#Lockdowninspiration for men.
I bought a big Cauliflower the other day with the desire to have my favorite Aloo Gobi sabzi (dry). As we do not have the luxury of the cook (who is an expert in the preparation of Aloo Gobi) these days, I was absolutely at the mercy of my wife for cooking the dish. Everyday since the majestic vegetable was bought, I opened the refrigerator and found it continuing its whimper for salvation. My wife had other priorities for cooking!
Yesterday, I announced that I am going to make the sabzi for lunch. I googled the recipe of ‘Aloo Sabzi’ and picked up at random one out of hundreds of recipes. My only criteria for the selection was that the recipe should be from a man (Sorry if I sound a bit male chauvinistic). I presumed that men would be extremely sympathetic towards men and they would narrate every little task and explain things like a patient tuition teacher who tutors a student who failed Grade X thrice.
(Like explaining complex words like ‘simmer’/‘stir’/‘saute’ and help in distinguishing certain labels for which I do not have any clarity: eg. a. Tablespoon/ Teaspoon/ Serving spoon, b. Slice/Dice/Chop/Mince/Shred c. Deep fry/Pan fry. d. Grate/Grind etc.)
I followed the steps given in the recipe religiously. Thanks to the lock down, I was not in a hurry for anything (Nothing worth left in Amazon Video and Netflix; Corona analysis in TV makes me further depressed (Everyone is an expert); Fed up of seeing WhatsApp which is full of tiktok videos from everyone (from the priest to the maid).
There was no multi tasking. I gave my complete/undivided attention (except when my wife entered to snoop or to smell a danger). Though the recipe said the total time as 45 minutes, I took double the time. But the result was amazing. And I used just one spoon of oil (don’t ask me which spoon) and I did not pour a single drop of water (‘Raw cauliflower is 92% water’). Perfect outcome for my first ‘completed kitchen project’ (I know I am praising myself too much). The above fact was substantiated by my wife and daughter as they liked Aloo Gobi (semi dry) sabzi (On merits and not out of sympathy – they clarified). We had it for lunch (with rice) and dinner (with garlic bread made by my wife).
I have been an advocate of creativity. I gained tremendous personal satisfaction every time I achieved something or created something. I felt the same when I did this.
The lessons I learnt:
a. I took more than 90 minutes for making a simple sabzi. But, how did my wife or my mother or the cook made over half a dozen items within couple of hours? Cooking is really a marvelous art!! It is real hard labour too! They are definitely successful multi-taskers!
b. How many times I had criticized the dish without realizing the efforts behind its creation? (I regret..I repent...)
c. How rich and healthy are Indian dishes – with so many spices, condiments and herbs go into the making of a single dish! I never realized this before!
d. Even if cooking was easy, the cleaning up and washing the utensils take double the time. Our kitchen managers need an applause every day, for every meal! And a standing ovation before and after every special occasion feast!!
e. Last lesson (to men): I am tempted to say this: “Don’t repeat this so often. Declaring ignorance would give you plenty of time – to sleep, to watch movies, to read and to do nothing.”.
BUT..I would tell instead: “Get inside the kitchen to cook, to clean and to crack jokes”.
Life is tough. Life is painful. Life brings us so much miseries. Each of us have our own share of happiness and sorrow. But, there is no other way…we have to face them…
A Cauli Flower or a cabbage crying in your refrigerator can help you to be humble creators of happiness all around, at least for sometime! Rush…to your kitchen my dear brothers!
© Sibichen K Mathew Image: alamy stock photo