“I AM NOT HUNGRY IF YOU ARE GOING TO COOK”

I am from that population of Indian middle class women/ girls, who were/are never allowed/forced/asked/ had to enter kitchen before their alliance was fixed.  Studies were of paramount importance in my life then.  So distanced I was from kitchen even in a single room house that I was capable of burning even water if I was asked to boil it (I request you to not to take it too literally 😁).

The crux is I was miserable when it was about cooking. From choosing the wrong ingredient to choosing wrong technique, from overcooking to undercooking, I have been there done that all. If a person can overload something as simple and basic as instant noodles with salt you can imagine her expertise in spoiling the food and taste. Yes, that was me.

One instance from my “cookbook” (since it’s mine I can serve only incidents which are luckily not accidents and not recipes)  that I would remember till my memory power is intact and would like to share with you all on this page.

That was in the year 2004, I went to my friend’s place and was very hungry. I told her the same.  Within no time she rolled out flat bread (roti) for me and served along with a curry (a combination of a lentil and bottle-guard, a kind of vegetable). It was very delicious and pacified my hunger.  I was in awe of her culinary skills. So inspired she left me that I have decided to wear an apron and enter the kitchen.  Requested recipe and with head full of imaginations that I would dish out something sumptuous and receive praises from my family I reached my house.

It was Sunday, I announced that a delicious meal is on its way, I am going to cook today. Mom gave her consent and I debuted in kitchen.  Got the spices right, chopping done and everything gone into the process.  And I started off with flat breads. Aroma of spices soon engulfed the house.  I was so happy that I am on right track.

Before I could submerge myself into that feeling my flat breads started turning out to be burnt (not every single piece, but only a majority of them😂). I said to myself “it happens in trials” and turned to my curry and opened the lid. Appearance seemed so-so, not very pleasing. “Okay let everyone taste it first, sometimes appearance may be misleading” this is how I assured myself that everything will be fine.

As everyone was hungry I had to hurry up serving them. And my eyes were fixed on their faces to catch their unadulterated reaction to what went through their tongues to stomach. 😥😫 These emojis might explain you their plight then. The lentil was undercooked and spices almost left them with upset stomachs. Horrible is the word to be precise.

My brother, typical he is started pulling my leg. In fact he was right when he said “In which part of the world is this called FOOD? Thanks for making us fast dear” and left my parents in splits and made me frown. My father was more encouraging and said “Keep on trying, it’s just the beginning”.

That surely lifted my spirit and I requested for one more chance and wanted to try a new dish in the evening. Everyone, especially my brother was taken aback and turned to my father and said “Please save us from going to bed in hunger, please cook something that has your signature (my father was a great cook)”.

When I insisted on being given a chance my brother declared “I am not hungry if you are going to cook”😔.

That day gave me a lesson for life “Don’t try to sprint before learning to walk or else be ready to fall flat on face”

I could have started with little help in kitchen rather than taking a huge leap of cooking an entire meal that day😀.

Do share your kitchen experiences/nightmares, whatever they are. I am all ears 😀.