You must Sign In to post a response.
  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Knife skills

    No, I am not in a murderous mood. I am referring to the skill of chopping vegetables and fruits. I love watching TV reality shows of cooking competitions, especially Master Chef Australia. I am quite fascinated by the way in which the competitors chop stuff so agilely and at such high speed, not to mention how finely everything is diced. Most of them are so good that they can even chop in a manner which ensures all the pieces are evenly cut, whether in cubes or circles or thin, straight pieces.

    I really admire such artistic knife skills. I am not at all good in cutting a fruit - any fruit! - in fact, it is really hopeless. I do manage to cut vegetables in a reasonably good manner, not bothered too much about different shapes and sizes of the cut pieces, but do try not to have chunky bits. Also, I take my own sweet time over it and not in any quick manner as such. I also take care when using a knife and I think only on two occasions have cut a finger in the process.

    What about you?
  • #638033
    Yes. Cutting with a knife is an art. I don't cut vegetables for my wife, but I cut fruits for Panchamirtham in my temple. I cut Banana; Mango; Jack fruit; Pine apple; Apple; Orange; Guaua; Dates; Grapes. Out of all, cutting the jack fruit is a difficult one, the second one is the pine apple. I enjoy cutting them. I always get one of my finger injured.

    I have seen my good wife cutting the white stem of the Banana (Vaazhai thandu) which is a good medicine for Hernia. Really it is a difficult job to cut and get the right material to prepare a dish. It contains threads like item which need to be removed. She uses a fixed knife fitted on a wooden plate (Aruvamanai). With each cut, she used to wind the thread around her finger and repeats it with each cut. I really appreciate her talent. Many women do not know the knack of cutting the banana stem.

    Is there anyone(male or female) who knows how to cut a banana stem?

    No life without Sun

  • #638035
    It is true cutting vegetables with a knife is really an art. Generally, I think ladies in the houses are having better skills in cutting the vegetables evenly. I like the way my wife uses the knife for cutting the vegetables. I tried many times but I am not able to get as evenly as she gets. Some are big, some are small and the difference in length will be very high. My wife tells me if the vegetable is cut like that the fry will not be uniform.
    always confident

  • #638040
    Although, no one in my family is specialist in using knife but I saw in few of the shops. I do feel that the consistency & interest is what lead to these skills.

    We are sharing our experience in using knife but there are other actions evident in those restaurants & Dhaba which surprises us with the human expertise but quite remarkable as well.

  • #638043
    Well cutting the vegetables with knife is certainly a art and not every one is expert in it. And dicing the vegetables with a arvamanai in Tamil we call it and there is no exact translation even in google.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #638047
    Cutting the vegetables or fruits in shapes and sizes for the different dishes is a real art. I guess it comes with experience.

    Making bindi curry , for example, requires that it needs to be cut into the finest small pieces. The same bindi for sambar is different.

    Ditto for several vegetables that go into making what we call as "aviyal", a superb dish having many vegetables, curd, green chilies and some coconut all carefully mixed into a paste and boiled in water.

    There is possibly nothing wrong in taking some time to do it. After all, every one of us may be good at something, but not very good at something else. There are so many husbands who happily do the job of cutting vegetables with knifes ( I do). There are many husbands who even cook so well.

    So, life goes on. These are small little things in life and that's about all.

  • #638055
    I enjoy cutting vegetables for various dishes and also like cutting fruits, eating straight, for fruit salad and for the pooja purposes like Panchamrutam etc. Even as a bachelor I was cooking food for a few years. From trial and error and experience over years I had developed some skill in this regard.
    But for cutting into very thin pieces we need the knife to be very sharp and thin. Knives were not so kind to me at times, and I had to let many millilitres of my blood due to many small cuts and bruises.
    But all that did not ward me off from my interest in cutting vegetable and fruits. My wife has even now not mastered my skill in slicing white coconut kernel into very thin circles or spirals. Sometimes I can thus slice a whole half shell coconut into spiral rings in one stretch without breaking much.

  • #638062
    I'm terrible at slicing and dicing. I love how Gordon Ramsey used to throw temper tantrums on the sets of MasterChef. But he once demonstrated how to slice a fish. Now I don't eat fish, but the basic principle is to escape the spine and cutting chunks around it, which is exactly applied to one-seeded fruits like mango. Fruits are cut in different manner. Slices of watermelon, plates of pineapple, orange pieces etc...; and as seeds increase, the softness increases and cutting becomes very easy. Vegetables too are cut and diced depending on what parts are eatable.
    Though I'm no expert here are some general advices. I compare vegetables to parts of human body, so bear with me .
    Finger-like peas,beans,okra etc are cut with a surgical incision traversing and transversing the vegetable. In this method the peel is of a little importance because the thickness of skin is negligible.
    Limb-like cucumbers,all gourds,etc are cut by horizontal slicing and dicing. Here we get a regular shape.
    Head-like cabbage,pumpkin, beet root,potato,onion etc are dealt with consecutive chops and made in fine pieces.

    That is all I observed.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #638095
    Chopping or slicing vegetables and fruits is no doubt an art and is a skill that needs to be mastered. It is not an easy process if you are really serious about the shapes and sizes. The size and dimensions differ for different curries and so is the case with different kind of fruits. I do cut vegetables and can do it with near perfection but I take my own time and is always careful not to injure myself. Using a knife is something we should be careful about. I believe it is part of the syllabus in cookery classes. I can dice potatoes, carrots and the like, can shred cabbages and onions with ease and so on. Peeling the skin is something which I don't like much because it takes more time than chopping or slicing.
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #638134
    I get many forward videos of Indian fruit vendors, roadside eateries and small shops where in the person is so experienced that they will peel,slice, dice and mix the fruits with so speed and accuracy that it is amazing to watch the videos. There are also some videos about vegetable and fruit carving that is also impressive.

    Mangoes, cucumber, watermelon, papaya etc will at times be tossed high and then caught in a bowl correctly.
    I do some chopping but not perfectly and I do it slowly. I think, if we practice and do it regularly we can also be consistent.

  • Sign In to post your comments