You have never been interested in cooking, and while a lot of the other girls loved to pass their leisure time cooking in the kitchen, that was not your case. Or you are about to get married and get anxiety about what you’re going to do about cooking, but at the same time, you do not want to spend the last few months of singlehood at your parent’s house cooking food in the kitchen. Well, you do you. Don’t panic even if you get stuck in an awkward cooking scenario in susral where everyone has their expectations so high while you have no idea how you will satisfy their desire to find a potential chef in you. Do not worry because you will find practical solutions in this article.
Every son loves his mother’s handmade food and it is but natural because we girls too love and prefer maa ke hath ka khana (mom’s hand-cooked food) over anything. Don’t we? So the point is never to get competitive with your mother-in-law. It’s natural and the comparisons might come into your mind when you notice the difference in the husband’s reactions to eating food made by you vs. your mother-in-law. But keep in mind that it’s always smart to learn to pick your battles and this is not it.
Most importantly relax, you do not have to overburden yourself and get all the praise at the start. Cooking in susral isn’t a cooking show challenge where it’s a do-or-die situation. It’s okay; you can learn with time and gradually become better at it whether it’s making a perfect gol roti or anything else. Just never lose hope.
List of stuff you’d need:
You need to invest in the right tools. While buying your kitchen tools don’t go too overboard and make a list of essential stuff beforehand. You need to figure out exactly what you need and then invest wisely.
Some of the stuff you might want to invest that I’ll recommend is:
- A non-stick pan and fry pan so that even if you are a beginner, your dishes don’t get burnt and look more tempting (Available on Amazon or AliExpress).
- A chakla belna for making round roties easily (View on Amazon or AliExpress).
- Measuring tools. If you are going to be following recipes these would be quite handy (See on Amazon or AliExpress).
- A hand blender is always helpful and makes cooking easier (Check on Amazon or AliExpress).
- A good knife (Available on Amazon or AliExpress). Or a kitchen scissors (View on Amazon or AliExpress).
- A peeler from Kiwi (See on Amazon or AliExpress).
- A pair of gloves so you can avoid unnecessary roughening of your skin (Check on Amazon or AliExpress).
- A plastic or glass cutting board so you don’t end up cutting your own hands or get those tiny cuts (Available on Amazon or AliExpress).
- And last but not least, a stainless steel finger guard protector for personal hand safety and easy cutting. This would become your most favorite tool because I cannot go on about how many times I used to cut my fingernails while chopping vegetables. But this tool has been a game-changer (View on Amazon or AliExpress).
Note: This list might vary from person to person depending upon the type of cooking they are into, but it would get you started.
Now that you have invested in the right tools and are about to head to the kitchen, let’s discuss how you’ll be able to learn and cook like a pro without having prior knowledge.
Do your homework:
If you cook anything make sure you read and go through the recipe beforehand and if you are given instructions by someone- most probably your mother-in-law right at the time of cooking and you are stuck in the situation where metaphorically, you don’t know which chapter of the book the teacher will give the test from, don’t worry. When you are told what you’ll be making for lunch get started by chopping onions (because that’s a must for everything you’ll be cooking), and after that go to the washroom or make any excuse to leave the kitchen and search that recipe on the internet. It’s just like you’re cheating in an exam hall. But all of this is only if you have a strict susral, who you know, would make a huge fuss out of the news that you don’t know how to make that certain dish. Otherwise, you can just ask them or search the recipe in front of them. However, what I used to do is… I’d sneak out and watch the recipe, make notes on my notepad because I couldn’t be pausing and playing the YouTube video in the kitchen and getting the news viral about how the new bahu cheats the recipes and DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO COOK.
Food fusion is your best friend:
In most cases men like a variety of food to eat. Not the same chicken karahi or daal chawal every other day. Food fusion has a whole range of recipes that are easy to follow and use ingredients that are quite commonly available in our houses. No this is not a paid promotion but I and a whole lot of other girls whom I have talked to and surveyed regarding the best YouTube cooking channel, swear that they wouldn’t have made it in their kitchens without Food Fusion. You can never be out of options of what to cook if you are a food fusion follower. Also, while following a recipe don’t improvise too much. Stick to the recipe and you can alter according to your taste the second time you plan to make the same recipe. Here’s the link: (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuqBZWK9Wrol_4Y22DzisFQ)
Gather the ingredients:
After you have gone through the recipe, gather all the ingredients on your table. Have them measured, prepped, and ready to add to your pan. Not only does this give you master-chef feels, but also makes cooking a lot easier. Depending on what you are making, make sure you buy fresh meat and vegetables.
Garnish like a chef:
Presentation of the food is very important. We might not have given this its due importance at our parents’ houses but girls, usually in susral men tend to make their first impression of a dish just by looking at it. So watch YouTube tutorials to learn quick and easy hacks to decorate your salads and garnish your dishes, and your efforts will always be appreciated.
Don’t leave your dish unattended:
This is for two main reasons. Firstly, unattended food can get overcooked, undercooked, or might need stirring. Secondly, living in a joint family (susral) you cannot be sure if someone, just to pull your leg, didn’t add something to your food. And it is better to be on the safe side rather than having second thoughts and being suspicious.
Pick instant hacks:
- While you are kneading the dough, leave it for 10 minutes in the end and the dough gets smoother with less effort.
- Dip already cut potatoes in water to avoid browning of potatoes.
- To keep herbs and vegetables fresh for a longer time, keep an egg in the container to preserve them.
- To get more juice out of the lemon, microwave it.
Many such tips and tricks are easily available on the internet that make your work in the kitchen easier. Also, focus on time-saving hacks, such as making the ginger-garlic paste and storing it for everyday use at the start of the week can save a lot of time.
Add love to your food:
Whatever you make and whenever you cook food, if you add love and hard work to the recipe, it shows in the taste. My mother used to say “Khare ho ke bhuno aur mehnat karkeai bhuno toh pata chalta hai.” Cooking food is an art and it requires effort. It can be both fun and boring depending on how you perceive it.
Be your own judge:
Always taste what you have cooked at the end of cooking or before adding coriander or cream. Adjust the salt and pepper as per your taste and then serve it. If you are in doubt while adding salt and spices, make sure you put less at the start because you can always increase spices and salt at the end but when it becomes too spicy, you might get in trouble.
Practice makes a person perfect:
Remember, nobody can learn anything overnight. It takes time, effort, and hard work. There are little things that no tutorial can teach you and you’d only learn from personal experiences and practically making those recipes.
Even if you believe you are good at cooking, be mentally prepared to have to make some adjustments in your cooking style. You cannot be stubborn. Be open to suggestions and adapt to change. You might have to listen to criticism. That’s okay as long as it is constructive criticism. Understand the peoples’ taste buds and update your recipes accordingly. Taste differs from person to person and from family to family. Some people use a lot of black pepper and some are allergic to black pepper. Now you should keep your eyes and ears open and use these critiques to your benefit. It’s just like a software update; you take the feedback and update your customer service accordingly for the future to provide a better customer experience.
Other than these basic tips if you have any tips in mind, do comment below. Hoping this was helpful.