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Measurements & Conversions


Have you ever gotten a recipe from your Algerian mother-n-law or even from an Algerian cookbook and been unable to decipher the measurements? Or prehaps even had questions regarding the measurements on my blog? Here's a little guide to help you!


بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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Did I tell you that I used to be domestically challenged? Yes, really ! I used work 60 hour weeks in a hospital before I was married and before I made my Hijrah to Algeria. Meal to me was grabbing a to-go at my favorite Chinese take-out, preparing one of those boxed macaroni meals or if I was really trying to be healthy was picking up a pre-made salad at the hospital canteern or constructing a salad at Whole Foods salad bar. Not that I didn't like or want to know how to cook, I, like many professionals just didn't have the time.

But after I got married, sadly it hit me I needed to learn how to cook and bake. Then I moved to Algeria, it became an essential skill to learn. I spend a lot of time reading beautiful, inspiring cookings sites, most of which are by American bloggers I didn't have the measuring cups. So I just started cooking intuitively and spontaneously. I didn't use spoons and cups for everyday cooking. ‘Guesstimation’ worked for me. And I found there is no fun in measuring all the ingredients for every recipe. My mother and grandmama didn’t weigh each ingredient to prepare a meal. In fact, they didn’t taste the food for salt or sugar either I think. Yet, they always seemed to cook delicious food.

And by the way, have you ever tried asking your old 95 year old grandmama or Algerian mother-in-law for a recipe? I think you need a semester of classes to understand the logic and jargon behind the measures. I'm just sayin'!

You know, later on when I got into baking, I found it's a totally different ballpark because precision counts. Accurate measurement is critical for successful outcome of all baked goods.  Not having any measuring tools many of my first attempts were a flop. So I know how frustrating it can be when you want to run into the kitchen to make a recipe and are faced with a list of measurements and temperatures you don’t understand!

I started out like many Algerian cooks/bakers using coffee cups and tea glasses I have around my house. Later on upgraded to standard measuring cup but I mainly use grams when baking now. The American measuring cups are truly difficult to find in Algeria, believe me! I using them is super easy for novice bakers to use ratios and volume to whip out some delicious. Later on, my husband bought a digital scale and I've hooked every since. It makes baking a breeze and recipe writing sooo much easier. So count me amoung the ones who rejoice in the accuracy and simplicity of the kitchen scale. Not only is measuring more accurate but clean-up too! No more rifling around the kitchen drawer of crap looking for the misplaced cups. I'm truly a convert now! Don't get me wrong, I still use my "Algerian cup measure" for my tried and true recipes that are eternally grained in my mind (like my yogurt cake for example). The ones I actually don't need a "real measure" to make. J

For the recipes on my blog, in the beginning I was really terrible at giving accurate measurements, as I myself wasn't measuring correctly. But I've come along ways and I'm pleased to say now I now measure both ways, then write down so I can give you all accurate written measurements

As many readers may use different measurements or not understand grams, I thought I’d set out a list of baking conversions to help you (and to help myself, too).Use cup and spoon measures for dry and solid ingredients and a measuring jug for liquid ingredients.



 When measuring dry or solid ingredients, use a large spoon or whisk to fluff the flour in its storage container. It’s great to aerate the flour slightly before it is measured because flour tends to settle as it sits. Then dip the cup or spoon measure into the food container and lift out. Use the edge of a knife to scrape across the surface, removing excess ingredients so the surface is flat. When measuring liquids, place the jug onto a flat surface and bend down to check at eye level.

Also please note: There is a very slight difference between UK/European/Australian cups and US cups. The UK cups are 250mls and US cups are 240mls, so UK half cups are 120mls whereas US half cups are 125mls (quarter cups tend to be the same with both - around 60mls). However for most recipes the difference is small and won't affect the finished dish.


Kichen scales usually come in 2 styles: Mechanical and Digital. The old-school mechanical one is in today all over the world from the butchers, to the green grocers to commerical bakers, but I myself enjoy the ease of my digital kitchen scale. Many kitchen scales now come with ease measurement converters (ounces and even American cup) that switch over with just the flip of your finger.

Some kitchen scales come with a plate or bowl that you can easily add ingredients to. But if you have one like mine, that doesn't come with a bowl you'll need to have something to pour everything in. A light weight bowl or plate will do. I usually take my bowl of choice, place it on the scale, allow the scale to measure it, zero the scale out then proceed to fill the container with my food ingredient until I have the right amount. If I have more, I simply spoon shake some out, if I need more simply add more. Then add into your mixing bowl as needed. Really that easy! No more dirtying up all those tools and implements for one little old cake recipe. Just one bowl and one scale ... maybe a spoon! 

Make sure to copy down common ingredient conversions you use all the time in the kitchen for ease. Keep it in a handy place, like on the fridge.

