Culinary tales

Time9 months before marriage

Characters: Visha and Zack

“So what are your specialities in the kitchen?”

(Umm..eating?) Oh, nothing not much of a cook, dont get the time anyways”

“Yeah, yeah that is understandable. My mom and sister are awesome cooks. They usually compete with each other.”

“Um hmm”

“Do you know how to cook?”

Oh yeah, I cook pretty good. My friends will vouch for my chicken roast at any time

“Anything in vegetarian?”

“I can make sambar and potato fry”

“Thats my favourite combination”

“Oh is it, then deal – I will make it for you after marriage”



“You will make the same dish everyday?”

“No, you learn cooking something different than this. Then we will make a chart for the week. 3 days we will have potato fry and the rest of the days you cook whatever you know”

“Why only 3 days?”

“You are not going to cook at all or what”

“Of course I will, but not sure if anybody would want to taste it. I made rasam a couple of years ago. When I tasted it, it was worse than plain water. Dont want to make your family go through similar trauma you see”

“Hmm, things will work out, don’t worry”


Timemy first day in the kitchen after marriage

Characters: Sister-in-law, Visha and Zack

“Lets have a hot cup of tea from the new lady in the house”

Sure, would you like to have elaichi tea? You will love the aroma and the taste of it

“But nobody here have tried anything apart from the normal tea. We all would rather have the normal one dear”

No, you should try it at least once, everyone will like it

(Smiling) Ok dear, go ahead”

(after 15 minutes)

Here you go

“That looks good Visha, it should taste good as well, everybody is going to ask you to make tea from now onwards”

(Thrilled) Oh that would be my pleasure

(no reaction for 1 minute from anyone. There are 5 people in the room and each one is giving the other dubious looks)

Dear, are you sure this is tea?

“Oh yeah, maybe nobody liked the elachi in it”

“No dear, what you have done is you have made us elaichi coffee instead of elaichi tea”

After few months down the line, I started cooking stuff that was at least edible (not sure if it was eatable). Nobody had the need to rush to a hospital after eating my food. That is how I judge between good food and bad food 😛

Somewhere after about 6 months, I was blessed by Goddess Annapoorna Devi and a recipe came into my mind. I had come from office and most of the family members were out on a family function. It was just me, Zack and my father-in-law. So taking a chance I implemented what all I had in my mind. And viola, a new recipe was born. Till date, I am asked how do I make such a dish – which is so easy to make but a pure delight to the taste buds.

What is it you ask? I do not know actually. The core ingredients are rice and red chilli powder, with some onions and whatever vegetables are available. According to the ladies of my house, it is neither fried rice nor biryani. No, not pulao too.

Even though I had this path breaking achievement, I could not satisfactorily dish up a decent meal. Something or the other would be amiss. Sometimes the salt, sometimes the masala. To put it in Zack’s words – ” Everything is perfect Visha, but I am unable to relish the dish “.

14 months down the line, I can declare that I can cook up the perfect meal – starters, main course and dessert. What brought about the change? No special ingredient nor any secret masala. I found out that when I cook without the burden of expectations in my heart, every single thing comes out well. When I am trying to please someone or someone is trying to judge my cooking I tend to make mistakes.

On an afterthought, that’s how ‘ Visha’s rice ‘ was born( yes, that is how the above mentioned rice recipe is known in my family ).

33 thoughts on “Culinary tales

  1. I am very tempted to say same pinch ; minus the cooking for a spouse though. I have to cook to survive, no way out for vegetarians here – so have a handle on most dishes now mainly through practice and experimentation ofcourse.

    Funny one, liked reading it.

    PS: Laud Zack’s effort at enduring the Elaichi Coffee and rasam for me – I have been guilty of salting someone’s tea, so know what it must be like :D.

    Cheers 🙂

    • Practice sure makes you have any out-of-the-blue-discovered-recipe? Please share it to make some lunch/dinner times easier 🙂

      Glad you liked this one AS!!

      Haha…he just had a sip of my elaichi coffee and gently returned the cup back..and that rasam was a couple of years ago before I met him 🙂

      Salted a tea..OMG 😀

  2. Hey, I did that tea/coffee thing when I was a kid once. Except, I mixed tea instead of instant coffee for my dad. It was horrible, but the poor man drank it with a smile 😀 Your post is so sweet. Yes, it’s very true for me too, I cook the best when I’m relaxed, happy and with no expectations to please anyone. I cook best for my husband because he would eat it no matter how it is 😀

    • Instant tea!! Your dad would not wish to ruin your smile I guess 🙂

      Yes, food comes out good when there is no pressure on you.

