Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bachelorhood 2.0: The “Gayathri Mantra” of Cooking

If you are a Bachelor – either living through Bachelorhood 1.0 (before marriage) or Bachelorhood 2.0 (forced bachelorhood post marriage) and want to sharpen your survival instincts, no better way than to learn cooking. Cooking is a very peaceful process that gives you so much of creative liberation, which at times makes your regular day jobs more mundane.

Capsicum Fried Rice
A lot of times the typical response from guys (read roomies / peers) is
“Cooking is for girls”
“I can’t cook for nuts”,

“Cooking means emptying the Maggi packet in boiling water—right?”

Thanks to these dumb asses the likes of MTR, Maggi, Top Ramen and other fast food companies have created a small scale industry with “Ready To Eat” (RTE) foods where all one needs to know is to boil water in a vessel and empty the packet inside it or warm it in a hot water environment. At times these “RTE” are real life savers – when you are traveling or are too busy to cook anything. If RTE becomes a way of life, it just confirms the fact that one has given up on life and the excitement that cooking is about to unravel. Cooking will also help you to wade the troubled waters of a kitchen strike by your wife due to a tiff or sudden demand for a trip to restaurant or if they are ill!

Aloo Gobi
For starters to the cooking world, here is the “Gayatri Mantra” of mastering cooking. This is not only the “Starter Kit” that gets you started as a novice, but also will be a “Weapon of Mass Destruction” as you reach the expert levels to try cooking different varieties and cuisines. The mantra is written more like a poem as cooking is more of an art than the process of following step wise instructions with measurements from cooking books and sites like Tarla Dalal, NDTV cooks, Sanjeev Kapoor.

The “Gayatri Mantra”

Stanza 1: Background

“A little bit of oil in the frying pan that boils
Invites the mustard seeds (rai), cumin seeds (jeera) and asafetida powder (hing) to dance on it
and while they mingle and start bursting
smear the party with some colors - a dash of turmeric (hing) and salt (namak)
Spice it up with ginger (adrak), garlic (lasoon) and chilli (mirchi) to taste and fry till they turn brown”

Stanza 2: The beginning

“Then come the onions, who sweat till they slim down,
The tomato is excited to toil in the sweat of the onions
Now is a good time to add X
While they get friend and mix with each other, keep tasting a tad bit at regular intervals and stir the essence of them through your magic wand - The spatula till it tastes good for consumption”

Stanza 3: The various facets X - Factor

Where X is
1) a vegetable like carrot / beans / cauliflower / cabbage / red or green pepper (capsicum) / ladies finger if you want to create a curry as a side dish with no gravey

2) including some water to make it gravey like and any vegetable to make it a gravey vegetable that can easily go with rice

3) X at times can also have some more masala’s like “Garam Masala”, “Ghoda Masala”, “Corriander powder”, “Cumin Powder” apart from the water and vegetables.
Mixed Vegetables

Stanza 4: The closing

“Ensure that when all is fried and raising smoke that tantalizes your your nose to glory or burns the base of your cooking vessel to black
What your dish is asking for is some pampering after being stirred , fried and baked in the heat of your stove
While you don’t need to please it with bouquets, kisses or the latest platinum earring set, all you need is a sprinkle of coriander leaves, slice of lime or slice of red pepper/ green pepper (capsicum) to complete the decoration and consume it asap!”

Chole Masala

Remember that whatever goes into this mantra in the form of your vegetables, with the true devotion of your patience – comes out in the most palatable form – cooked by your very own hands! The measurements etc. are all per judgment and a true cook never measures what he puts. He just knows to put the right quantity – if not by birth, but by experiment and experience!

A glimpse to some of the successful dishes out of this mantra are attached in this blog!

On the lighter side, ensure to forget this mantra when you become a "grihasta" - marry or get back to your wife post Bachelorhood 2.0 and you suspect that they would strike a deal to force you to cook, just grin innocently and say
"I think i had the Ghajini Effect and forgot cooking"!

Enjoy cooking!


Meenakshi Deepak said...

Now that u have blogged about the entire process.. the "ghajini" effect will no longer work... :))))))

Meenakshi Deepak said...

But i loved the way u have segregated and explained the whole thing with a poetic effect :)

Atreya rocks said...

:) Thanks for the encouragement wifey. Yeah - Ghajini effect won't work - but i will also try forgetting this URL and article now, apart from cooking! :D :D :)

Anu said...

Good job on cooking Deepu...It runs in the family isin't it...;-)
Well done bro, because it takes a lot to enjoy your cooking and display it when you are all by yourself....

Atreya rocks said...

@ Anu - hehhe..yeah it pretty much runs in the family! Thanks for your comments :)