Remember the Disney movie Ratatouille where Chef Gusteau’s famous line was- “anyone can cook.” This motto holds true and while not everyone can become a great cook, a great cook can come from anywhere. Even from your humble kitchen. But only if you master an important aspect of cooking- “seasoning.” Learning to season food is a process of educating your palate and developing a distinct flavour memory.
As we all know, salt is an important factor for seasoning and food that is properly seasoned with salt have a more vibrant flavour. Dishes are brought to life with salt and pepper.
Taste as you go throughout the cooking process and keep on adding salt so it gets a chance to dissolve, pull the juices out of vegetables, meat and mingle with each other in a marriage. Just by looking at the recipe you can dissect it and determine what kind of seasoning will diminish, enhance, develop the sweetness, sourness or tanginess of a particular dish.
Seasoning also includes adding spices and herbs, even sauces, a sprinkle of vinegars Colavita White Vinegar
flavoured oils Sprig Roasted Chilli Oil
flavoured butters Flavoured Peri Peri Butter
and marinades Desi Barbeque Sauce
that can make the flavours come alive and impart a delicious aroma in the cooking pot.
Given below is a D-I-Y handy and easy to make seasonings used for stir frys, pastas and curries used in multi-cultural cuisines tried and tested from various recipe books.
Indian:½ Tsp Cumin, ½ tsp Coriander powder, 1tsp garlic paste, 1/2tsp ginger paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1-2tsp chilli powder (for curries)
Chinese/Japanese (this makes a marinade or stir fry sauce): ¼ tspGinger, ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp vinegar, 3 cloves(½ tsp powdered) Garlic,chilli sauce, 1 tbsp Sugar (honey)
- Thai (this makes a marinade or stir fry sauce):1/2 cup Coconut milk,, 2 tbsp Fish Sauce, 1 Tbsp Green or red curry paste, handful fresh chopped Cilantro
- Italian:½ Tbsp Oregano, 3 cloves (½ tsp/2.5ml powdered) Garlic, ½ tbsp Basil, 3 diced Tomatoes
Mexican:1 Tbsp Chili powder, juice of 1 Lime
- Greek:1 Tbsp Oregano, 2 tbsp Olive Oil, 2 tbsp Lemon juice