Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Experiments with Cooking

For each person its their mother who is the best cook from day one in this world, with a few exceptions. I surely was lucky to have a great cook as my mom. She would make a variety of dishes and we at home were used to the north Indian varieties too. There was no need for us at home to go beyond the dining table as my mother was the BOSS in the kitchen. So I never had an idea of cooking and it was just beyond my thoughts to light up the gas stove or make my own coffee. It was all ready at the table till I left home.

At Jaipur which was by now my second home I had to depend on the tea shop and dhaba for all my gastronomical needs. Though I had a kitchen in the small accommodation that I had but never could think of using it for my needs as I had no idea of cooking. On days when I would return from travel late at night and by when the hotels and dhabas would have closed I would go to bed on an empty stomach or I would sometimes be given hot rotis with some dal and subji from my landlord’s house, incase they are having a late night dinner (I Pray they are blessed with the best of everything from the bottom of my heart for all the care they have given me to make me feel at home).

So as days went by, the landlord’s mother suggested that I learn to cook and make my own food instead of the hotel and dhaba which would do more harm in the long run. But I did not know where to start from. So I got my kitchen ready by buying myself a stove and the gas cylinder was provided by them. I bought for my kitchen some basic vessels and got ready for the acid test.

My land lady who was elder to me by 3years was my teacher who was to impart the skills of cooking she had. She was my Sanjeev Kapoor, who started the khana khazana for ME.
I remember she made the Dal fry and explained it to me and the dough for the rotis and also the rotis to have my first meal at my new home. It tasted YUMMY more because of the satisfaction that it was at my own place. I repeated the same preparation and perfected on the dal & rotis. Further I was taught many more dishes and I skillfully mastered it over a period of time. So food now was at home and it was a pleasure making it on my own.
I had a lot of friends who did compliment me on my newly acquired skill and gave me immense satisfaction. The best compliment I got was when the kids of my landlord had a plate of the Rajma chawal I made and told their mom that my preparation was better than hers, I knew I was a good student. My landlady smiled with satisfaction that her efforts had succeeded.

By now the fortnightly magazine “Woman’s Era” which would contain many simple dishes in its cookery section became was very helpful to my New hobby – COOKING.( I own 3 bound books of this cookery collection which I had collected over a period of time).I had furnished my kitchen with a fridge, vessels, boxes for all the provisions and all the crockery to be a Perfect HOST.

Being a connoisseur of good food myself I now started experimenting on my own and I had a group visiting me on weekends to taste the stuff I made and would give me immense satisfaction. I thank my land lady for this WONDERFUL skill that she imparted to me.

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