My relationship with cooking can be well-explained from the humorous stand-point of our most trending tagline – “MEN WILL BE MEN”. 😊 Yes, like most of the men, I usually don’t like to cook and to be honest that predisposition still exists in a sleepy mode. Since childhood my relationship with kitchen is – kitchen means to grab food! As a matter of fact, my presence in the kitchen is always an indication to Mom that, I’m hungry! Furthermore, at home taking used plates from the dining table to the wash bin feels like carrying a bag of stones for miles. Whereas, one of the prime demands of my professional life is “I have to stay away from home”. Since 2010, hardly have I stayed a full-month at home. Presuming my professional life my mom used to advise me “to learn cooking” since I was pursing university studies. As I said, “Men will be Men”, my simple response to mom was – “Are you out of your mind? Think about the restaurants, how they will survive if people like me started cooking! Hail Restaurants!” 😊 Even with this idea I survived a year, when I moved alone to Kolkata at the beginning of 2016. I always quote myself that I’m an Englishman by Breakfast, Bengali by Lunch and now Odia by Dinner. During 2016, my permanent breakfast was Bread-Jam, Kellogg’s, Muffins/Banana, Boiled Egg, Coffee and at times Tropicana and the dinner was – Chappati and Egg tadka.
Honestly, one of the good teachers in our Bachelor Men’s life is “After 15th, it hurts the pocket”. With the dawn of 2017, I realized that it was high-time to learn cooking. Co-incidentally, while I was returning from Christmas vacation my uncle gifted me a Pressure cooker on my birthday. Lo and behold, I kickstarted the journey of cooking and initially (almost the first couple of weeks) over-boiled rice was always on the dinner plate. The first week taught me, it is always too painful to waste food when you have cooked it. So, sweet pickle and good curry from the nearest restaurant made my over-boiled rice eatable. Gradually, I learned cooking a few more curries. Though I have prepared only a couple of times, but I really enjoyed cooking “Masala Prawn”. It wasn’t of Chef’s level but yea far-far better than some homely preparation.
It was Saturday morning; I went to the market and saw very good prawns out there. Unable to control my foodie gluttony I bought some prawns. Since I don’t know how to clean them, I had to pay extra bucks to the vendor. Again, after cleaning them with fresh water, I marinated them with salt and turmeric. After sometime I deep fried with refined oil. Then separately fried onion, added salt, turmeric, coriander powder, red chilly powder and fried for a few minutes. Added ginger-garlic paste, tomato sauce, soya sauce and cooked it with fish masala for a few more minutes. Then added the fried prawns to the masala and with little water at a low fire cooked it for a few minutes. Then while removing the Masala prawn to the container, I added some fresh coriander leaves. It was one of the good Saturday lunches which I enjoyed all alone – no sharing, all mine. 😊
Fun apart, to the reader’s vantage point, let me quote the well-known American author Zig Ziglar – “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
Life, through its big and small challenges invites us to learn and kick the journey to do grow better both in the eyes of the LORD God and human beings. Eating over-boiled rice to enjoying Masala Prawn took 2 hard years for the “Men will be Men” thinker. While feeling bad to waste even the over-boiled rice and gulping it with the help of pickle, perseverance was the virtue in distress.
The Bible says,
“Let perseverance finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything”.
Waiting and persevering to mature in the art of cooking too!!