This student work sample is a representation of a wiki.
Design brief: Your task is to investigate, generate, plan and manage, produce and evaluate a hawker-style food from an Asian destination that will be sold at a hawker-style food stall during lunchtime Hawker food is ready-to-eat food sold in a street or market by a hawker or vendor, often from a portable food booth or cart. You are required to produce two serves of your hawker-style food and the appearance, aroma and flavour of your food should be appealing and interesting so that local people are encouraged to buy your food. The ingredients that are used in your selected food should be authentic to your chosen country. An accompanying side dish and sauce should be provided. The hawker-style food must be a savoury food and able to be prepared within 75 minutes for assessment.
The country that I am undertaking my cooking school experience is in India. I chose it because I love cooking and eating curries and other Indian food but I haven't necessarily had that many chances to cook it. I also feel like Indian cuisine gives me lots of room to be creative and has many possibilities in terms of ingredients.
Characteristics of Indian cuisine
Each region of Indian has its own style of cooking and distinct flavours. The North is known for tandoori and korma dishes; the South for hot and spicy foods; the East specialises in chilli curries and the West uses coconut and seafood, whereas the Central part of India is a blend of all. The majority of India’s population practises Hinduism, so vegetarianism is common. A meal can typically consist of rice, accompanied by vegetables sautéed with spices, dhal which is a blend of pulses, and unleavened bread. Indian cooking is built around spices that are widely cultivated according to the region.
For example, cardamom, cloves and peppers are harvested mainly in the south, while chillies and turmeric come mainly from Rajasthan, Kashmir and Gujarat. The period of British colonial rule influences the food of India by blending eastern spices into western food. Examples include kedgeree (a rice and lentil breakfast dish), mulligatawny (‘pepper water’) soup and the curry. Curry is a catch-all term used originally to refer to any sauced dish of spicy meat, fish or vegetables and is probably an adaption of the Tamil word ‘kari’ meaning ‘sauce’
Three (3) main ingredients from Indian cuisine that could be found in a hawker-style food
This is garam masala. It is a traditional Indian ingredient which is a combination of spices. It is widely used in Indian cooking to add flavour. Garam masala is mainly used in Northern India and across most of the Asian cuisine. It will be used as a spice in my curry to flavour the sauce.
Mint is a very common ingredient in Indian cooking as it often provides a cool and refreshing change from spicy, hot curries. It is often used as a garnish and will be in the yogurt sauce in my curry to refresh the palate.
Coconut milk is used a lot in Indian cuisine, specifically curries, as it adds a rich and full flavour. It also complements the spices that are added to the curry. In my dish it will be in the curry to add a basic and rich flavour.
One (1) cooking technique from Indian cuisine that could be found in my recipe
The cooking technique in my dish is deep frying. Deep frying is used in Indian cuisine for many things such as samosas.
Two (2) sauces or side dishes from Indian cuisine that could be found in my recipe
This is a yoghurt, mint and coriander sauce/dressing, commonly known as a raita. It is commonly used in Indian cuisine as it soothes the palate after a spicy, hot curry. In my pizza it will be drizzled on top.
Roti is a very common accompaniment in Indian cuisine and a lot of Asian cuisines. It is a type of bread, but it is flat and pancake shaped. It will be the base of my pizza and in a square shape instead of a circular shape.
Three design options were developed. The preferred design option is outlined below. I used Thinglink to detail my decision making.
1/4 level tsp ground cloves
1/4 level tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
200g skinless boneless chicken breasts
1/2 white onion
1 clove of garlic
1/4 chilli powder
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
200g tin of crushed tomatoes
75ml chicken stock
200g tin of light coconut milk
1/4 cup greek yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped mint
1/4 cup fresh coriander
1/4 sweet potato
2 roti sheets
To make sauce
The packaging required for my hawker-style food: My product will be served in a small Styrofoam box as it is convenient and covers it fully. It is also the right size (small) and can be held easily. Additionally, if the product steams, it wouldn't soften the box like cardboard.
Testing and evaluating my design idea by trialling my recipe at home.
My experience and any modifications needed as a result of the production of the prototype
Skills required: Overall it was good to familiarise myself with the recipe, so I can make it more fluently on the day.
