Cooking lessons unleashed ...

The last time I made channa masala, the gravy was slightly bitter when I tasted, for some weird reason. I could not figure out why and added a bit of lemon juice, sugar, curd and whatnot to nullify the bitterness. I did suceed in the mission but the question what made the gravy bitter was eating me up for quite sometime now. Was it because of the cilantro or the ground channa that I added to thicken the gravy or kasoori methi that I added to flavour it? No clue. So this time when I started making a gravy in similar fashion, I decided to taste it after adding every ingredient to find out the culprit. Voila! I could find it out in the very first step. It was because of the raw onion paste I used for cooking. I googled to find out if I was right and as usual it came up with number of such cases. What I understand is grinding the raw onions releases certain enzymes which causes the bitterness. The sulphurous or whatever-they-are compounds which makes us cry react with the metals used for cooking, making the paste green and needs a longer cooking time to get rid of the harsh raw taste. This is more pronounced in yellow onions and I have not observed this with the onions that are available back home. The remedies can be either sauteing the onions till translucent or Blanching/microwaving the onions throughly before grinding. Alternatively, it is better to grate or dice the onions. Also, be sure to get rid of the bulb and roots. I had to dispose of the stuff and start all over again. It was disheartening and irritating but felt good that the mystery was finally unraveled. So when your onion paste turns green on cooking, it is not a go but a stop signal!
It's great to learn from your mistakes, but it's even better to learn from others' mistakes.

2 comments:

srini said...

verum vengayathula ivlo matter irukka!!!

Lux said...

more tips like this will be helpful. did you try the food processor which chop the onion fine but not makes a juice ? Does it also make it bitter?