Make sure to check the accuracy of your kitchen. Calibrate your scale or test it by weighing a water periodically. One cup of water weighs exactly 237grams.

I realised through Facebook that my audience is from all over the world and from all ages and backgrounds. And many have asked me about the measures I use in my recipes, so I've decided to post a selection of handy kitchen conversion charts to help you when you make one of my recipes and other recipes around the Internet.

I hope these help!


TERMINOLOGY ABBREVIATIONS
Teaspoon = tsp          Tablespoon = TBS
Cups = c                    Pounds = lb
Quart = qt                  Gallon = gal
Grams = g                  Kilograms = kg
Milliliters = ml             Liters = L 
Celsius = C°               Fahrenheit = F°
 une cuillérée à soupe or cs in French and Algerian cookbooks = 1 TBS
 une cuillérée à café or cc in Frenchand Algerian cookbook = 1tsp
UK - US COOKING TRANSLATIONS 

BAKING
  • Bap = hamburger bun
  • Bicarbonate of soda = baking soda
  • Biscuit - Ginger Nut = ginger snap
  • Biscuits = cookies
  • Bread - brown = wholemeal bread
  • Broad Bean = fava bean
  • Cake - Butterflycake = cupcake
  • Cake - Fairycake = cupcake
  • Cake - Pattycake = cupcake
  • Caster sugar = superfine sugar
  • Cornflour = cornstarch
  • Dark Cooking Chocolate = semi-sweet chocolate
  • Demerara sugar = light brown sugar
  • Desiccated coconut = shredded coconut
  • Digestive biscuits = Graham crackers
  • Essence = extract
  • Fairy cake = cupcake
  • Flour - Plain = all purpose flour
  • Flour - Self Raising = self rising flour
  • Flour - Strong = bread flour
  • Flour - Wholemeal = whole wheat flour
  • French bean = green bean
  • Icing = frosting
  • Icing sugar = powdered sugar
  • Masa harina = fine cornmeal
  • Pasties = turnovers or hand pies
  • Plain flour = all purpose flour
  • Self rising flour = flour with baking powder
  • Strong flour = bread flours
  • Sugar - Caster = super fine sugar
  • Sugar - coffee = crystal sugar
  • Sugar - Demerara = dark raw sugar
  • Sugar - Granulated = sugar
  • Sugar - Icing = confectioners sugar
  • Sugar - Raw = raw or unrefined sugar
  • Sultanas = white or golden raisins
  • Tart = open pie
  • Treacle = molasses
  • White sugar = granulated sugar
  • Wholemeal flour = whole wheat flour
VEGETABLES
  • Aubergine = eggplant
  • Broad bean = fava bean
  • Capsium = bell pepper
  • Courgette = zuchinni
  • Maize = corn
  • Rocket = argula
  • Spring onion = scallion or green onion
  • Tatties = potatoes 
HERBS & SEASONINGS
  • Coriander = cilantro
  • Flake salt = kosher salt
MEATS
  • Bangers = sausage
  • Cutlet = chop
  • Mince meat = ground meat or hamburger meat
  • Prawn  = shrimp
DAIRY PRODUCTS
  • Cream - Cornish = clotted cream
  • Cream - Devon = clotted cream
  • Cream - double = heavy cream
  • Cream - single = light cream
  • Cream - Whipping = between light and heavy cream
  • Natural yoghurt = unflavored yoghurt
  • Soured cream = sour cream
OTHER FOOD INGREDIENTS
  • Afters = dessert
  • Chips = fries
  • Chips = fries
  • Crisps = potato chips
  • Crystallised fruit = candied fruit
  • Custard = pudding
  • Golden Syrup = corn syrup
  • Groundnuts = peanuts
  • Filbert = hazelnuts
  • Jelly = jello
  • Jam = jelly
  • Stock - brown = Beef stock
  • Stock - white = chicken or fish stock
  • tomato sauce (or catsup) = ketchup (US). 
  • tomato sauce (US) is a tomato based sauce typically for pasta or pizza.
  • marinara (US) is used synonymously with tomato sauce, and may refer to both quick or long-cooked varieties.
  • tomato paste (US) is tomato purée (UK)
  • tomato purée (US) is unreduced tomatoes (possibly stewed) with the skin and seeds removed. Also called crushed tomatoes.
  • tomato passata (UK) (sometimes just 'passatad') is strained tomato purée (US).
COOKING METHODS 
  • Grilling UK = broiling US
  • Barbecuing UK = grilling US
  • Barbecuing US = slow cooking using wood or charcoal to impart smokey flavor to the food


TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
  • greaseproof paper = parchment paper/wax paper
  • hob = stove or range
  • slow-cooker = crock pot
  • magimix or robo = food processor
  • tinned foods = canned foods
  • tin foil = aluminum foil
  • cling film = plastic wrap

