Relationship with Kitchen
As a child I thought I had amazing kitchen skills. Of course, my definition was killing boredom or setting up the table, at that time. Every now & then, I would try my luck at making a sandwich or bake a marble cake; but that would be where both the kitchen and I would draw the line.
As I grew up and stepped into professional life; I perfected the art of making Knorr noodles (@knorrpk) and tried its various variations from Chicken, Achari Masti, Chilli Cheese to my favourite Chatt Patta (believe me, it’s a lot harder than it looks).
With this major transition in Life; getting married and relocating to UK - our earlier days heavily depended on grabbing meals from restaurants. Realising the gloominess of the situation there was a dire need to learn this new skill; a new relationship and fortunately or unfortunately a long and tedious one with Kitchen.
With sincere encouragement and endurance from hubby dear (off course the money bleed needed a stop) I took up the challenge! On the outside I was calm and composed but utterly terrified on the inside.
My few tips for all the newbies out there
1. Baby Steps
As South Asians our go to/comfort food is Daal Chawal – yes you read it right. Start from here! Boiled Rice & Lentil.
For a newbie making even this can be a daunting task. Even a Basic step like adding salt to boiling rice can be monumental as the only instruction you will find is “Hasb e Zaiqa”! How a newbie may decide how much will be right?
My Advice: 1 Cup of Rice = 1 Tsp of Salt. I use Shan Himalayan Pink Salt (easily available in any South Asian store) @shanfoodsglobal
2. Basic Knife Skills
How I missed my house help only I know! Calling out “Chacha: payaz kaat dain… vegetables lengthwise katnay hain…bareek payaz hona chahya..(Translation: ask the helper to cut onion, vegetables in juvenile cut, onions in cubes, etc) and then realising that you are the House Help yourself. This requires the basic cutting skills.
My Advice: Follow Tasty 101 knife skills. I also learnt from here. Trust me you will need this talent however fancy the vegetable chopper and slicer may look this becomes necessary!
3. Reach out to FAMILY first for recipes
In this age, there are multiple digital platforms sharing recipes; easiest & tastiest versions. But I’ll strongly recommend to figure out that one person in your family who is famous for most delicious cooking, the comfort of learning the same taste you loved and grew up on. Can be your mother or mother-in-law or extended family member. I took guidance from both but for more intricate and heirloom recipes I reached out to my paternal aunt (as she learned them first-hand from the cooking goddess My Grandmother). The best part; she was not only willing to forward her recipes to me rather will write them in easier to follow readable manner *she’s pure love.*
Remember! They are pro with years of practice, the shared recipes will be the best version – what you need is discuss and understand the methodology as ZAIQA TO HAATH MAIN HOTA HAY(Taste is in the hand that makes it)!
4. Your husband is your guinea pig
Yes! If he is the reason you are in kitchen, he must suffer the pain equally. If not sharing the cooking ordeal the eating may suffice! Get genuine feedbacks, helps in making the necessary improvements. Don’t get disheartened - it’s for greater good <Evil Laugh>
5. Pick your battles
If you are not comfortable doing something don’t do it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply on cooking as a whole. For myself, I don’t like making Chapattis so I didn’t.
Where there’s a will there’s a way, is the general consensus! NATURALLY, I found an agreeable alternative, perfect readymade wheat chapatis; gracing our dinner table happily for almost 2 years now.
Happy cooking my dear lovelies, you can’t escape it but yes you can make guidelines for yourself: those that you govern; not be governed!