      Glad you liked it Sumitra 🙂

  3. hehe….Brave man!! 😛
    I don’t remember any blunders in the kitchen 😦 If there were any, I would have written about it too 😀
    You don’t remember the recipe!?! Shit!!

    • CD!!

      Maybe you started out awesomely re..unlike me – bumbling and blundering 😀

      I do know the recipe..I ‘created’ it, remember 😉

      Do you want it??

  4. lolz!!
    Elaichi coffee!! 😀
    Poor K was very hesitant to ask me whether I knew how to cook or not! 😉
    The first time I cooked Rasam, rice and subzi – he was more relieved than happy!! 😀 😉

  5. Cooking is so much fun! I love the way individual ingredients merge together to form one yummy dish. Oh and the fragrance of spices. And garlic. And jeera… Ah…

    Ok early in the morning, stomach growling. :/

  6. Vishaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !

    hehehehehe, I can so imagine the dubious looks.
    I love cooking and I so agree about the expectation part and all. I get so enthusiastic when I try something from the internet and all. infact, lately I try to photograph before the food is devoured so that someday I can share on my blog.
    I really enjoyed reading this and liked the format of your writing also 🙂
    Please can you share the recipe ? :))

    • Toffffeeeeeeee 🙂

      Food photography huh…now thats interesting…do a post soon ok 😉

      If your food is devoured that explains it must be yummy… 🙂

      Aaah..glad you enjoyed!

      Recipe..there is nothing much to do to label it as a recipe.. 😀 😀

      Heat oil in a pan, put some cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, ginger-garlic paste and julienne onions. Saute them all. Put whatever veggies you have like beans, carrots, peas, fry for some time. Put the rice in, add chilli powder, turmeric, salt and water. Pressure cook the rice. Serve with raita. Thats it!!

      If you try this out, send me its pic asap 😉

      • Visha 🙂

        I will definitely try this out 🙂 It sounds yummy.

        I think I am a lot like you in this regard : use whatever veggies, fry it and blah- I speak just like that ! 😛

        Okay okay, snap will be shared/ emailed (depending on my success) 😛

        • Toffee 🙂

          Do so..and does come out yummy 😉

          I have a list of fantastic food bloggers, drop me your email ID, you have fun with the recipes and post the outcomes 😀

          okie dokie, fingers crossed for your success 😛

  7. Ah ha Nice .. os how about sharing those recipes that you make NOW to the likes of me ..
    I never ever cooked while i was in india but coming ot uk taught me a lot there is only so many times one can eat Mcdonalds etc .. I love cooking .. dont know if others will eat what i make though 🙂

    • Welcome Bikram!!

      I did already, I gave out the recipe in the previous comment…I never cooked before marriage, was downright lazy to do so 😀

      Yeah, McDonalds cant be a staple diet…let me tell you one thing, if you take a bite of your food which you cooked and gave a smile, be sure others will like too 😉

  8. Hey, very funny!!! I loved the way you used colours for the characters :)…
    And you are so right, when you say that cooking without the burden of expectations causes things to come out well.

  9. :D, i am sure to find myself in a similar situation soon 😛 . I cannot cook to save my life :D.. but the best part is the elachi tea uff coffee being voted as awesome by your Husband …”P. but yes like you aptly said, when you cook without expectations, or about comments, and simply cook for the love of it, it tastes awesome… 🙂

  10. hahaha you seriously did that? coffee instead of tea? 😛 😛 #facepalm moment? 😉

    may be it could be called as ‘red veggie rice’ ? but on second thoughts I guess Visha’s rice sounds much better 🙂

    When I got married I too didn’t know how to cook…I mean I knew but wasn’t very much interested in cooking…had never cooked in ma’s house,so you get the hang!

    But 7 years from then I can claim that I can be considered as a good cook…of course I’ve a long way to go…to cook like my mother and grandmother…but I’m doing a decent job and what people at my home appreciate whatever they eat every day 🙂 Husby also says that I’ve graduated to cooking everything nicely and with details !!

    🙂 Happy Cooking 🙂

    • It was a facepalm moment, but I was undergoing the forehead-palm-smacking routine for full 30 seconds 😀

      Red-veggie..hehe..nice name…when I put beet-root in it, it can be called that 😉

      Hai raam..if after 7 years you say you are still learning, I have a loooooong way to go..

      Your husby is sweet 🙂

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