Tempering and Steaming in cooking – Cooking methods

Tempering  and Steaming  in cooking

tempering in keralal cooking

Tempering is the last stage in Malayali cooking.  There are two reasons for tempering a dish.  First, as the name suggests it imparts a certain flavour and piquancy to the dish.  Secondly,dishes that contain no oil ger a touch of it

The basic ingredients used in tempering are oil,mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves

Heat oil to smoking point and add mustard seeds.  When they start spluttering, add red chillies torn into pieces.  Lower heat, as you get the aroma of chillies and add curry leaves.  Remove from heat withing a minute or so,pour contents of pan into the prepared dish and mix well.  If shallots are used in tempering the chop and add to oil before chillies.  Allow to brown and add chillies.  Special samlol tempering and are available in the market for this purpose.  They have a heavy base and a handle for ease of use.  Often the entire pan in plunged into the dish as its contents are poured out.  It is then stirred into the dish

Steaming – Steamer –  A deep vessel with a tight-fitting lid

steamer in kerala cooking

Traditionally a steamer was made of copper since it is a good conductor of heat.  It is a deep vessel with a tight-fitting lid.  It contains  a series of perforated trays,that rest on each other to hold the food.  Water is boiled in the steamer and the steam rises through the perforations to cook the food

If you don’t have  steamer you can make one by placing a  small pan containing the food to be steamed on an inverted metal bowl or katore in larger pan.

Pour water into the large pan to come halfway up the smaller pan.  Cover the large pan with a tight fitting lid.  Bring water to boil and keep it boiling for the required time,replenishing it with more oiling water as needed

steaming food