Lost in Translation

As a chef one the resources I widely use is Internet and more specifically the Google search for finding out information about food and recipes. I love the fact that google search gives me more information than I can possibly read and hence have to apply the cognitive brain to filter out unwanted information and take only what is needed.

A word of caution though for people using google for finding recipes; many of those recipes on internet are nor authentic or either correct, so use discretion to select the recipes.

Also, once the recipe is available and I feel it is what I need to make, then at times, I need to translate the recipe into Hindi. I use the Google Translation services for a quick word to word translation. While this service is very nice though it has never failed me to provide my daily dose of laughter and here is why;

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When I search for meaning of Hot Dog bread (the long bread used in making Hot Dog Sandwich), Google translates the literal meaning of the words.

 

 

 

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And then I search for Buck Wheat (kind of grain) and I again get literal translation of the word.

 

 

 

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And, the commonly used Heavy Cream (reduced milk) is literally Heavy according to translation service of Google.

 

 

 

While one can get a good laugh by searching for more words on translation service, I know what the ingredients in English look like and I also know Hindi as a language and hence I am aware that the translation is wrong.

Below are some more examples of what I found out.

But, I am also concerned as a chef as most of the Internet recipes are in English so a non English speaking person will use the translation services and will keep wondering about what ingredient to use in the recipe if such weird translations keep coming up. So, the complexity increases if one has to search recipes on Internet and then translate them too into local languages.

 

No debate on colour, black is the best.

The reports of an ever growing cosmetics market for skin whitening creams in India are abundant but this post is not about the cosmetics as I am a foodie and I will talk about food only. So you must be wondering how is the debate of colour applicable to food ?

Without any suspense, let me tell you that I am talking about the colour of rice today, yes you read it right, rice comes in various colours.

The common colours of rice are White and Brown but there is Red and Black.

rice_kernel- Healthy-Living.orgThe structure of rice grain shows some important parts like the Hull, Bran, Rice Germ and White Rice.

So firstly the key difference in a brown and white rice is that brown rice has only hull removed while white rice has the hull, bran and rice germ removed. The bran is brown in colour hence the brown colour of brown rice. Bran provides additional fiber when consuming brown rice while while same is absent in white rice.

The red or black colour of rice is due to presence of anthocyanin, a very powerful antioxidant, that gives the dark colour to the rice grain. Anthocyanin is also responsible for the dark red or purple coloured fruits and vegetables like dark purple eggplant, cranberries, blueberries etc.

White Rice:

White rice -alibaba.com Image Source: alibaba.com

The rice obtained after milling to remove hull, bran and rice germ and polished to give bright white and shiny appearance is white rice. Due to this white rice has higher storage life and less spoilage.

The milling and polishing processes both remove nutrients. A diet of unenriched white rice could cause neurological disease beriberi, due to a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1).

Brown Rice:

brown-rice-butterbeliever.com Image Source: butterbeliever.com

With just the hull removed, you get brown rice.  The rice is nutty flavor, and is chewier and more nutritious than white rice. Brown rice is good source of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and manganese, and is high in fiber.

Red Rice:

red-rice-wisegeek.comImage Source: wisegeek.com

The red rice has its colour due to presence of anthocyanin and it is eaten unhulled or partially hulled. It is has a red husk and nutty in flavour.

The anthocyanin is believed to have properties that can reduce inflammation and help in weight management. The manganese present in red rice helps in strengthening metabolism, while magnesium helps in migraine, lowers blood pressure as well as risks of heart attacks. Selenium present in red rice protects the body against infections.

Black Rice:

blackrice-amritawholesale.comImage Source: amritawholesale.com

Black rice or purple rice is more famous as ‘Forbidden Rice’ as it was only served to the royals in China and forbidden for the masses.

Black rice has a very high amount of flavanoid phytonutrients, a high source of fiber, substantial mineral content including iron and copper, and even a good source of plant based protein. The hull of the grain has one of the highest levels of anthocyanin antioxidants of any food. Its low sugar and glycemic content makes it an extremely desirable dietary option for heart patients, diabetics as well as for those with high blood pressure.

A quick comparison for every 100 gms serving of rice:

Polished White rice – contains 6.8 protein, 1.2 iron, 0.6 fiber.
Brown rice – 7.9 protein, 2.2 iron, and 2.8 fiber.
Red rice – 7.0 protein, 5.5 iron, and 2.0 fiber.
Black rice – 8.5 protein, 3.5 iron, 4.9 fiber, and the highest amount of anthocyanin (antioxidants) compared to other rice varieties.

