Have you been watching the numerous food and cookery shows on TV… Watching Aditya Bal or Vicky Ratnani stir up a dish on NDTV Good Times is always fun. It’s also fun watching renowned cooks Kylie Kwong and Nigella Lawson on TLC Channel. New channels on food are popping up every other day and I am fond of them, for I am passionate about cooking. But how good am I as a cook is a mystery!
In my childhood, I used to mess around with things while cooking and my dear ones would praise me for my dishes. Due to their praise, I was inspired to cook something different and better. Cooking can be all fun but only if you are passionate about it. These days, cooking has become fashionable. There was a time, men were not even allowed to step into the kitchen and today men are better cooks than women!
There were times when we had to manage with the traditional food recipes handed over from our parents. Today, thanks to all the recipes on the web and the new food channels, we can enjoy food from all over the world. Not only national but eating even international dishes habits has become common. We have come a long way since Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khana Khazana became the first food show on Indian TV to put the spotlight on cookery. Now, after reality contests such as MasterChef India, everyone wants to be a cook!
The popularity of food shows is creating awareness on healthy living. People are today conscious about their diet and choose their intake of calories. Organic food products are gaining importance. New kitchen accessories are making cooking easier. We are heading towards a balanced diet pattern and we also realise that cooking is not a rocket science.
Things were way different in my granny’s era. I remember my granny describing cooking as an art and I would admire her passion of serving food to her dear ones. We relished eating our granny’s delicacies. She used to spend a lot of time and energy in making her signature dishes and they were delectable!
Cooking was a major task in those days and she had to cook for a family of 9 members. Most of her time was spent in the kitchen. Food was prepared on Chulha and the spices were hand ground. Grocery items were all the more naturally organic. Hand grinding the masala or rice batter for Idli would have been a huge task without grinders and my mom and her sister would conspire to escape the grinding task.
My mom was not only a good teacher, she was a good cook too. During my childhood, all the school teachers and kids would land at my home to enjoy eating Idli and Dosas during Christmas holidays. My mom would put enormous effort to make it all the more traditional by preparing Sambar, Chutney and Aloo Sagu. My friends still relish those memories. I remember my mom always complaining about not getting the right South Indian grocery items in Maharashtra, especially coconuts for chutney in those days. Now you get anything and everything in all the corners of the town. Today it’s all instant and readymade, Instant mixes for Idli, Dosa, curries and Biryani and so on. Further, if you don’t wish to cook, you have fine dining restaurant to deliver the food at your door step. Today life is much simpler and easier! Still we hesitate to cook!