Quick recipes, the ones that can be prepared easily in a short period of time, cater to the culinary requirements of people who do not want to toil in the kitchen for long hours owing to lifestyle demands which may be lack of time, energy, interest, or infrastructure for preparing food. Quick food is usually made with few ingredients, the cooking methods are very simple involving just one or two steps, and the cooking equipment required is minimal. Quick recipes include main courses, accompaniment dishes, appetizers, snacks, and desserts. Quick recipes are also commercially popular as fast food recipes or ready-to-eat recipes which have gained high popularity with the young generations across the world for their ready availability and appetizing flavors. Though they appear to be the same, quick food differs from fast foods in that the term can be applied to any food which can be prepared in a short span of time including main courses. Fast food mostly refers to snack or junk food. Hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, and soups are some of the popular classes of quick foods.
History of Quick Food
Quick recipes were conceptualized in the modern times when lifestyles demanded people, especially women, to stay away from the kitchen for attending to other work, mostly their professions. Many quick recipes were popularized in various European countries and America since the early 20th century.
Popular Quick Foods from Different Cuisines
Popular quick recipes belonging to different cuisines are as follows:
· Indian – vada Pav( stuffed buns), dahi vada( fritters in curd), and pani puri( flour balls filled with tamarind solution). Vada pav,also known as wada pav, is an easily prepared delicious Indian quick food. The snack is made by stuffing bun( pav) with a wholesome potato fritter called batata wada. This dish from the Maharashtrian cuisine, is a signature dish of the fast food culture of Bombay. The vada pav may be considered an Indian burger with bread.
· Quick recipes from the Indian cuisine also include the dahi vada( also spelt as dahi wada or dahi bada) which is essentially urad dal fritter soaked in curd. The fritter is prepared by making urad dal batter and frying it in small quantities in hot oil till crisp and golden brown. The fritters are then soaked in curd which is seasoned with a number of ingredients, commonly, salt, roasted cumin seeds, chopped coriander leaves, and red chili powder. Other ingredients may also be added as desired. Pani Puri, also known as golgappa is one of the most popular Indian quick recipes and snack food. The dish consisting of stiff fried Indian bread is served with accompanying spicy tamarind syrup. The term pani puri literally means pani(water, which is the watery tamarind syrup) and puri(stiff, fried Indian bread)./li>
· Quick Dinner – Pasta, fish, meat and ham can all be cooked in a short period of time in a convenient way so that one does not spend more than 15- 30 mins in preparing them. Pasta like Fettuccine can be cooked by boiling for a very short period of time- for less than 10 mins. Bell pepper and cayenne seasonings can be sautéed in oil and the pasta stir-fried along with it for about 10-12 mins. The quick meal can be flavored further with sauces of choice like tomato sauce or sour cream.
· Broiled Tilapia – This tasty quick food can be prepared in a few minutes. The fish is broiled for only 10-15 mins in a broiler till brown and flaky. In the process of broiling, it may be coated with a mixture of parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, butter and lemon juice. Herb and spice seasonings are added after coating with the cheese mixture for flavoring the fish. Broiled Tilapia has one of the most conveniently made and quick recipes. The above mentioned quick recipes are mostly commercially popular. Homemade quick dishes include soups, appetizers, snacks, main courses, desserts and other items. Quick food can be prepared in any of the categories mentioned with easily available and few ingredients and by adopting simple cooking methods.
Tips for Preparing Quick and Easy Recipes
Quick and easy recipes are required the most by busy professionals as they do not have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Here are some tips which could help one in saving time while cooking:
Quick Food: Trivia
1. Quick recipes are prepared effortlessly when they are planned ahead. On a weekend, one could make a chart as to what he/she would like to have during the course of the week and collect those ingredients from the market if they are not available at home.
2. Vegetables can be cut and shoved into the freezer and preserved for preparation in the course of the week. However in such cases, utmost care should be taken to ensure that the item is not spoilt. Commercially available canned/frozen items are very helpful in the preparation of quick food.
3. All foods that can be made-ahead and preserved should be cooked and preserved well for future use. Meat, vegetables, or pasta can be cooked and preserved in the refrigerator and used in quick recipes when required.
The first commercial fast food centers were believed to have originated in America.