My first cooking experiment was when I was in the 6th grade.
I made ‘karari bhindi’ after I watched a cooking show on National TV.
I used to cook breakfast items frequently and my mother, being an exceptional cook herself, would help me with the recipes.
I moved to the US for 4 months in Fall 2012 for an exchange program as part of my MBA.
I lived in a house with 6 other folks who knew the basics of cooking.
I took my cooking game to the next level during this time in the US, cooking at least 4 or 5 times a week. All of us took turns to cook, and I would fill in, happily when somebody couldn’t.
I came back to Pune in 2014. Here, I had access to a full-blown kitchen in India for the first time (not counting my mother’s kitchen). I started cooking very frequently for me and my flat mates.
It’s March 2020.
That’s when it really took off from me.
I had never made rice, dal, phulka, chapati.
It was the time when I started making everything I had not before.
From Pulao to Biryani, from phulka to lachha paratha, from tandoori roti to naan.
From dal to exquisite curries, from omelettes to bhurjis and curries.
And that’s when I realized cooking is not hard.
And that everyone should learn it - it’s a basic life skill.
Why this guide?
I think cooking is a basic life skill and everyone should know how to cook decent meals.
Why no pictures?
This effort is about getting people initiated in the process of cooking.
It’s not about presentation of the food.
Why no measurements?
Like the above reason, this is an effort to figure out things for yourself. What ingredients does what to your dish? How much of it is too much? What’s a substitute for which ingredient? You’re supposed to learn these through experiments, with a basic starting point.