COOKING is an art that not all are well versed in. Some people try desperately to prepare that ?irresistible dish? , but it turns out to be shades below one?s expectations, while others are simply born cooks as even their experiments turn into something scrumptious.My uncle who was an excellent cook, could spring up exotic surprises with the simplest of ingredients.
He would never be worried about the number of people who would turn up at lunchtime or at dinner, as even in the 11th hour he would manage to produce some dish for the table. In fact for my parent?s silver jubilee, he along with my dad?s sister, catered for over 80 people.
However all are not born cooks. My niece at the age of eight, tried to surprise her parents on their wedding anniversary with French toast and coffee.
To her misfortune, the toast got burnt and the coffee had an excess of coffee powder. With age she has matured into a fine cook and it is now a treat to eat food cooked by her. But to hear comments about Indian cooking from foreigners is always nice as they rarely get to taste such spicy cooking.
A friend who runs cooking classes was mentioning to me that often she gets male foreigners enrolling for her classes. I inquired from her as to what is their opinion of Indian cooking. “Well?? she replied, “Most of them feel that one can steal a girls? heart by cooking a good meal. And to cook an Indian meal is their ultimate desire?.
Indeed with the spices, herbs and masalas available in India, it provides for fine cooking, and a complete change from the bland food most Western countries offer.
Most people however are not natural cooks and pick up the finer points in cooking from books, through experience or from friends. Some people prefer to cook for others while others, although good cooks themselves, prefer to eat food cooked by others.
I recall an incident which took place some years ago involving a family friend who had the penchant of complimenting other ladies cooking, much to the anguish of his own wife, to whom he seldom uttered a word of appreciation. Whenever they were invited to anyone?s house he would shower praises to the host?s cooking.
Once while having dinner at a neighbour?s home, he started to praise the host?s wife, “Wonderful, delicious? all the dishes were excellent?? he exclaimed. “And especially the brinjal pickle was out of this world. Remember to take the recipe and try to prepare it the same way?? he told his wife.
On hearing this, his wife and the host?s wife burst into laughter. In reality the pickle was prepared by his own wife who had given a bottle to her neighbour.