In the dash to cook, most people don’t seem to be conscious of the ingredients they use. Every dish exists because of the manner in which ingredients are prepared. Every ingredient, adds a unique flavour, texture and colour to the dish.
While cooking, it is important to understand the unique properties of each ingredient – the shape, the size, the raw flavour, the change in the aroma and taste when it is cooked in different ways; and how this ingredients compliments and contrasts with the above properties of other ingredients in the recipe. It sounds rude, but the new cook usually starts at the bottom of the learning curve and is more focussed on following a recipe than understanding these nuances. This might often lead to frustrations as not knowing your ingredients could lead to ruining the chances of success in the kitchen.
Today, learning is more accessible. There is no compulsion to go to the library, or buy an encyclopaedia. Like my friend Kanak Deshpande says “When in doubt; Google!” However, do check the authenticity of the information.