Time : 9 months before marriage
Characters: Visha and Zack
“So what are your specialities in the kitchen?”
“(Umm..eating?) Oh, nothing great..am 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.”
“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”
Time : my 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 ).