Adding depths of flavour in any dish is important, and a particular set of ingredients that do this trick are known as 'aromatics'. These comprise of herbs, vegetables, and spices that are added in a dish right in the beginning. Of these ingredients, chilis, garlic, and onions are perhaps the most commonly used.
A few aromatics are easy, but some are quite difficult. All of them should be learnt because they are just so much fun! Aromatics are prepared in a variety of ways, it depends. In the preparation of some aromatics, the solids are discarded and the liquid is used to add flavour to the dish.
Some aromatics can be left for preparation throughout half the day. The longer the duration, the bigger the chunks you can use and more flavour intensity is expected.If you are serving a quick dish, then it's ideal to chop small pieces, as that will speed up the cooking. In French cuisine, these tiny cube-shaped pieces of vegetables are known as 'brunoise'. A few ideal sizes are as follows:
- Sauces (fast cooking): Size of small cubes (brunoise)
- Soups: Mid-size
- Slow recipes: Large chunks
Here are a few tips to remember as well:
- Be careful with handling chilis, they can cause burning sensations on the skin and in the eyes. Do not touch yourself while handling chilis.
- If you are cutting onions, you are bound to have watery eyes. A glass of water beside you can help you with this.
- Using a sharp knife can save you a lot of time and injuries are also less likely.
- Always choose fresh ingredients over frozen ones.
Try all of them out and practice them on a daily or weekly basis to become an aromatics expert! Happy cooking!
Infographic by: Cuisine Vault