Kitchen time – Minimizing woes and Maximizing cooking
When I got married and started cooking, kitchen time was the most dreaded time of the day and my kitchen was no less than a battlefield. You could almost hear the sound of guns and cannons going off in the kitchen if you listened really hard. And then my mother came to help me.
Lo and Behold! Kitchen was immediately transformed into a garden and kitchen time did not seem a challenge anymore at all!
Like any major task, planning is an essential part of cooking as well. The first step in managing kitchen time is to plan for the meal. For working folks, you can even plan for the whole week.
Planning helps you make a list of things that you would require for the day or the week. Being a south Indian, I usually keep chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and tamarind paste ready at the beginning of every week. I also keep my rasam powder and sambhar powder ready.
My friends keep asking me which company/brand rasam powder I use as my rasam is very tasty. But the fact is that it is tasty because I make it the traditional way – with a little bit of planning.
I also plan my week in such a way that the weekend meals are elaborate, early week are fresh veggies like eggplant or raw bananas or okra and later week are non-perishable veggies like potatoes or cabbage or carrots or beetroot.
Once you have planned out what you want to do during the week, make sure that you have all the ingredients. I have a writing board and a marker pen in my kitchen so that I don’t need to worry about what is there and what is not every week.
I just jot down anything that is close to depletion on that board and my weekend shopping is sorted.
Another useful thing I find these days in supermarkets is cut vegetables for sambhar or pulao or even fried rice. On a particularly lazy day, I find it easy to just buy that packet and toss it in with some rice / dal and my pulao or sambhar is done in a jiffy.
TV time is very rewarding for once. I chop all my veggies or knead my dough while catching up on news or watching my favorite show and I don’t realize when it is done. All I need to do is toss them in and I am sorted with my cooking.
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Most of my friends rely on instant food and purchased masalas, but nothing beats the taste of home ground masalas. It just takes a little bit of extra effort but can be very satisfying and rewarding as well.
Conclusion – Kitchen Time
Cooking is an art if you know how to go about it, but can be a struggle if you keep dreading it. It just takes a bit of practice and some keen observation to learn the art from the older generation.
Food is something that takes more time to prepare than to disappear. But still, the woman of the house finds it extremely satisfying to watch her food disappear as long as it keeps the inmates happy. Don’t they say “You can worm your way into your man’s heart through his stomach!” Plan and execute your kitchen time to perfection.