Cooking methods – Hindu

Tthere is a huge difference between eastern and western cuisine here. Food is usually cooked and served hot in most Eastern cuisines. Only a few products, of plant or animal origin, are consumed raw, and in small quantities.

In the past, dry twigs collected from the neighboring forests served as fuel for cooking. In India, where draft animals, such as bulls and buffaloes, and dairy cattle, usually cows and buffaloes, were raised, it was a practice to collect the dung, mix it with rice or other agricultural fibrous waste, make it into cakes, paste the wet cakes on the walls to allow them to dry, and use such dry cakes as fuel. These cakes have a long shelf life and when stored dry are one of the best fuels that do not give off much smoke and leave only a reasonable ash content. Their calorific value is high and they give off constant heat.

Thanks to mechanization, the use of animal power for agricultural operations is slowly but surely declining and only dairy animals survive in the villages. Wet process conversion of animal manure into biogas is catching up. Of course, biogas can be used for cooking, but petroleum gas has an advantage due to its availability in cylinders.

The use of tree branches for cooking has fallen out of practice. At one time, the housewife’s duty included collecting these twigs from the nearby forests, which themselves no longer exist. On the other hand, the minimum wage also has an impact. For almost half a day’s work, the price of the collected fuel is unsustainable. This also had a visible effect.

The price of everything goes up. The value of domestic animals like goats, sheep, cows, buffaloes, donkeys and camels has risen phenomenally. At one time, the grazing of these domestic animals in the lands near the village was a common practice. Nowadays, that price has gone up, and so has the risk of losing an animal. A welcome side effect of this is the natural reforestation that occurs on the once barren hillsides, because all said and done, grazing animals are the enemies of budding plants.

The direct use of solar energy in solar ovens originated in India. Of the approximately 1,000 watts of energy falling on the earth’s surface per square meter, almost 50% is thermal. Unfortunately, the earth is not stable in relation to the sun. Not only does it rotate around a certain axis, but the axis itself tilts every day. And then, it requires a free area without shade, and the terrace is, of course, ideal. But the heat from the sun is at its peak from 10 am to 2 pm. Also, the solar cooker should face the sun to get maximum heat. In an eastern village, farmers go to the fields early in the morning and return in the evening. It is usually cooked at night and the cooked food is eaten early in the morning and at lunch. It is not possible to transfer the cooking to the field. And solar stoves are useless in the evening and at night because storage is simply not considered in the design.

In cities, meal times are just before 10 am and 8 pm, and in city homes, hot meals are always preferred. These solar cookers provide a good enough temperature for boiling, but not for baking or frying. Solar cookers can be used to cook rice and lentils, but not roti.

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