Understanding Masalas for F.Y B.Sc
Remember the last time you had a great biryani, chicken tikka or paneer makhani, what was it that made the experience so mouth watering!
Was it the masala?
Every kitchen commercial or household generally has a “hatri” or masala trolley to store different masalas; this is an integral part of creating that particular cuisine.
Spices can be divided according to the following classification
Single Blends Single Blends
Spices can be the seed(Cumin),Flower(Clove),Resin (Asafetida),Leaf(Mint),Bark(Cinnamon),Root(Turmeric),Fruit(Amchoor),Stigma(Saffron) etc. coming from plant sources. Other not so common categories include mineral salts like black salt, Fungus (Dagad Phool or patthar ka phool).
Some other flavorings apart from Spices but equally important can be. Acids (Nimboo ka sat or Citric Acid), Oils (Sesame oil, Mustard Oil), Essences like (Kewra or Screw pine/Rose).
Masala can be defined a blend of various ingredients including spices. It generally contains spices (e.g. coriander powder, chili powder) +Thickening agents (e.g. Khus khus, cashew paste etc.)+acidic medium (tomato, yoghurt etc.)+liquid (coconut milk, stock etc.) .Some ingredients play more than one role like tamarind gives sourness and also acts as the liquid)
The Following chart has information regarding individual Spices.
The next Step is to understand Spice blends, these blends can be dry/dry roasted/crushed/fresh/ground etc. Every chef/Cook/Household/Proprietor has their own approach to these blends, these blends are highly guarded secrets in some cases .some blends are preparation specific Like Chana Masala, Mutton Masala, and Gram Masala. Some blends are cuisine /region/community specific like Malwani Masala, Chettinad Masala, Goda Masala, Parsi dhansak masala etc.
Rice is the seed of a monocot plant Oryza sativa. As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East, South, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the West Indies. It is the grain with the second highest worldwide production, after maize ("corn").
 Since a large portion of maize crops are grown for purposes other than human consumption, rice is probably the most important grain with regards to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by the human species.
A traditional food plant in Africa, rice has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable land care.
Rice is normally grown as an annual plant, although in tropical areas it can survive as a perennial and can produce a crop for up to 30 years.
The rice plant can grow to 1–1.8 m tall, occasionally more depending on the variety and soil fertility. The grass has long, slender leaves 50–100 cm long and 2–2.5 cm broad. The small wind-pollinated flowers are produced in a branched arching to pendulous inflorescence 30–50 cm long. The edible seed is a grain (caryopsis) 5–12 mm long and 2–3 mm thick.
Types of Rice.
1. Paddy Rice - Rice still in its original state with no further
Treatment after threshing.
2. Brown Rice - (Husked Rice) Rice with the outer husk
Removed having a characteristic beige color.
3. White Rice - Brown rice from which all the germ is
Removed by passing through machines that rasp the grain. It is also called unpolished rice.
4. Polished Rice - White rice that has been passed through
Machines that remove any flour still adhering to the grain.
5. Glaze Rice - Polished rice covered with a fine layer of
French chalk and suspended in glucose,
Specially processed to give a shine.
6. Steamed Rice - Paddy rice that is cleaned, soaked in hot
Water, steamed at low pressure, de-husked & blanched.
7. Pre-cooked Rice - Rice that has been husked, soaked, boiled for
1 – 3 minutes. And dried at a high temperature.
8. Camolino Rice - Polished and lightly coated with oil.
9. Puffed Rice - In India it is roasted and fried on hot sand.
10. Wild Rice - The seed of an aquatic grass, related to the
Rice plant, it grows one by one up the stalks and resembles little black sticks. It is very expensive.
11. Basmati Rice - Indian rice with long grains, with a
Distinctive flavor. Old basmati rice is the most prized and is rarely available.
12. Sticky Rice - Round grain rice which has a very high starch
Content. Rarely available, it is most ideal for Chinese cooking.
13. Rice Flakes - Rice that is steamed, husked & flattened into
Flakes, it is eaten for breakfast with milk & sugar.
Or as a savory preparation (poha)
Rice is also used to make a variety of alcoholic drinks. :-
CHOUM - In Vietnam
SAMAV - In Malaysia
SAKE - In Japan
CHAO XING - In China
Nutrition: Rice has a very high Calorific value (350 cal, per 100 g. in whole rice & 120 cal. Per 100 g. in balanced rice). It is very rich in digestible starch (77 %) and also in vitamins B1, B2 and minerals.
