Cooking is an art, a hobby, a passion and often, cooking is a profession. There are days when we do hours of prep to make one dish, while there are also days when we do not feel like entering the kitchen. Like every other activity we do, sometimes cooking does not seem very fun and we do not want to do it. But unlike other activities, cooking and eating is essential for us. So, if you are in that dull phase where you really do not want to cook and you feel lethargic thinking about making dal-chawal-sabzi all over again, let us give you some quick and efficient tips that will bring back your joy of cooking Indian food and make you want to cook up a storm in the kitchen once again.
1. Often, we do not feel like cooking because we have a very easy option to order from outside. Not only is that unhealthy, but ordering food frequently also dents your monthly finances. So, make a routine and decide that you will order food no more than twice a week. With the money that you save, you can buy one fancy kitchen product every month, that you have been wanting to for long! Stick to this rule and you will get new-found motivation in going to the kitchen.
2. Cooking the same thing can get monotonous. How long will you enjoy cooking the same sabzi and chapati? Try to experiment with simple dishes in the kitchen. Bored of the regular roti? Try to make the different variants of Indian flat breads like akki roti or luchi. This way, you do not stray too far away from your staple diet, yet there is that excitement of cooking and tasting something new.
3. There is no stronger pull than that of nostalgia. On a day when nothing can motivate you to get up and cook, think of that one dish your mother or your grandmother used to make for you and try to replicate it. Not only does this bring back the memories of your childhood, it makes you want to know yourself better. You can always call your mother while cooking and ask her for tips. This experience will make you want to connect to your roots and learn how to cook all those amazing dishes connected to your childhood days.
4. While cooking is definitely one of the major stress busters, there is something else that can uplift your mood in no time. And that is music! When you mix both, you create magic. Make a playlist especially for cooking and play it while you cook. Your daily ritual of chopping potatoes and peeling garlic will not seem so tedious after all, if it is accompanied by your favourite singer crooning peppy melodies.
5. Moving on to technicalities, making Indian food involves a lot of steps, with the exception of the good old khichdi. Sometimes, thinking of doing so much work makes us not want to cook. Well, there is a solution for that as well. Tired of peeling garlic every time you cook? Do it at once and make a paste, which you can store for a couple of weeks in your freezer in an air tight container. Knead a large quantity of flour and store it in the fridge for a couple of days. Make tomato puree and again, keep it in the freezer to use for many days. Buy sliced vegetables from the market so that you can skip a couple of steps.
6. When we talk about Indian food, there is a lot of variety. A multi-cultural country like ours has a very diverse cuisine. Try to explore the food of other parts of the country. Call your friends over for lunch who might be from some other state and try to cook the local dishes of that state. This way not only your relationships grow stronger, after all, there is no better way to have socialize than eat and drink together, you get to cook, explore and eat Indian food beyond what your set taste palette is.
These are some very basic tips to not only make cooking fun again, but also understanding that anything loses its sheen when it becomes a chore. Look at cooking – from making a simple raita to cooking a three-course meal as something fun and something that will give you satisfaction by the end product – and you will start to look forward to the me time that cooking provides you with.