STANDARD MEASUREMENT CONVERSIONS 
1/2 TBS = 1 1/2 tsp 
1 TBS = 3 tsp
1/4 cup = 4 TBS
1/3 cup = 5 TBS + 1 tsp
1/2 cup = 8 TBS
2/3 cup = 10 TBS + 2 tsp
3/4 cup = 12 TBS
1 cup = 16 TBS
WEIGHT CONVERSIONS
Grams and ounces – general conversions.
1 ounce = 28 grams
1 pound = 16 ounces = 453 grams
20 g = 3/4 oz
60 g = 2 oz
100 g = 3.5 oz
125 g = 4.5 oz
180 g = 6.5 oz
250 g = 9 oz
500 g = 1/2 kilogram = 18 oz
1 kg = 2 pounds = 32 oz
VOLUME CONVERSIONS
Milliliters, fluid ounces and cups – general conversions.
2 tbsp = 29.57 ml = 1 fl oz
1/4 cup = 60 ml  = 2 fl oz
1/3 cup = 80 ml = 2 2/3 fl oz
1/2 cup = 125 ml = 4 fl oz
2/3 cup = 160 ml = 5 1/3 fl oz
3/4 cup = 180 ml = 6 fl oz
1 cup = 250 ml = 8 1/3 fl oz
2 cups = 500 ml = 16 fl oz (1 American pint)
2 1/2 cups = 625 ml = 20 fl oz (1 Imperial pint)
4 cups = 1000 ml = 1 litre = 32 fl oz
OVEN TEMPERATURE CONVERSIONS 

100 Celsius (C° ) = 212 Fahrenheit (F°)
120 C° = 250 
140 C°  = 275 
150 C° = 300 
160 C°  = 320 
170 C°  = 325 
180 C°  = 350 
190 C°  = 375 
200 C°  = 400 
210 C°  = 410 
220 C°  = 425 
250 C° = 480 

NON- STANDARD 
MEASUREMENT CONVERSIONS 

Some non-standard Algeiran measurements often used

1 Algerian measure  200mL  less then 1 cup about ¾ cup
1 soup bowl  500g ≈ ½ cup
1 Algerian tasse de café (coffee mug)  250g  1 cup
1 Algerian verre de thé (tea glass)  125mL  ½ cup
1 Algerian yogurt container(plain/nature) 125g =  ½ cup  = 4oz 
1 spoonful  As much as a soup spoon can hold  1 tablespoon

block of butter (in Algeria) = 250g = 1 cup = 2 sticks (in the US)
juice of one lemon  about 3 tablespoons
juice of one orange   about ½ cup
1 capful (orange blossom water or rose water)  ½ TBS
Handful  As much as your hand can hold
Generous handful ≈ As much as your two hands cupped loosely together can hold

Pinch = literally pinch your two fingers together into the container (about 1/16 teaspoon)
Dash =  A dash holds 1/8 teaspoon. 8 dashes = 1 teaspoon
Smidgen = A smidgen holds ½ pinch or 1/32 teaspoon. 2 smidgens = 1 pinch
Hint = tiny amount (½ drop)
Drop = 1/64 teaspoon (½smidgen)
To taste = measurement according to your tastebuds.


SPECIFIC INGREDIENTS MEASUREMENTS 
Dairy:
Crème fraîche 1 US cup = 240 grams
Fresh cheese 1 US cup = 240 grams

Plain Yogurt 1 UScup = 250 grams
Greek-style yogurt 1 US cup = 280 grams
Heavy cream 1 US cup = 240 grams
Light cream 1 US cup = 240 grams
Milk 1 US cup = 240 mL
Parmesan cheese, grated 1 US cup = 110 grams
Ricotta: 1 US cup = 250 grams
Butter:
     1 tablespoon = 14 grams =  ½ ounce
     100 grams = 7 tablespoons = 3 ½ ounces
     1/2 cup = 113 grams = 1 US stick = 4 ounces
     1 cup = 227 grams = 2 US sticks = 8 ounces
     250g = 1 US, CA, AUS, NZ stick
Flours & Grains:
Plain/All-Purpose flour  1 US cup = 1 cup unsifted = 140 grams 1 cup sifted = 115 grams 
Pastry Flour 1 US cup = 130 grams
Bread Flour 1 US cup unsifted = 160 grams  1 cup sifted = 130 grams
Whole Wheat Flour 1 US cup unsifted = 150 grams 1 cup sifted = 130 grams
Semolina (medium grain) 1 US cup  = 167g 
Semolina Flour ( fine semolina) 1 US cup = 187g
Semolina (large grain) 1 US = 175g 
Bulgur 1 US cup = 190 grams
Chickpeas (dried, raw) 1 US cup = 190 grams (= 475 grams when cooked)
Couscous (fine, medium or large grain) 1 US cup = 165 grams
Dried beans 1 US cup = 180 grams
Polenta/cornmeal 1 US cup = 160 grams
Rice, basmati 1 UScup = 180 grams
Rice, long grain 1 US cup = 190g
Rice, short-grain 1 US cup = 195 grams
Rolled oats 1 US cup = 100 grams
Sugar:
Light Brown sugar (loosely packed):1 cup = 175 grams = 6.25 ounces
Light Brown sugar (tightly packed): 1 cup = 220 grams = 8 ounces
White granulated sugar1 cup = 220 grams = 8 ounces
Caster sugar: 1 cup = 220 grams = 8 ounces
Powder/ Icing sugar: 1 cup = 120 grams = 4.25 ounces
Date sugar: 1 cup = 180g = 6.3 ounces
Chocolate:
Chocolate chips 1 US cup = 190 grams = 6 ¾  ounces
Cocoa powder ¼ US cup = 50g, 1 US cup = 120g
Honey, Date molasses  and other syrups:
     1 TBS = 21 grams = 3/4 ounce
     1/4 cup = 85 grams = 3 ounces
     1 cup = 340 grams = 12 ounces

