilize food above 40*c, so that growth of bacteria falls off rapidly and boiling kills the living cells.

5) Cooking makes food more attractive to have eye appearance and variety.

6) Cooking increases taste and palatability.

7) Cooking helps to make food more digestible.

8) With one ingredient many dishes can be prepared.

9) Use of right cooking method so that there is minimum loss of colour, texture and nutrition.

10) Use of various ingredients to provide a balance diet.


It is the term to describe the characteristics of the finished products such as:

1) Appearance

2) Feel to touch

3) Softness

4) Mouth feel

Various textures:

1) Firm and close: the creation of air bubbles by adding raising agents in the baked products due to which volume is increased, which are many and small. The products are crisp and not spongy, e.g, biscuits and plain short pastry.

2) Short and crumbly: this is same as firm and close, but more fat is added, e.g. shortbread, nankhatais, biscuits, short crust pastry, etc.

3) Light and even: there are plenty of holes and of a fair size. The food is firm but not tough or hard. It is neither short nor spongy. E.g. Madeira, queen cakes etc.

4) Spongy: an elastic and soft appearance with air holes created by inclusion of air, it is soft and elastic to touch as in idlies, khamang dhoklas, swiss rolls, etc.

5) Flaky: this is created by addition of fat on the dough by rolling and folding different layers. The crispness is due to the method of rubbing fat with the flour. In order to gets a good flaky texture, the right amount of ingredients, proper mixing and correct temperature is essential, e.g. puff and flaky pastry, tikona parathas, mathis, etc.

6) Smooth: when a dry ingredient is added to a liquid and the blending results in a smooth texture, e.g. sauces, batters, gravies.

The following are the incorrect textures which spoil a dish and should be avoided.

1) Coarse and open texture: in this one can see uneven and large holes due to the excessive addition of raising agent.

2) Hard texture: the air enclosed has been driven off, may be due to the addition of more liquid than required, or has not been mixed properly. Low temperature of the oven also spoils the texture.

3) Soggy texture: this occurs due to the presence of too much of moisture.

4) Lumpy texture: this caused due to the improper mixing of solids and liquids at the same temperature. This texture may occur in sauces, gnocchi, suji halwa etc.


Generally, “consistency” word refers to the makeup of the gravies as used in various cuisines such as Indian cuisine or various other preparations such as soups, sauces, batters and the word consistency is generally used to the materials containing liquid as a major ingredient- various kinds of consistencies are:

1) Thick consistency: for example, in soups such as cream of tomato, cream of peas, puree soups, velouté, bisques and various sauces such as tomato, hollandaise, mayonnaise etc.

2) Pouring consistency: the best examples of pouring consistencies are batters, pancake batters etc.

3) Thin consistency: for example, consommés and broth have got thin consistencies.

4) Frozen consistency: for example, in jellies and ice creams where the particles are connected to each other very strongly and hence are unable to flow freely and have got a very thick consistency.


1) Washing: to remove dirt.

2) peeling: scrapping off the skin of vegetables and fruits.

3) pairing: removing the surface layer in circular motion by pressure of a knife edge all around the object.

4) cutting: into small pieces by knife (slicing, dicing, shredding etc.)

5) mincing: cutting into very small pieces like mutton/onion.

6) shredding: cutting into long narrow pieces by means of a shredding knife for example cabbage.

7) slicing: cutting into thin pieces but not as fine as shredding.

8) slitting: example green chillies.

9) grating: reducing into small particles by rubbing on a rough surface.

10) grinding: reducing into small pieces but by crushing for example in masala.

11) mashing: breaking up of soft food by the application of pressure.

12) pressing: separating of liquid portion from solids for example cheese preparation.

13) sieving: passing through a fine wire mesh to remove dirt and impurities. It also helps to entrap air for example sieving of flour.

14) refining: freeing any material from impurities for example sugar.

15) skimming: removing of floating layer.

16) rendering: separating of fat of animals from their connective tissue by heat.

17) filtration: separating solids from liquids through fine mashed materials as in filtering fruit juices or jelly through cloth bag.

18) evaporation and reduction: removal of water without the lid.

19) homogenization: sub-dividing large particles into smaller ones by forcing them into aperture with great pressure (fat increases).

20) emulsification: dispersing one liquid into other which are insoluble in each other for example mayonnaise.


Techniques used in the preparation generally aim at combining or mixing of various food materials. Various foods are combined according to palability and acceptance. Texture and flavour are controlled to an important degree by skill and method employed in combining component material.

1) Beating: mixing the materials briskly and dropping them with an appropriate tool. Sometimes it is used as synonyms with whipping.

2) Blending: mixing two or more ingredients thoroughly.

3) Cutting: it is the incorporation of fat in flour and other sifted dry ingredients with a knife. This method produces coarse division of fat and does not result in blending as in cutting the fat into mixture.

4) Creaming: softening fat by fraction with a spoon, usually followed by gradual incorporation of sugar as in cake making.

5) Folding: mixing various materials with a palate knife/wooden spoon, by a careful lifting and dropping motion as in whipped egg whites into a cake mixture.

6) Kneading: manipulating by alternating pressure with folding and stretching as in kneading bread dough. A method of combination of water and flour proteins to make gluten.

7) Marinating: coating the surface of a material with marinade which is generally a mixture of oil and acid to soften up the fibres.

8) Stirring: mixing materials with an appropriate tool.

9) Whipping: rapid beating with a whisker or mechanical beater usually to incorporate air as in whipping egg white.


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