Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Reluctant Cook

As a housewife, I consider it my duty to cook. No, no it is not an archaic belief that I have, it is my way of contributing to the household income! Just so you know, the Boy thanks me every time I serve him a meal. He makes all kinds of yummy noises and rewards my efforts. At my workplace, I am priceless, treasured and sometimes, feared!

How am I feared? - one may ask. If the Boy deviates from his normal code of conduct, he is told that if he doesn't know how to cook, he is not allowed to comment. If he does say a thing or two, I tell him to leave the food and order for himself next time. My sulking at his slightest criticism makes him a mere employee who takes the used dishes to the kitchen or microwave the leftovers and me, the boss who doesn't take any shit!

Hmm.. he is indeed a bechara like the world calls him.

Before you do make that assumption, let me also tell you that I am a decent cook. I never entered the kitchen before I got married. One day my mother forced me to sit with her and write the recipes for basic vegetables. Since she is a vegetarian, she hardly made chicken. I use to eat meat gravy in restaurants and called myself a non-vegetarian. To cut the long story short, I had no clue how to make dal, aaloo, roti, chicken or even rice.

I did have one advantage - the Boy had lived in the hostel for 7 long years and had developed taste for everything in the world. From the chefs of Kharagpur to the cooks of Lucknow, he had tasted food fit for the patients and patients-to-be.  And so, when I started to cook for him, he congratulated me on begining on a fantastic note.

I must say that it is his patience and humility has that made me the type of cook that I am today. After 5 years, I can now churn out a dish with confidence. I can look at a recipe and tell if it would work for our taste buds. Every week, I try to make one new dish to keep myself motivated. Since I am that person who doesn't leave any opportunity to be lazy, I need to make things which are interesting. Regular food bores me to no end. Just to keep some passion alive, I keep experimenting.

That's a lot of I, I , I! I really hate to brag but I can now make a lot of Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese - both Veg and Non-veg. I am not the type who has the patience to click pictures before I eat and so, the ones below are a work of a cook and not a photographer. These dishes work much better on the taste buds than are pleasing to the eyes. Frankly, I don't believe in presentation. It is my way of saying that looks are not important. Anyway, I'm putting these pictures just to prove that I am not bragging and that my Boy is not a bechara!


All great meals start with a well-stocked fridge. Ever Saturday we shop for groceries. I have a very small fridge to accommodate a week's stuff. But I manage.


That's how an awesome Tandoori chicken is made.

I can make dosa too!!

That's my famous pizza with home-made sauce and Crust. Yes, I bake the crust with the toppings!

Chicken meatballs in spicy curry. This is the latest addition.

My favorite, favorite salad. Lettuce, cucumber, carrots and feta cheese with Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing.

That's a Khalua cake. I don't make cakes without alcohol ;)

Fish tikka with sauteed veggies and yoghurt mint chutney. Slurppppp!

Steamed brocolli, babycorn, peas and corn - ah, well, we do need to diet, no?
That is how I am rewarded on Valentines day. Yummy yummy aaloo paratha!!! The Boy will kill me for making this public. Now you tell me, if he was a bechara would he do this for me?

I make pepper chicken and mutton kebabs that are to-die-for. I'm not kidding! I get requests to make them for people! I do make gobhi, bhindi, methi, palak, beans, capsicum, dals, etc, etc, etc. But really, who likes to make all that out of interest!? So, anyway, are you like me? - Reluctant yet passionate? Lazy yet hyper when something turns out awesome? More than anything - Not very confident yet extremely talented?

And then I say I don't like to brag :)

25 comments:

  1. YUM YUM YUM!!! :-D
    I am most definitely crashing at your place to try all these! :-P

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    1. You are most welcome! I will teach you and then you can make and we can eat ;)

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  2. You are an accomplished cook, by the looks of it. Me, I get by. High praise from the kid always flows in abundance. The spouse, on the other hand, is a masterchef himself, so I get mostly nothing from there. Helps keep me balanced ;) Missed reading your posts. Will make up for it soon!

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    1. I crave for compliments. I need comments on basic dal also!!! Now my hubby is trained and so he says without asking :)

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  3. Khalua cake? Send me some now will you! And no, you don't brag at all. You are the most modest person I have ever met, just like myself! :D

    I'm an awesome awesome cook too. Will cook anything from Indian to Chinese to Mexican. One look at a recipe and it is etched in my mind for ever! I experiment and create my own stuff too. Like peanut chocolate bars, or baby corn pakodas. Sadly, after marriage I can't cook non-veg. Cal being a Brahmin and all that! I can ace that one too, with juicy resmi kababs and chicken cutlets! :D

    Cheers to us and modesty! :)

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    1. Haha! In case of food, I am actually modest. Sometimes I cook so much that I don't enjoy the dish. That is when I feel people are better than me. There is soooo much to learn. And laziness doesn't help at all!

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  4. Looking at all those pics, marriage has made u a perfect chef!

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  5. haha.. lovely pics :D
    "No cakes without alcohol" - definitely my kind of gal :D
    I had to learn the hard way living in hostels and hospitals and gradually progressed from Maggi noodles to more accomplished dishes, making prawns n chicken et al. It helps that I adjust to anything I cook and can eat it without complaining :D

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    1. I am a fussy eater. Sometime I don't eat what I make but the Boy eats! Hostels and hospitals do teach you a whole lot.
      Anyway, a big piece of Kahlua cake awaits you :D

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  6. 911....We have an emergency. A young lady right here is dying of salivation.....

    GOOOOOD LORD!!!!!!! I LOVE HOW YOU DO NOT MAKE CAKE WITHOUT ALCOHOL :D

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    1. Lol!!! Red!! Even your comments make me ROFL!

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  7. Oh wow, where do you live again. I want! I want all of it. Man and I thought I knew how to cook.. L:OL

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    1. I live in Bahrain. Maybe you take a stopover here someday!
      Welcome back :D

      P.S. your comment did not disappear. I have comment moderation on and it appears only when I approve it.

      Delete
  8. My comment disappeared?

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  9. And you don't believe in presentation? The food looks yummy and yes the boy is not a bechara if he gets served such food :D

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    1. I see so many food bloggers putting up such awesome pics. Plus I don't even have fine chinaware to display my stuff! So, I said, I don't believe in presentation.
      And thankyou for being one of the few who doesn't call my Boy bechara!

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  10. The pictures speak more than what you have written :) Yummmm Yummmmm... I have good days and bad. Some days i am this super chef who will dole out dishes after dishes and on other days, a train station pantry chef who just have to finish the chore and move on.

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    1. That happens with all of us. I feel motivated only once or twice in a week. On other days it is just regular fare to feed the stomach!

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  11. YOU MADE ME SO SO HUNGRY NISHA !!!

    n he actually looks bechara making aloo paranthe for u..Mine was quite d same case..i never entered d kitchen before marriage..

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  12. My Mom made me cook even before wedding, so somehow I could manage after getting married :D
    Your pics are good, Nisha :) Your hus is lucky to get such food :)
    Btw, isn't that an Almarai that I see in your fridge ;) ;)

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  13. Oh, with these yummy looking things, nobody is a bechare there :P Slurp, Slurp !!

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  14. I m droolin:-D:-D all these items look so tasty yummm i wish i ws there!

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  15. This post has made me seriously hungry now at 2.30 am. Sigh.

    The range of cuisines you can cook is mighty impressive! Alas, like your mom, I am a vegetarian too, and a rather picky one at that. So only the salads, dosa and cake for me please. Thank you. :D

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Your sweetness makes my day. Gentle criticism will be taken in the right spirit too :)