Salts:
Salt, fine 1 tsp =5g
Salt, coarse (sea, kosher, pickling, etc) 1 cup = 220g

Nuts & Seeds:
Almonds, shelled, whole, blanched 1 US cup = 125 grams
Almonds, sliced 1 US cup = 70 grams
Almond meal (a.k.a. ground almonds)  1 US cup = 100 grams
Cashews, shelled, whole 1 US cup = 130 grams
Chestnuts, shelled, cooked: 1 cup = 130 grams
Hazelnuts, shelled, whole: 1 cup = 120 grams
Macadamia nuts, shelled, whole: 1 cup = 125 grams
Nut butter (any nut): 1 cup = 240 grams
Pistachios: 1 cup = 125 grams
Poppy seeds: 1 cup = 145 grams
Walnuts, shelled, halves: 1 cup = 100 grams
Baking Powder: 1 French/Algerian paquet/packet = 2 tsp
Capers: 1 US cup = 120 grams
Dried bread crumbs: 1 US cup = 100 grams
Oil: 1 US tablespoon = 9 grams
Olives: 1 cup = 180 grams

๑۞๑ Please note solids such as chocolate, shortening, animal fat, and all butter  including real butter, margarine, smen, ghee, coconut butter, and smen have the weight when melted.

PAN SIZE CONVERSIONS 
(Here you will find the measurements for pans I use.)

Casserole/Lasagna pan = 2-quart casserole = 2-liter casserole
Couscousier 8L bottom with 500g dry couscous capacity insert = 2 gallon with 2cups dry couscous insert

Square pans (brownie pan) 8 x 8 x 1 ½ in = 20 x 20 x 4 cm
Round layer pans 10 x 2 inches = 25 x 5 cm and 8 x 2 inches = 20 x 5 cm
Loaf pan 8 x 4 x 2 ½ in.= 20 x 10 x 6 cm and 8 ½ x4 ½ x 2 ½= 21 x 11 x 6 cm
Mini Loaf Pan   3.75 by 2 x 1.25 in =
Tube pan  9 x 3 inches =  23 x 8 cm
Bundt 10 x 3 1/2 inches = 25 x 9 cm
Pie Plate 10 x 2in = 25 x 5cm
Standard Tart Pan 8 in = 20cm
Large Tart/Quiche Pan 12in = 30 ½ cm
Round tartlet pan 3½ in = 10cm
Mini brioche téte standard measurement 2/3 Cup = 3inch = 1 ½ cm
Brioche or Turban pan 9 ½ x 3 ¼ = 2 L = 24cm
Jelly roll pan (ccokie sheet pan) 10 ½ x 15 ½ x 1 = 27 x 39 x 2 ½ cm
Springform cake pan 25cm = 10 inch
Muffin pans  
mini 30ml = ½ Tbs
regular n°1 80ml =1/3 cup
regular n°2 125ml ½ cup
Texas 180ml = ¾ cup
To check your muffin pan's capacity, for a mini muffin pan pour 1 ½ tablespoons (30ml) water into 1 hole in your pan. If the water comes right to the top (with none left over) it is 1 ½ tablespoon capacity. Use the same method to measure regular or Texas muffin pans.

I hope this helps you with cooking recipes on my blog and elsewhere. If you have any further questions regarding measurements don't hestiate to contact me via email or Facebook.




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1 comment:

  1. As-Salaamu Alaykum Sister,
    I usually use grams although i do dabble in uk measuring cups sometimes. Jazak Allahu khair all the conversions etc will come in handy especially the Algerian measures i never understood them before because tea glasses and soup bowls come in various sizes.

    ReplyDelete



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