Math Recipe Project
By Swetha Tandri
The Recipe I Chose
The recipe I chose was Chana masala, a gravy dish representing my Indian Culture. It consists of 13 ingredients. The difficulty level is easy, serves 4 people, and takes roughly 50 minutes to make.
The Process I Chose
The Process I chose for converting to any number of servings was comparing two ratios with an unknown variable, solving for the variable, and making sure that they equal a proportion. I did this when I converted from 4 to three servings and 4 to 250% more that it can serve, which is 14 people. For example, one of my ingredients was 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil for 4 servings. I am going to put that information in a ratio of amount to servings so the fraction would be 2/4. I want to make the amount with 3 servings exactly proportional, so I am going to put the ratio in the same format. So the other fraction is x/3 servings. The next step is to multiply both sides by three isolating x, giving a result of 6/4=x. You make a fraction into a mixed number and the final answer is 1 1/2 tablespoons to serve three people.
The process I chose for converting from customary to metric
The process I used was to multiply a measurement unit by the conversion factor. Since most of the ingredients were measured in teaspoons, I found out how many milliliters were in one teaspoon, and used that factor to convert. For example, I am again going to use my first ingredient which is 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. I wrote that as a fraction of 2 tablespoons/1. The metric unit I am going to convert it to is milliliters. 1 tablespoon is equivalent to 15 milliliters, so that is the conversion factor. So then I put that as a fraction with milliliters as the numerator and tablespoons as the denominator. I multiplied the fractions across and the result was 2 tablespoons is equivalent to 30 milliliters.
Data Table For Converting Ingredients
One More Note...
The process of making the recipe does not change because it is a gravy. When you alter the servings, it only increases or decreases the amount you are making. So that does not affect the process.
The Three Criteria
The three criteria I chose for evaluating my recipes are:
- How it looks like: From my background knowledge of Chana masala, The correct way it looks like is orange, cooked chickpeas with orangish brown gravy. I will also judge by comparing it to the picture given in the recipe online.
- How it tastes like: I cannot really describe the taste, but both of them should taste the same.
- Smell: They should both have that same tasty odor.
Picture of How Chana Masala Looks Like
Results and Rating the Outcome
When I graded the original recipes, here is what I found:
- This dish got a three in looks. The chickpeas and gravy were the correct color, and it looked exactly like the picture on the recipe website.
- This dish got a three in smell. It smelled exactly like all the other Chana masala batches I have ever tasted, which was appetizing.
- This dish got a three in taste. This in fact was one of the best I have tasted because of the quantity and quality of ingredients.
Recipe With Three Servings:
- This dish also got a three in looks. It looked exactly like the original recipe as well as the recipe picture.
- This dish got a three in taste and smell for the same reasons as the first recipe.
- Obviously, given the results are the same for both of them, I give a 3 for similarity.
Based on these results, my process was correct because I produced similar recipes that were very proportional. I knew that my conversions were proportional because they were perfect with the amount of ingredients I added. Even if I added too much or too less of something, the whole outcome of the recipes would have turned out wrong. The calculations in my process affected the results of my 3 criteria. First of all, they were rated a three which meant they were exactly similar. I gave a high rating on all of them because I saw a correct consistency in looks, smell, and taste in both recipes that would have been different if I made a miscalculation. Several lessons I have learned from this project were that patience and accuracy are really important in cooking. If I could change anything about the project, I would try to make the whole recipe without any help. Most of all, this project helped me understand how math could really make a difference in the world of cooking.