Use of time: The trial went well overall, however it took a bit longer than 75 mins. This was because I had to cook and marinate more chicken, which took a substantial amount of time. I also had to fry up 8 pieces of roti, which took up some time as well. Hopefully in the prac, this will decrease the time to make the total time under 75 mins. I first combined the marinade with the chicken and let that sit until cooking time. I then made the sauce and let that thicken while I prepared all the other elements and ingredients. While the sauce was thickening, I cut and fried the sweet potato, washed the coriander and made the yogurt dressing. After that, I cooked the chicken and assembled the dish. I found it challenging to keep track of all the elements, which is why I need to be organised in the prac.
Sensory properties: The sweet potato crispies went well, however there was only a small amount of them. In the prac I hope to make more of them so that it is more prominent in the texture.
Family member's feedback
Mum: Nice presentation and variety of colours. Flavour is well rounded with a variety of textures.
My brother: A good combination of flavours. The sweet potato topping was nice, but there could have been more of it.
Dad: It was good.
Did my hawker-style food have authentic ingredients for Indian cuisine?
My dish contained garam masala, coconut milk and mint. These are all typical ingredients in Indian cooking as it either provides flavour or a cool sensation in comparison to the spice.
Did my hawker-style food have an enticing aroma?
I thought my hawker style food did have an enticing aroma, as the scent of all the spices together, fried off were very aromatic and typical of Indian food.
Did my hawker-style food have vibrant colours?
My dish did have very vibrant colours because firstly the colour of the roti was a neutral golden colour, which provided a base colour for all the different ingredients. The colour of the sauce was a vibrant orange colour, which was the typical colour of the curry. The coriander on top provided a nice contrast to the orange colour of the sauce, and the potato crispies (orange/brown) on top tied in the sauce to the garnish.
Did my hawker-style food look appealing to a potential customer?
I think that it did look appealing as the vibrant colours enticed the customer. Also the freshness of the coriander on top really made it look fresh and appealing. The potato crispies on top also added a certain appeal to the dish, as they are a crunch which is much needed in the dish.
Did my hawker-style food have the authentic flavours for Indian cuisine?
The flavours of the dish had appropriate flavours for Indian cuisine, as the mixture of all the spices and the yogurt was a familiar, Indian flavour. The coolness and creaminess of the raita complimented the hot sauce, which is also typical of Indian cuisine. Seeing as I also marinated the chicken, it doubled the punch in the flavours and spices.
Did I use my time efficiently when preparing my hawker-style food?
I think that I did use my time effectively, as I made sure I was on time to the lesson and I got started straight away. I also had a clear idea of what I was going to do and knew my recipe well. I think that the trial run at home really helped, as I didn't get it done in time then, but in the lesson, I actually finished early. I also made sure I did what I needed to differently to the trial, like doing other things when the sauce was thickening up.
What modifications would I make to my hawker-style food or my method of preparation or serving?
Overall I was pretty happy with the outcome of the dish. However the one thing I would have changed is the time in which I fried the chicken. I would have done it right before serving, to ensure that it was warm. Although I did it a little early, the heat from the sauce compensated for it. The portion size was a little large for a street stall food item as it was a little difficult to handle.
What did I learn about myself as a result of the experience at the cooking school?
I learnt the importance of the trial at home, as it provides a time in which I could trial the recipe and fix anything that was wrong with it. I also recognised the importance of familiarising yourself with the recipe, as it saves time in the prac. The prac also meant that I could do things differently in the prac and I knew what I was doing.
What did I learn about a class mate's hawker-style food?
I tried Nikki's dumplings. I thought that the flavours were typical of a Chinese cuisine, and the dipping sauce enhanced the flavour of the filling. The filling was nice and moist as well, and not as dry as I thought it was going to be. I learnt that the flavour of Chinese cooking is very salty and contains lots of ingredients. Overall I really enjoyed the dumplings.
How did the cooking school experience affect my thoughts about Indian cuisine?
I haven't necessarily had the chance to cook much Indian food, but I absolutely love it. I loved having the chance to produce my own Indian dish in a different way to how it would usually be presented. My thoughts have changed in a sense that I have realised that Indian cuisine contains a lot of spices and aromatic ingredients.