Sunday, December 24, 2017

Tools, Preparation and Process

Beans is a popular vegetable in various parts of the world. It has uses in preparation of a variety of dishes. It grows well in areas with average temperatures ranging between 18 to 30 degrees centigrade. Lower temperatures result in night frosting. Higher temperatures make the flowers fall and reduce yields. It is also considered to be a profitable crop for the farmer with yields of 100 to 120 quintals per hectare. The entire crop cycle is a maximum of three months. Peak yield is received in about two months.

When can the farmer expect maximum yield? Quality of seeds is an important element in raising a good crop. Even with good quality seeds, yield is not high when sowed in hard soil. The seeds may not even germinate if the soil is not ready to support germination and growth. Preparation of the soil for growing the crop is very essential. The land is to be tilled and prepared for receiving the seeds and support germination. Addition of good quality manure would support the growth of plants by providing nutrients. Proper watering from time to time either by seasonal rains or irrigational facilities is required. Sunshine further supports proper growth of leaves and enhances yield. Weeds also grow well in these conditions as all the ingredients are supportive of their growth too! De-weeding is another important activity in the growth process. Any laxity in this process will result in good yield of weeds instead of beans.

Beans cultivation is one of the simplest example for raising a crop. There are many other complex crops like long term crops and plantation crops. Even here, the principles are the same. Land is to be prepared well, good quality manure and adequate water is to be provided and healthy environment is to be created for harvesting a bountiful crop. Any compromise in preparation and process would hurt the basic objectives of raising the crops for getting a good yield and making the venture profitable.

Curd Rice is a very popular dish in the Indian subcontinent. It is also prepared and consumed in other parts of the world. Many in South India consider a sumptuous lunch or dinner incomplete without curd rice. On an average day in such a household, cooked rice is consumed with curd or butter milk. But on a festival day or special occasion, a special curd dish is prepared and served at the end of the lunch or dinner. In some hotels, preparation of curd rice is more for giving an outlet to use left over cooked rice. It is made very watery and often its very sight repulses the eater. 

What is the best method to prepare Curd Rice? The following method can be used as it is tried and tested. 

Two parts of thick solid curd is to be mixed with one part of milk in a vessel. Mustard seeds, Bengal gram dal, Urad dal with curry leaves (kari patta) are to be seasoned (oggarane) in ghee and added to this mixture of curd and milk. Cashew nut pieces enhance the taste. Grated coconut is to be added liberally to this liquid and mixed well. This process itself will give out the aroma of curd rice even before rice is added to the mixture. Freshly cooked rice is to be added in small quantities to this liquid mixture till a right consistency is reached. Any dilution should be done only by using curd and milk mixture and not water. Adding curd to rice will never give the real taste of curd rice. Many people add other ingredients like onion pieces, coriander leaves, cucumber, grapes or pomegranate etc. It is a matter of opinion, but the real taste of curd rice is obtained without any of these items. All these items retain their own smell and taste and do not integrate themselves with the mixture.

Curd rice, or any other item for that matter, is at its best when three conditions are satisfied. All the ingredients used are to be of good quality. Even if one of the items is of inferior quality, it drags down the overall quality of the item. The utensils or tools used should also be of the ideal size and shape. Working with odd sized utensils or implements/tools is a big pain and those working in kitchen know this quite well. The process of preparation should also be faithfully followed. Compromising with the process will diminish the quality of the items. A few minutes of less heating results in undercooking. A few minutes of over heating will also spoil the items. Thus the right quality of the items prepared is the culmination of three things: quality of the ingredients, using the right tools and ensuring the diligent following of the proper process.

Principles of growing a beans crop or reparation of curd rice is equally applicable to learning and teaching. The objectives of learning are achieved when the following three conditions are fulfilled:

  • The first requirement is the availability of proper learning tools. The learning content should be ideal for the objectives and prepared to suit the learner's profile. The tools (teaching or training aids) used in the learning process are also to be matched with the objectives and pace of expected learning. 

  • Pre-learning is similar to the preparation made for raising a crop or cooking a dish. Pre-class study or pre-course study provides the proper background for receiving the enhanced learning inputs in face-to-face learning or further learning through other methods.

  • Following the prescribed learning process ensures that the learning takes place on the desired lines and full benefit of the learning aids and preparation made for the course is achieved. Compromise in learning process has the same effect of under cooking or over cooking of a dish. 

Just as a good yield is obtained in raising a crop or proper satisfaction is achieved in consuming a well-prepared dish, desired learning outcomes are achieved by following the above three; Proper learning tools or aids, vigorous preparatory learning and faithfully following the prescribed learning process.

1 comment:

  1. Connection of learning process to making of curd rice was amusing. I need to try making curd rice your way.