Updated: June 24, 2022 1:21 p.m IS
By Pushpesh Pant
New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): Ever since our prehistoric ancestors stumbled upon the joys of accidentally cooked food, there has been no let-up in the invention of devices that reduce the drudgery of the kitchen. The art and science of cooking has explored new horizons with sizzling gadgets and gimmicks. We’ve come a long way from a pair of Paleolithic knives, mortar and pestle, whetstone and tongs to air fryers, smart slow cookers, sophisticated food processors and even fully automated Fulka-making machines.
As soon as a trend seems to die down, a new trend lures us with the latest kitchen gadgets that promise a large selection of delicious and healthy delicacies in no time at all. We are talking about accessories and gadgets for the home kitchen. Commercial kitchens are a different ball game.
A number of kitchen appliances have appeared and disappeared with monotonous regularity over the years. Various sandwich makers, battery-powered hand mixers, slow cookers, aerosol-free oil sprays, rice cookers and curd makers. Most have been forgotten without a trace.
Necessity is not always the mother of invention. Most of the time it is big companies that fuel our greed and create an ambitious need. Celebrity chefs and nutritionists are becoming brand ambassadors to push more refined and smarter products. Making an informed decision is becoming increasingly difficult.
In our opinion, the dishwasher is the most useful appliance in the kitchen, taking on the dirtiest and most humiliating work assigned to everyone. Surprisingly, they have not yet caught on and are still a kind of status symbol in the scope of delivery of a state-of-the-art modular kitchen.
It’s not just the cost ranging from Rs. With 25,000 to Rs. 50,000 working against them, many people feel that the vessels used in Indian cooking – patila, degh, karhai and metallic thali katora and tumbler – do not lend themselves to proper machine cleaning. While the utensils of Western cooking, where the main course is a dish on a plate and the glasses for wine and water can be treated in the dishwasher, the Indian housewife or cook can only be satisfied if the final rinse is done manually .
Washing machines met similar resistance when they first appeared, and we think that with a little tweaking, the dishwasher can also become indispensable in most urban homes. As for the cost, as the sales volume increases, prices will inevitably come down. Of course, questions about the regular supply of electricity and running water would always arise.
At the top of the yuppies’ wish list are the air fryers (price tags ranging from 8,000 to 25,000 rupees).
We Indians love our fried things, be it samosa, pakode-bhajiye, bade, kofte-kachori. Well, honestly, with Puri Kachori or Parantha, the air fryer can’t help us, but with little imagination and consumer perseverance, delicious samosa, pakoda, fried chicken and fish can be enjoyed at home without the hassle of deep frying. Roast meat. The first generation of air fryers tended to be bulky and daunting. The second generation takes up a little more space than the good old microwave. The problem with this is that those who love samosa pakoda prefer to buy them at their favorite Halwai store next door or around the corner, so addicted are they to the taste of the local fairy tales! They choose to forget all about trans fats when they stray from the path of virtue and swallow the piping-hot stuff.
A few months ago there was a lot of fuss about the launch of a fully automated roti maker for NRIs. Some well-heeled Indians bought one in Dubai, more to show off than use. All you have to do is measure out the flour and water and press the button. The dough was kneaded, divided into patties, rolled into chapatis and after 5-7 minutes you could start collecting fulkas from the spout. The apparatus costs a little over fifty thousand and has yet to be imported into India. Perhaps the launch was delayed due to the lukewarm response.
Making raw vegetables and fruit safe to eat was once entrusted to the “pink solution” of potassium permanganate. Now the fruit and vegetable peel is infused with ozone with the help of a special device. No fruit, we are told, remains forbidden thereafter. You can mess around with an ozone vegetable bathtub, which costs between 2,500 and 8,000 rupees.
Since globalization, the younger generation has become addicted to foreign snacks such as pizza and grilled meats and vegetables, as well as real coffee as opposed to instant cups.
Tempting are a whole range of portable grills, priced at Rs 7,500 and up, which can even be set up on a small patio or crowded balcony. Fired with charcoal pellets, these firang tandoors satisfy the cravings of carnivores craving the flavors of the jungle.
Small gas and wood-fired pizza ovens attract interested looks
from potential buyers. With other ingredients readily available on grocery store shelves, the temptation to have this tasty treat at home whenever you feel like it is almost irresistible. However, these are exorbitantly expensive and unlikely to find their way into Indian households.
For the true coffee lover, nothing comes close to the high that a real espresso offers. Nescafe has released a machine that very closely replicates the espresso made in Italian baristas. Again, the cost of consumables currently makes the total cost of ownership quite high. Most people opt for the French Press, the filter percolator or the South Indian coffee maker.
Technological advances simplify life, save time and energy, but at the same time take something intangible away from enjoying the good life. Science and technology in the kitchen is akin to using software to create graphics versus painting to creating cut and paste music. While this could allow more people to indulge in the culinary arena, the mindless use of “smart” gadgets may jeopardize the culinary arts.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the above article are those of the author and do not reflect those of ANI. (ANI)