Cooking of Rice
A) In Water:
1. Rice is put into the vessel with twice the amount of water, brought to a boil, and cooked till the water is absorbed.
2. Alternatively it can be poured into a vessel of boiling water, brought to a boil, cooked and drained off.
B) In Stock -In this method the rice is lightly fried in hot oil and stock is added to it. It is then cooked till the Rice is soft and all the stock has been absorbed.
C) In Milk : Rice is normally cooked in milk for making desserts. Short
Grained rice is ideal for this type of cooking because the
Grains stick together thus giving thickening properties to
A pulse is an annual leguminous crop yielding from one to twelve grains or seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod. Pulses are used for food and animal feed. The term "pulse", as used by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry grain. This excludes green beans and green peas, which are considered vegetable crops. Also excluded are crops that are mainly grown for oil extraction (oilseeds like soybeans and peanuts), and crops which are used exclusively for sowing (clovers, alfalfa). However, many of the varieties so classified and given below are also used as vegetables, with their beans in pods while young cooked in whole cuisines and sold for the purpose; for example black eyed beans, lima beans and Toor or pigeon peas are thus eaten as fresh green beans cooked as part of a meal. Pulses are important food crops due to their high protein and essential amino acid content. Like many leguminous crops, pulses play a key role in crop rotation due to their ability to fix nitrogen.
Pulses are 20 to 25% protein by weight, which is double the protein content of wheat and three times that of rice. For this reason, pulses are called "vegetarian's meat". While pulses are generally high in protein, and the digestibility of that protein is also high, they often are relatively poor in the essential amino acid methionine, although Indian cuisine includes sesame seeds, which contain high levels of methionine. Grains (which are they deficient in lysine) are commonly consumed along with pulses to form a complete protein diet.
Pulses have significant nutritional and health advantages for consumers
 They are the most important dietary predictor of survival in older people of different ethnicities
 And in the Seven Countries Study, legume consumption was highly correlated with a reduced mortality from coronary heart disease.
1. Dry beans
* Kidney bean, haricot bean, pinto bean, navy bean
* Lima bean, butter bean
* Azuki bean, adzuki bean
* Mung bean, golden gram, green gram
* Black gram, Urad
* Scarlet runner bean
* Moth bean
* Tepary bean
2. Dry broad beans
* Horse bean
* Broad bean
* Field bean
3. Dry peas
* Garden pea
* Protein pea
4. Chickpea, Garbanzo, Bengal gram
5. Dry cowpea, Black-eyed pea, blackeye bean
6. Pigeon pea, Arhar /Toor, cajan pea, congo bean
8. Bambara groundnut, earth pea
9. Vetch, common vetch
11. Minor pulses include:
* Lablab, hyacinth bean
* Jack bean , sword bean
* Winged bean
* Velvet bean, cowitch
* Yam bean
Edible Sprouts are germinated plant seeds which are edible. They are usually produced by soaking the seeds at regular intervals over a 1-4 day interval. Sprouts are believed to be highly nutritious and rich in enzymes which promote good health.
Convenience: - They can be easily grown anywhere.
Offers a variation: - With their nutty flavor and crisp texture. Sprouts are simply a nice change from vegetable.
Cooking of Pulses and legumes. : Since pulses and legumes are very low in moisture content they have to be soaked in water. It’s advisable to soak pulses and boil them in the same water in which soaked as some nutrients may have bleached out to water.
Besides boiling pulses are roasted, fried and ground to make flour and then be used for various purposes.
Uses of Pulses
1. As dals - the basic course of Indian cookery.
2. As soups - e.g. Mulligatawny
3. Providing mutual supplementation of amino acids in Khicdi
4. As flour in missi roti, Besani roti.
5. As basic ingredient for idlis, uttapas and chillas.
6. As base ingredient or coating as in pakodas, wadas of various kinds.
7. As base for desserts like laddoos, mobanthal, payasam, Boondi.
8. As snacks like fried dal, sev, ganthias
9. Base ingredients for papads.
10. As stuffing as in dal kachories, puran polies, stuffed tikkis.
11. In chats and sprouted salads.