So for a healthy diet, the best option is get the darkest colour of rice. Black is the Best !!

Rice cooking methods by removing starch:

For White Rice (1 cup):
  1. Wash rice thoroughly under tap water by gently rubbing the grains in between your fingers. This will remove the dirt as well as some of the starch. Repeat this process till water runs clear or if doing it in a pot then atleast change water 3 times.
  2. Soak the rice in 1.5 cups of water for 10 minutes.
  3. In a deep pan boil 3 cups of water and add 1/2 tsp of salt.
  4. Strain the rice and add to boiling water. Cook rice on a medium flame for about 5 -6 minutes.
  5. Once the rice starts to boil, a foamy and thick creamy liquid will start to float on top.
  6. Remove and discard this starchy foam with a laddle. Repeat this process for a couple of times until the starchy content will start to fade away.
  7. Allow the rice to cook until the water is reduced in quantity and rice grains start to float on top.
  8. Spoon out some rice and check the grain. The grain of rice should feel soft and tender.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully sieve it through a strainer.
  10. Run under cold water. All the starchy and cloudy liquid will wash away from the boiled rice. Wash for a minute and very gently run your fingers through the rice to wash away any remaining starch without crushing the grains.
  11. Let the water drain and then spread the rice on a plate and let it dry.
  12. Before serving, you can reheat rice in a microwave or steam the rice.
  13. To steam rice, add rice back to pan it was cooked, add 1/4 cup water, cover the pan and heat on low flame for 3-4 minutes. Do not stir the rice.
  14. Remove the pan from heat and let it sit undisturbed for 5-6 minutes.
  15. Before serving, fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.
For Brown Rice (1 cup):
  1. Wash rice thoroughly under tap water by gently rubbing the grains in between your fingers. This will remove the dirt as well as some of the starch. Repeat this process till water runs clear or if doing it in a pot then atleast change water 3 times.
  2. Soak the rice in 1.5 cups of water for 30 minutes.
  3. In a deep pan boil 4 cups of water and add 1/2 tsp of salt.
  4. Strain the rice and add to boiling water. Cook rice on a medium flame for about 2 -3 minutes.
  5. Reduce the flame to low and let the rice cook.
  6. A foamy and thick creamy liquid will start to float on top.
  7. Remove and discard this starchy foam with a laddle. Repeat this process for a couple of times until the starchy content will start to fade away.
  8. Allow the rice to cook until the water is reduced in quantity and rice grains start to float on top.
  9. Spoon out some rice and check the grain. The grain of rice should feel soft and tender.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully sieve it through a strainer.
  11. Run under cold water. All the starchy and cloudy liquid will wash away from the boiled rice. Wash for a minute and very gently run your fingers through the rice to wash away any remaining starch without crushing the grains.
  12. Let the water drain and then spread the rice on a plate and let it dry.
  13. Before serving, you can reheat rice in a microwave or steam the rice.
  14. To steam rice, add rice back to pan it was cooked, add 1/4 cup water, cover the pan and heat on low flame for 3-4 minutes. Do not stir the rice.
  15. Remove the pan from heat and let it sit undisturbed for 5-6 minutes.
  16. Before serving, fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.

Chef Inspirations

100ftJourneyIt’s been a while that I have been waiting to write my first blog and was thinking of the topic to put up as my first blog. After watching the movie “The Hundred Foot Journey”, I felt as if I found my topic. Being a chef in making, I couldn’t ask for a better movie to present my views about the movie to be my first blog.

This not a review of the movie, but my views and my learning from the movie. The main protagonist in the movie is Hassan and he develops this taste for flavor of foods from his childhood. The early influences in this life being his mother, who is one excellent cook inspite of not being formally trained. The twist of fate takes the family into France and the home of best-known French cuisine. The twist is when Hassan’s father decides to open up an Indian restaurant right in front of a Michelin Star French restaurant. The ensuing culinary fight between both restaurants takes some ugly turns and become a racial fight. The owner of the Michelin star restaurant Madame Mallory decides to take first step to patch up. Hassan is injured in a accident and both his hands get burnt so he asks Madame Mallory to cook a omelet with his recipe and she just loves the omelet enough to hire him in his restaurant. Hassan works his Indian touch on the French cuisine and earns another Michelin star for the restaurant. This lets him step into the bigger world of wonderful innovative cuisines. Hassan is excited living his dream but soon feels the loss of inner satisfaction and lost in the world of made up praises and glory. Finally he returns back to his roots and follows his heart to make it big with his flock.

“For me too, life is where heart is and the best in a man is seen when he follows his heart.”