Reason to be here..

lavina masand mehraIt’s taken me weeks and days to finally put these thoughts down. This is about a recipe that is THE reason why I endeavoured to start my blog Four Steps or Less. This simple recipe first hit me hard and then motivated me to do something about what struck me most. Looking at it positively, this recipe for चटपटा भुना मेवा – Spicy Roasted Nuts – that I will be posting later today is the source of inspiration for me to think about, and talk about green cooking or being energy smart. This started when a TV cooking show hosted by a popular chef was running in the background and my subconscious self was possibly paying attention to it while I was actually doing something else. I was dismayed and shocked to see that a conventional recipe of roasting nuts suggested that the oven needed to be preheated  to 300 to 400 degrees then left running for another 20-30 minutes to roast nuts. Considering that we are becoming mindful and feeling responsible about making the earth green and reducing our carbon footprint, this much oven time for the simple pleasure of enjoying roasted nuts seemed criminal to me. This subliminal viewing of a cooking show made me pay attention to the amount of oven cooking happening in this part of the world. After some research and observing more conventional recipes for most popular dishes I discerned that most recipes that asked for an average of 30-45 minutes of oven time could actually be prepared using alternate cooking methods in less than half the time that oven cooking took. That would mean if we are really serious about saving energy and time and genuinely trying out alternative cooking methods, we could reduce the carbon footprint of our cooking by half.

I fully recognize that oven baking is popular as it is convenient, it gives that scrumptious golden brown colour and a delectable crisp crust to savour. To add to these reasons, all of us are so used to conventional oven cooking that it seems like it is the only way to cook a particular dish. However, I honestly feel that the colour and crust both could still be achieved by using alternate green and smart cooking methods. I am determined to try out some conventional oven recipes by replacing the energy-sucking oven cooking method with alternate smart cooking methods or a fusion of green cooking being used for most of the cooking time with some time on the oven, if needed. I sincerely hope that this will contribute to minimizing damage to the environment. This recipe will be the first one in the series that I will try my hands at and post them on my blog in the days to come. If it makes even one of you try this energy efficient method, I would have achieved my purpose of starting this conversation about green cooking.