Palayok Cooking the Old Way
Here is my share for #foodphotography contest by @juliank
Today I would show you how to cook rice in one of our traditional earthenwares here in our country. For centuries this has been used by our ancestors to cook and prepare delicious meals for the family. Until now this clay pot is still used to cook and serve food in our native restaurants. Here at home I would show you how it is done. How to cook using......................
To add to the experience what better way to cook using the Palayok is by also using our traditional wood burned stove. This I found just lying around our back yard. A bit rusty it's just needs a little dusting and should be fine. We will have the fire roaring in this stove in no time.
Next we need firewood to fuel our cooking. Since we do not have much trees around and most of the fire wood was already discarded by my aunt. I needed to find some and a quick trip to the market place I found discarded crates that would burn well as firewood.
I disassembled the crates and took out the nails and we have perfect firewood that would be good enough that could last us for a couple of days without using our gas stove. But the question is will I be able keep it up using only firewood. Maybe occasionally but not everyday. I could imagine how hard it was to cook back in the days. No stoves with one click that does the trick. Modern amenities makes life easier but it is fun cooking the old way once in a while.
I remember how my grandma used to cook rice. She always added leaves called Pandan (screwpine) . This plant is used as flavoring here in our country for dishes and deserts. Adding this leave in cooking rice adds a fragrance to it that I may say similar to the scent of vanilla. The pleasant sweet smell on your rice adds a hypnotic aroma that would invite you to the dinner table and there is no sense in fighting it.
Now we have our rice and this variant is called Malunggay Rice. The Malunggay plant also known as Moringa in other countries it is rich with vitamins and nutrients. This rice has been embedded with leaves from the plant as you could see there are some green grains on our rice.
There are different ways in seasoning a new pot. Some fill it with water and just bring it to a boil, some immerse it in water for 3 days and some just rub the inside of the pot with oil. Me I just used the boiling method as I was already eager to cook in it. Another thing to remember if you are planning to cook in this pot. Never use detergent on it for cleaning because like a cast iron pan it has pores that could absorb the detergent and would give your food a bad taste. To clean it just rub the inside with salt and it should be fine.
Time to put in the rice and for the pot this size we used four cups of rice which is good enough for 3-5 people.
You also need to wash the rice two times and dumping out the water each time. Not advisable to wash it more than two as I was told it could lose some nutrients in the process. I'm not a rice expert but we just follow the process that was handed down to us from our parents. Which was handed down to them by our grand parents and so on.
This is a bit tricky the part when you add in the water. If too much water is added your rice would be mushy and if not enough water your rice would be under cooked. You would be like eating grains of rice with uncooked and cooked portions. This is the step to get the perfect amount of water. You would stick your finger up to the bottom of the pot and use your finger to measure the rice. The measurement of the rice should be the same measurement of the amount of water that you would need. In using this method you would get perfect rice all the time.
Time to clean the Pandan Leaves as you would need it to add fragrance to you rice.
Tie the leaves in a knot before putting it in the pot along with the rice. No specific type of knot required any type would do.
Cover your pot and we are ready to cook.
Making a fire is like a walk in the park for me as I love camping and the outdoors. You just need kindling at the bottom and work your way up with thicker wood on the top to start your fire. Well I had the fire started in no time which I am proud of lol.
In cooking rice you would need to turn up the heat to bring the rice to a boil. You would see when you need to turn down your heat if water starts to boil out. Another thing about the Palayok water evaporates from the pores of the pot. So it is normal if you see moisture outside the pot.
After it has boiled out and you have turned down the heat. Just lift the lid and check if it is cooked by tasting it or just by looking at the texture if it is already soft.
Now here we are our rice cooked in our traditional way using the Palayok . If I may say this has been cooked perfectly even though it was my first time to cook this way. I will be honest with you though before I go. I had a little help from my one and only @mhel in getting this done and you thought I was a pro lol.
Again thanks Steemians for joining me in this walk thru in cooking the old way. I hope you enjoyed and hope to see you again.
Please vote @steemgigs as witness and help support @surpassinggoogle
Also thanks to @bayanihan where the impossible becomes possible thru unity.
Taken with Lumix GX85