Friday, February 4, 2011

Cooking... Cooking... Cooking

It’s been another week of over-cooking. Ranging from Salads (Ceasar’s, Sprouts, etc.), Chutneys (Radish, Cabbage, Corriander and its many derivatives, etc.), Dosas (Adi, Pesarettu, Rava dosa, Plain dosa, etc.), Curries (Dhondakai, Beetroot, Bitter gourd, etc.), Gravys (Shahi paneer, Aloo Matar, Dal, etc.), Italian (Pizzas, Pastas, etc), Chinese (Noodles, Fried Rice, Gobi Manchurian, Baby Corn Manchurian, etc.) – I’ve tried them all. And each one of them was a creative masterpiece!!!

Well if you thought I love cooking, then I probably misled you. In fact, every day cooking is one of the most boooooooooooooooring activities. To be honest, I actually take a stop watch every time I enter the kitchen, and when the time is up – I invariably come out. It’s really not worth spending more than a pre-defined time in the kitchen.

And how do I do this?
Well again to be honest, it’s probably been the only real benefit I got of reading the odes of reading material on Operations Management @ IIMB and the zillions of literature I read on “Lean” – And the basic principles can very effectively be applied to the process of every day cooking. And it always helps me in my objective – which is to “Achieve Maximum Output in the Minimum Amount of Time” & this requires efficiency – basically of processes.

So then why did I spend my precious time in the kitchen cooking so much?
Well, because I love learning new things. I love experimentation. And I love doing anything creative

And, all the time in the kitchen has left me with these learning’s / realizations….
• Cooking is both a skill and an art ; It is a creative process
• If you cook from your heart, it invariably turns out superb!
• The more you try, the more you fail, the more you learn, the more you innovate, the more you create – All only enriches your culinary experiences; and no one can take this away from you
• Fresh vegetables and freshly ground spices make an ocean of difference in cooking
• A complete understanding of the basics of North Indian cuisine, South Indian cuisine and Italian cuisine – Basics will never change…
• If you understand the basics of cooking and have tried a dish once, you will never forget it. (Almost like swimming). You may not remember the exact quantity and exact ingredients, but if you’ve understood the process – you can always re-create it
• Every family has their trademark recipes – Those which you acquire the taste and appreciation from childhood, those which have a history and legacy as they were handed down through the generations, those which any outsider will never probably understand in entirety and those which you can only fully enjoy with your very own family. And if you devour a dish after ages, you will relish it completely and it almost takes you to heaven!!! I know that I almost went to heaven many times this week :)
• There will always be something exclusive about Mom's cooking - Something which you can never ever replicate or re-create. Its always in a different league. And like everything else in life, you realize its value only when you don't have it...
• It’s a moment of great pride and satisfaction when you make that just-so-perfect dish. Something which you will probably cherish forever!!!

And so for me it’s time for me to say Bye Bye to cooking…
And to move on to the next thing …
The list never ends…

1 comment:

  1. wow, do not know how you have the patience to churn out so many dishes with a baby on hand:)
    good luck to whatever venture you are moving on to next! can't wait to hear about it