Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tips To Become A Good Cook – II

            I always used to ask what is adventure? Is it hiking the mountains or rocky terrains or go rafting in choppy waters or is it skiing in the Alps. Well for me I felt that cooking is an adventure. The cook is on an adventure on a daily basis. If he is a novice then be sure each meal is an adventure for both sides – the one who cooks and the one who eats it. But for me I liked the thrill of cooking and to see the expression on the faces. Don’t think I’m a good cook. But one thing is for sure, even now, my family cannot expect anything ordinary from me. I do like giving surprises and they love to participate in it. My kids would love to come home anticipating what surprise mother has in store for me and it's not fair to deny them that, Right?
1.     Do surprise the family with some variety in your dish/recipe. To see their expression on their faces is indeed worth a try. In my life I learned it from different ladies. Once I went to visit my friend and she had prepared payasam, - an Indian sweet dish. It tasted differently and it tasted good too, so I asked, what’s the difference? then she whispered, its a secret but I’ll tell you. She had powdered some Badam and added into it changing the flavour altogether. Do take risks, you’re worth it.
2.      Taste/ smell the ingredients before you use it in your recipe, sometimes it  might have an odd taste which would ruin the whole thing. eg:- cashewnuts, tomato sauce, oil, dalda, ghee, etc..
3.      Never think that ingredients are irreplaceable. When I was young my dad presented me with a cook book and I liked to cook. At that time I looked at the ingredients used in each recipe and if I don’t have any one or two ingredients I used to forego cooking that recipe altogether. But now I would say, if the three main ingredients are there then you can cook the dish with innovations and added flavours and colours. The only thing is that you should go for it. And one more thing if you’re planning to make a sweet dish by innovating make sure with innovations in flavour and colour it still is a sweet dish because we can’t serve sour or hot for dessert can we or Can We? So what do you say be the change.
4.      Cook only what is sufficient, as not to have leftovers. Regular eating of Leftovers can be bad for your stomach and also it adds the extra fat in your body. If its not messed up you can give it to the poor or else if you have a pet, its easy or else throw it. But regular throwing is not good for your pocket.
5.      Be open to ideas and suggestions you can do wonders with these ideas.
6.      The last but not the least you should love to cook or else it would be a real drag.
7.     Try not to loose heart when the food doesn’t reach your expectation. There is always a next time. I don’t know whether you would believe it even now I had to waste food because it was not eatable but that doesn’t mean I should quit making that dish and the adventure is in redoing the same dish until it gets it right. But I don’t make the same mistake twice. I would make only a little, so that I don’t have to throw out all over again.
8.      Just put a dash of love and a lot of prayers  in all your recipes, that’s the magic I have woven into my dishes, which makes it special even if it gets burnt or salty or sweety. Hi..Hi..
9.      Never put your greased dishes to wash later, believe me you would have a truck load to wash and you would really get fed up of cooking. So wash as it gets dirty, then you would be a lot relieved after cooking.
10.                         The easiest way to a person’s heart is through food. We can make friends easily with good food. So learn the art and enjoy it. You would love the adventure of taking risks. That's why everyone loves and remembers their mothers because of her loving food and her prayerful thought.
Today I made Payasam and I added Badam and another ingredient, it was simply super. Would you be able to guess it? Keep guessing. I’m not going to say it. Try it.
Take Care.
Meena

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