consider cooking a necessary evil while some consider it the best way to relax.
For me, I love cooking assuming I have enough time and a recipe to do it. Obviously,
the most important step is gathering the ingredients. I loved going to Big
Bazaar with amma in Pune – we used to go every weekend or at least every other
weekend (and enough friends have teased me about it. When R had visited, the
first thing Sujay asked the next day was... Oh you took him sightseeing, obviously
Big Bazaar was sightseeing spot No. 1) and here obviously closest to my home is
Royal Meenakshi Mall... an easy 2 KM from home. So getting back to the ingredients, the sight
of all those vegetables and fruits makes my mouth water... And I have found
that the cut veggies section is probably the biggest ally when it comes to fast
Pune, for all the potluck lunches at office, when I asked amma, how about I
make this or make that... and her answer always was... Oh that, that is so
simple. It can be made really quickly... and what do you know it REALLY was!!!
Cooking hardly ever took more than half an hour whatever be it. But, what the
cooking excluded was the cutting of vegetables. Amma would keep everything
ready before I woke up and once it came to cooking she’d say, ok put this, put
that and zip-zap-zoom, it’s done. I was a little wary about getting the cutting
right, but how correct my fear was I was not to know until the first time I
cooked independently at home.
to say, my first cooking in Bangalore was a huge question mark right from the
point when R asked me, so how do you want these vegetables cut? Making noodles
and Manchurian... Now that is a combo I have done so often, I can make it in my
sleep (assuming I have the recipe) but really, how fine do I want the
vegetables? Umm, thin and long... I said. OK this thin, he asks. Ummm, you can
make it a little fatter... Of course when it comes to the cutting, R is an
expert and I really should have taken his advice. The veggies took a million
years to cook.
apart from Chinese, most other recipes I have made have a straightforward
recipe where amma had dictated – cut babycorn in one inch pieces or break mushroom
head and cut in 4 pieces. Simple, right? The other time consuming task is
peeling garlic. R and I pick up a nicely cellophane wrapped peeled garlic box
along with other vegetables. It’s not that we can’t do it, but why
unnecessarily waste, ahem spend energy peeling garlic, right?
tomorrow, we are making Chinese again. We thought of experimenting with some
Schezwan noodles, but as luck would have it, no noodles in the market (That is
like the strangest thing possible, isn’t it? But it really wasn’t there – spaghetti,
macaroni available; but no noodles).
This time, seeing the cut vegetables, I beelined for that – not necessarily
because of the cutting but also because we only need so much carrot, capsicum
and cabbage for the recipe – why buy the whole kilo of vegetable. Now we still
have to cut them up a little finely tomorrow, but it does make life simple.
I asked R, what he thought about it. Do they
have the cut veggies for the ‘busy professional’ or the ‘lazy bum’? He replied,
whichever way you look at it, that’s being an entrepreneur. If there is a
market for something, there’s someone to make it available.
Well, I am not sure which category I fall
into, but I’d say, if there are cut vegetables, ‘Majja ni life.’