Sunday, August 10, 2014

...Thoughts Cookin'...

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” 
~George Bernard Shaw

I am a lover of food. For me, food is an integral part of my identity. In my opinion, there's no better way to show affection than cooking for someone.
I come from a family of conservative food choices. Like most of the the other Indian families, for us Chinese food meant fine dining too. I am talking about the Chinjabi (Punjabised Chinese food), mind you.
Having said that, our parents never restricted me and my sister from trying out different things. They always encouraged us to eat meat, seafood etc (they are vegetarians).
We grew up in the times of Pizza revolution where home delivery under 30 minutes was the wow thing.

When I moved to Hyderabad I realized that there was more to food than I had known all along. Yes, there were/are some amazing people who introduced me to Good FOOD then.
One more amazing thing happened - I had started cooking. Initially cooking was more about sustenance and avoiding dabba food every night.  Slowly and steadily my love for cooking increased. I was more experimental with my food choices. I started eating meat and discovered so many things about food.

When I moved to Germany my love affair with food picked up intensity. Along with cooking I also started baking and there has been no looking back.

For the past two years I have been watching Masterchef Australia. I have to be really honest here and admit that it has improved my culinary skills. I have learnt so much just by watching this show.
I have learnt to "balance the acidity". It has made me conscious about making my plate vibrant. Every time I put plate up I make sure that my protein, greens and carbs are in check. I can differentiate between searing, baking, poaching, roasting and sauteing in my sleep. I have learnt to experiment and enjoy my food. I understand the richness of flavors. The finer nuisance of sauces and salads. It has made me conscious of what I eat and how I eat it..
I can safely say that I have never been more aware of my ingredients and food. Every once in a while I experiment something of my own and then eat it like a food critic. Maybe the show is a gimmick. Maybe it is far from reality. Maybe it is rigged but it makes me sit up and think about the most important thing in life.. Taking time out for cooking, eating and also enjoying my food.

Every time I cook I put my heart and soul in to it. Every time I have invited someone over for food is when I genuinely wanted to show my affection. I think cooking helps in building bridges where words fail. There are a lot of messages with the food that you bring to the table. I also love it when people appreciate food and acknowledge your efforts. I like hearty eaters. There is something very comforting about their company.
I absolutely hate, detest and condemn people who make it a point to comment/ question (just when you are about to eat) about the nutritional value/ calories/ how it will make you fat. It is the biggest turn off and one of my pet peeves. Life is silly short and we shouldn't question food all the time. The food is important for each one of us and everyone is aware of that. Questioning it just kills the appetite of the other person. I think we all do that every once in a while and should be pretty sensitive about it.

I love planning meals and constructing them. I love talking about them, comparing them, thinking about them.
The disasters happen every once in a while but well that's how you learn and live on.

My biggest dream is to open a cafe in the mountains and own it. A small cafe with a lot of character.Rustic and Personal. Oh yes, I want to invent a dessert too. Is that really too much to ask for?

A dessert which has all my favorite ingredients -  Coffee, Chocolate, Alcohol..

Coffee, Chocolate, Alcohol.. In no particular order


  1. OMG we share a very similar dream. I love cooking and I have always wanted to own a simple/classy yet affordable and approachable place where people could feel well fed and loved. :)

    May be one day!

  2. Amen to that :)
    I like places where the portions are huge - Just one of my ways of showing affection!!

  3. When I was a kid, my parents used to take us out for dinner once a month and on special occasions. The restaurant or the food wasn't great but I loved it then. I learned whatever I know about cooking once I moved out of the home too. And yes, the cafe in the mountains has always been my dream too! Maybe we'll open one up some day. If not, there's always amazing food to enjoy meanwhile :)