How to bring divine or finger licking taste in your cooking?

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I got married and went to my in laws house in Mumbai after the honeymoon. I, my husband and my Father in law were staying in the house. My husband left to office. My Father in law said he would cook the meal – Chappati and Aloo Palak (potato with spinach). I told him very clearly that I do not know any cooking. He asked me to knead the dough for the chappati and cook the potato in the cooker and went to have a bath. I thought I will keep the cooker and knead the dough. To my surprise they had the picture 1 cooker whereas I have seen only a picture 2 cooker in my mother house. So I didn’t have a clue as to how to put the cascade (rubber) in it. I was also looking for the weight or the whistle which I could not locate even though it was just in front of my eyes. I do not know that certain cookers have a long whistle.

My in laws house cooker – picture 1

My mother house cooker – picture 2

By the time I was figuring out things my father in law came after his bath. He was shocked to see that I am not able to keep even the cooker. I narrated this incident just to make the readers aware how much knowledge I possessed soon after marriage about cooking and cooking equipment s.

An incident before marriage – I belong to the South Indian family and the food is prepared in the morning, all of us have the meal in the morning and leave for the work. There is no concept of breakfast. When I was doing my CA, I was the first one to leave the house. Some times may be there is no salt in the food still I would quietly finish the food and leave the house. In the evening my mother would ask me was the food you had in the morning was good. I would say pretty much but something was missing. She would get annoyed with me and blessed me that I can never become a good cook as my senses are very week and I cannot even figure out that the salt was missing.

After 2 years of struggle after marriage I managed some daily cooking. I had 2 neighbour ladies in their 40’s one a South Indian and another North Indian. They both were one of the most enthusiastic house wife’s and they used to cook in tons and distribute in their neighbourhood. Being their neighbour I have tasted their lovely cooking. So I went to them and started learning to cook both South Indian and North Indian for the next 3 years. By then I have learned the recipes of all the authentic cooking. But I was not getting the divine taste or the finger licking taste in my cooking. So I started to suspect them – may be they have a secret ingredient which they are not disclosing to me. When  said this to them they said “Uma you are putting in a lots of efforts and for the time being concentrate on the efforts and the outcome will follow with more practice”. Though the answer sounds good, I was not satisfied with the taste of my cooking. My mothers blessing that I can never become a good cook as my senses are week also used to linger in my mind. I was wondering how to get that taste?

InSouth Indiawhen a person hears the death news of his near or dear should have a bath before he touches any object in the house! Whenever sad news is heard we collapse, emotionally upset, senses week and mind not in a position to think. Such a mind can be gathered quickly after a bath. That is why there is a mandate that we should have a bath after death news. The person who does the death ceremony is also asked to have bath so many times during the event as it is very difficult to carry on the ceremony when the emotions are low.

Similarly, if we had a fight with our husband in the night and we are entering the kitchen in the morning to cook a meal. The ego will be cribbing saying “see how much I am doing!!! Nobody is bothered!!! Why should I cook “. These words of cribbing or our emotions are passed on to the food that we cook as per Ayurveda. If such a food is served to the family, the children will start quarreling and the husband will not forget the last night event and the distress will continue for 1 week to 10 days.

That is why in earlier days women were asked to cook only after a bath. Believe me even if you  had a fight last night, wake up early in the satvik time i.e. between 4 am to 6 am and indulge yourself in an elaborate oil bath or a spa treatment to yourself and come to the kitchen and cook. Serve this food to your husband by sitting near by with full love then the food will definitively have the divine taste or the finger licking taste.

Facts:

  1. In southIndia, ladies will have oil bath twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. The oil bath is a recommended therapy for calming down. Take some time out and have an elaborate bath. See the freshness in your face and in the mind. This is one of the methods for calming the mind.
  2. Even after delivering the baby, the mother is asked to have an oil bath every alternative day. As the emotions are very low at that time and to cope with the sleep less nights. I remember when I delivered my elder son, I used to have oil bath and eat the lovely divine food served by my mother and will feed the baby (feeding the baby after a meal is very intoxicating). I used have such a deep sleep. Wow! What a lovely experience.
  3. Cooking is a therapy to develop our senses. Senses give the input to the mind to perceive thinks. If our senses are vigilant then we can perceive things clearly. Really my senses have become sharp after I have started to cook. No need to have a good sense to cook in turn senses gets developed with cooking.
  4. Satvic Time – if a person gets up everyday during the satvik time then naturally such as person will be calm in his behaviour. We inhale the oxygen released by the plants; its purity is disturbed by the sunlight. After sun set the plants relax and breathe well. So in the morning the universe is filled with pure air. Inhaling such an air will calm our mind.
  5. I narrated the incident after my marriage to make the point clear that it really doesn’t matter where we started what matters is where we reach. So never feel that you do not posses certain skills, just put in some efforts you will get it very soon.
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18 responses »

  1. Good one Uma. Entering your loved one’s heart through the stomach will help you bond strongly. Great writing simple yet strong.

    All your articles are very good just read all of them now 

  2. I really enjoyed reading this one Uma, never thought of the calming down effect in the meal.
    Even I never used to complain if something was lacking in the food…would simply eat and head out 🙂 Now I have a husband who not only knows how each item should taste but an excellent cook himself! So now I have a well developed taste buds to match for 🙂 As you said it is all in the practice and the love we put into it.

  3. uma good read. Only today I am seeing this long whistled cooker for the first time. so i would have definitely struggled if asked to use this cooker even today.

  4. Nice one. it reminds me of the incident , don’t know why I did it. I opened the cooker one day without releasing the pressure completely and suffered from second degree burns… I was very stressed and my mind failed to work, though I know it is not right to do. So when other people knew about it, their immediate reaction was, don’t think you can always learn things by making mistakes and then try to learn from it… OMG felt burns are better than these words….

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