Culinary Ratios

Culinary Ratios

Having a ratio for a recipe is having your fundamental techniques and proportions in place for accurate appetising results. Our grandmother used ratios in cooking, they had great mastery in cooking. Adai guna pani for halwa, teen guna pani for daliya, they used ratios for cooking chawal, dal, idli batter and for achars every grandmom had a ratio intel. It’s like having a superpower, how Spiderman’s super abilities made it possible for him to web-jump from one building to another, and he no more walks on the road with us. Grand mom’s don’t really refer recipe books/walk on the road, they simply jump with their ratio intel webs and create amazing dishes. 


Culinary ratios are the backbone of cooking, when you know a ratio, it gives you the liberty to escalate accordingly. Ratios are based on weights rather than on volume measurements. This allows them to be doubled or tripled or halved according to the need. Ratios are the benchmarks to start from. As they say, you must have the craft before the art. Ratios are the crafts and from them, you start to enrich the culinary skills. 

Here are a few ratios that have made my kitchen a happy place for me. 

Bread – 5 parts flour and 3 parts water and of course yeast and salt. For salt general rule is about 2% of the weight of the flour. 1 teaspoon of yeast for every 16 oz/1 lb of flour. Some recipes call for sugar too. you must add herbs and another interesting component once you master the basic bread baking. 

Bread Basics

Pie crust is 3-2-1, you don’t need to open a book for such ratios, because these numbers are coherent echos to our memory. 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat and 1 part water. 

For cookie dough – 3-2-1 –  3 parts flour, 2 parts fat and 1 part sugar. This will result in a basic cookie and you will ornament it with vanilla, chocolate chips, nuts, etc. 

Vinaigrette – 3 parts oil and 1 part vinegar.  You do need to use your imagination further this point of basic ratios. Use fresh or dried herbs, roasted shallots, citric fruit juice, add some sugar, honey. Play around with a variety of different oils and vinegar available. 

Mayonnaise – knowing the ratio of basic mayo, works like having an enchanting stardust power. any time you can elevate a very basic dish into something they all will love. Mayonnaise is 20:1, oil to liquid (plus yolk)

All about Mayonnaise

Hollandaise – 5 parts butter, 1 part yolk and 1 part liquid.

For the white sauce – Just remember 2:2:1. The 2:2:1 white sauce ratio represents the three simple ingredients in medium white sauce—two tablespoons of flour to two tablespoons of butter to one cup of milk. Scale up or down these amounts according to how much sauce you need.

Pasta dough – 3 parts flour and 2 parts egg. 

A traditional pound cake – 1 part butter, 1 part sugar, 1 part egg, 1 part flour 

Angel food cake – 3 part egg white, 3 part sugar and 1 part flour. 

Muffins – 2 part flour, 2 part liquid, 1 part egg, 1 part butter 

Pancakes – 2 part flour, 2 part liquid, 1 part egg, 1/2 part butter 

Crepe- 1 part liquid, 1 part egg and 1/2 part flour 

Meringue – 2 parts sugar: 1 part egg whites 

Choux pastry –  1 part flour: 2-parts liquid: 2 parts eggs: 1 part fat

Chocolate sauce – 1 part chocolate and 1 part cream 

Caramel sauce – 1 part sugar and 1 part cream 

1 cup rice requires 1 3/4th cup or 2 cups of water. Less water for shorter grain and little more for long grain. 

Brown rice requires 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. 

Most of the millets require 1 and 1/2 cup of water for every 1 cup. 

Quinoa requires 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of water for every cup. Red quinoa requires little more in comparison to the white quinoa. 

Oats – rolled oats 1 part oats and 2 parts water.

Steel-cut oats 1 part oats and 3 parts water. 

Please do share if you have any ratios in mind with me. I would appreciate and acknowledge your input in the post here and on my Instagram page. Help me create this list long and useful. 


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