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Indian Microwave Cooking

Indian Microwave Cooking



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Published by sejal38

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Categories:Types, Recipes/Menus
Published by: sejal38 on Sep 02, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Time is very essential for cooking. Modern day living does not accept the slowway of cooking practiced in earlier days. One device that has defied the clock inthe kitchen is the microwave oven. It not only cooks faster but is also healthier and convenient to use Nowadays even conservative and strictly traditionalhomes too have added it in their kitchen room, since it is an instrument of greatcreativity.
Advantages of microwave cooking
Food cooks evenly, quickly and efficiently in the microwave.Also the nutrients are preserved and the actual taste of the food is retained to ahigher degree.Only a minimum amount of oil is required for cooking continental as well astraditional Indian dishes and so it seems desirable from the health point of view.Also shorter and controlled cooking time means that the food does not get burntor over-cooked.Food may be cooked and served in the same dish.Another major advantage is that food is cooked minus the smoke, grease andheat and so the kitchen remains neat and tidy always.Microwave has multifarious uses like de-frosting, re-heating, etc.
Microwaves --?
Microwaves are a form of the electro-magnetic energy.The microwave oven is designed to generate electro-magnetic waves, whichare contained in the cooking cavity.The waves cannot be seen. Microwaves act in three different ways.
- when the food is micro waved, the water molecules present in thefood get stimulated and heated up and so the energy of the microwave isconcentrated on cooking the food faster.
- Microwaves are attached only to water molecules and so theyignore everything else except the food to be cooked.
- Microwaves are absorbed by food and pass through materials likeglass, china, wood, paper and plastic, but they reflect on metal.
Types of ovens
There are two types of microwave ovens,1) Simple microwave oven2) Microwave and convection oven.The microwave oven cooks food as well as re-heats it. The convection systemheats, browns and dries the surface of the food for crisping. This type of combination cooking is best for tandoori dishes and the convection system aloneis best suited for cakes and other pastry - based appetisers that need a flakycrust. But for microwave/ convection combination cooking, the cookware shouldbe both heatproof and micro safe. For convection cooking, the cookware needsonly to be heatproof.
Food must be placed off-center as the microwave energy disperses more to thecorners and sidewalls. Items like idlis should be arranged in a circle with spaceamong them. Chops should be arranged with the thinner areas pointing to themiddle of the utensils.
Cooking utensils
Ovenware treated for high- intensity heat such as bowls, cake dishes and alsobags, film, paper towels, practically any material can be used except metal. Butmetal can be used for the convection mode. Metallic dishes should not be alsoused in the combination mode. Pottery and plastic ware declared microwave-safecould be used in the common microwave oven.Ceramic wares can also be used but make sure that they don't have any metallicrim as they may cause arcing. Food items containing high proportion of fat andsugar should not be used in glass utensils, otherwise they can be usedcommonly.Melmoware and melamine wares are to be avoided; paper towels, greaseproof paper and cardboard can also be used provided they don't have any staple pinsin them. Wood items can be used in the micro-oven but not for a long time.
Container shapes
This is an important factor to be noted. Dishes must be ½ or ¾ filled dependingon the liquid content of the food. If the dish is too small, the food will boil over andif the dish is too large the thick curry will spread out and overcook. Shallowvessels make cooking faster. Cakes, chicken, meat and rice dishes cook well inlarge bottomed vessels while round dishes are ideal for cooking vegetables andcurry dishes.
Safety features
The microwave oven door should not be subject to any strain.It should not be used often and also a bang is to be avoided. Any misalignmentmay cause leakage of the microwave.Small quantities of food with low moisture content can burn, spark, or catch fireif re-heated for long.Do not operate an empty oven as it can cause damage to the oven.Keep at least five cms space between the back of the oven and the wallimmediately near it as it allows the exhaust air to escape.Do not install the oven near gas burners or near radios or TVs.Do not deep fry in the oven as it is not possible to control the temperature of theoil and it may result in catching fire easily.If food catches fire turn off the oven, remove the plug out, but do not open thedoor of the oven.Keep the interior of the oven clean as small specks of food particles inside canreduce its efficiency.Do not cook eggs with the shells as they explode.Do not heat food or liquids in bottles with lids closed.Do not warm bottles with lids on for babies.Milk or any food for kids must be heated on simmer mode only.Pierce vegetables and fruits with tight skin to prevent them from bursting beforecooking them.

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