We bring you an A-Z food guide to help you understand the most popular terms used in cooking.
A small tasty portion of food or a drink served before dinner. See recipes for Appetizers.
Baking means cooking something using dry heat generally in an oven.
The method of baking flans, tarts and other pastry cases without a filling.
It is a mixture of liquid and dry ingredients that is either beaten or stirred, has a rich consistency and can be poured.
To introduce air into a mixture by a vigorous over and over motion, using an electric beater, fork, wooden spoon, or wire whisk.
Adding an egg, melted fat or even a liquid to a dry mixture to hold it all together.
To add food in boiling water typically to either remove the skin or whiten them.
Combining all the ingredients in a manner that a thorough and smooth mixture is obtained.
To cook until the boiling point is reached.
To put meringue or a cooked dish in the oven or under the grill for a short period of time to give it a golden colour.
To spread thinly with a brush.
An appetiser of seasoned food usually served on little pieces of crisp toast or crackers.
A baking dish usually oven-proof with a tight-fitting lid. Food cooked in a casserole is served straight from it.
To cut food into very small pieces with a sharp knife.
To cover food with a thin layer of flour, egg, bread crumbs or batter.
A vessel having small holes in the bottom, used as a strainer.
A term describing the texture, usually the thickness of a mixture.
To beat sugar and fat in order to incorporate air, soften the fat and break down the sugar crystals. This can be done either by rubbing or working ingredients against the side of the bowl with a wooden spoon or fork.
To remove the inner portion.
Small cubes of bread, fried or toasted until crisp. See recipes for Croutons.
Small equal pieces, usually of about 12 mm. Each side.
To cook food in a deep layer of hot fat.
To cut into small cubes, generally of about 6 mm. Size.
To make a solution with a liquid and a dry substance e.g sugar and water.
To scatter small amounts of butter, nuts, chocolates, etc. over the surface of a food item.
A mixture of flour and liquid in combination with other ingredients, thick enough to knead and roll.
To coat food with some ingredients such as seasoned flour or sugar.
To sprinkle or coat lightly with flour or sugar.
A term used for butter, margarine, ghee and hydrogenated oils (like vanaspati).
To cover a food item with brandy, etc., then light and serve flaming.
To combine two mixtures (e.g. adding beaten egg-whites to a souffle) very gently with a wire whisk or spoon using an under-an-over motion, until thoroughly mixed.
To cook in a small amount of fat.
To decorate with portions of colourful and contrasting food.
Coated with a thin sugar syrup cooked to the crack stage e.g. glace cherries.
To add lustre or shine to a food item by coating with syrup or jelly.
To shred foods by rubbing against a grater.
To cook directly under a flame or heating in an oven.
To cut or crush ingredients into powder form.
Aromatic plants used for seasoning and garnishing.
The process of covering with a sugar coating; or the coating itself.
To work and press the dough hard with the heels of the hands so that the dough becomes stretched and elastic.
Soaking food in a liquid (e.g. a mixture like french dressing or lemon juice) to add flavour to it.
Stiffly beaten mixture of egg-whites and sugar used to cover the top of a pie and browned in the oven or made into small cakes or cookies and baked.
To heat solid ingredients until they become liquid.
To stir, usually with a spoon, until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
To cut off the outside skin with a knife e.g. from potatoes or apples.
To strip off the outer covering e.g. for oranges.
Shells of pastries filled with a creamed mixture of vegetables.
To remove seeds from fruits.
To remove pith from fruits.
To allow the dough to rise until it has increased its bulk twice the original size by putting it in a warm place.
A smooth thick mixture obtained by passing cooked food through a sieve (do not confuse with the Hindi term “puri”).
To heat oven to stated temperature before the product goes in.
Frying foods in a tiny amount of fat until tender and golden.
Passing through a fine sieve to remove all the lumps.
To boil on a slow flame.
Long thin pieces (usually of almonds).
To immerse in liquid for some time.
A light dish incorporating a lot of air. It can either be a hot baked dish or a cold one.
Cooking in the steam arising from a pan of boiling water.
Cooking slowly in a tiny amount of liquid for a long period of time.
To mix with a spoon, etc., using a rotary motion.
The liquid in which vegetables are cooked.
To remove the seed from the fruit.
To brown and dry the surface of foods such as bread or nuts by heating.
To lightly mix ingredients without mashing them e.g. for salads.
Until the liquid has become firm – often refers to a gelatine, jelly or custard mixture.
Beating rapidly in order to produce expansion through the incorporation of air, generally seen in whipped cream and egg-whites.