Lateral View : COOKING…I’ts not just about recipe!!!

I’ve seen in profile post and also heard people saying in many instances “Oh! I missed home so much…I’m dying for mom cooking”…Ya? You’ve said it right, even I do…!!!

Are we then saying that the “always reservation full” restaurant in downtown hot spot with highly qualified chefs is not able to give the same taste spinned by mommy dear from her blackly stained vessels?

By the way, that highly paid and highly qualified chef cooks day in and day out, his fridge or store room is always stacked with all major ingredients you can think of, he is feeding more than hundred tables daily…while mommy dear cooks few dishes and rather supervise the house maid most of the time, she has limited budget and will buy from the local vegetable cart with maximum haggling, she cooks only for the family (Not more than 10 headsdeviations warranted for bigger familyJ)…To top it up, the chefs is paid, in fact highly while mommy is not!!!

Well, I have not done any formal primary nor secondary research to come up with this conclusion. This is more about my general observation and a bit of cognizance and also mainly because I’ve strongly developed this hobby of cooking for quite sometime now and I’ve been doing frequently in my own capacity.

Ok let’s bring some perspective to the comparison…

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “SOUL FOOD”. It dates back to the slavery days in Southern America where African slaves were given only the “leftover” and “undesirable” cuts of meat from their masters (while the white slave owners got the meatiest cuts of ham, roasts, etc). After long hours working in the fields or up at the house, the evening meal was a time for families to get together, the best possible moments. The big pots became a meal for both body and soul. Soul food is a reflection of African American social values: unity, sharing, good food, and family gatherings. The translation of this in today’s society is the idea that most soul food meals are “feel good” meals (for the body and soul) where socializing with like minded people who share relatively the same core values as yourself is encouraged and appreciated.

Mommy dear cooks SOUL FOOD, while the chef mixes some random RECIPE…

I’ve observed in my cooking as well as cooking of different family members or friends, that you tend to enjoy  cooking of a person who has given his/her time and heart into the cooking. By which, I mean who has given his/her full concentration. A person multi tasking his/her cooking with some other tasks say watching a Friday night reality show or conversing in his/her cell phones doesn’t spin a potion which you can termed  HEAVENLY. I don’t know why, but recipes are like pampered kids, the more attention you give the better taste it gives back.

Mommy dear hardly leaves the kitchen while cooking, she will lid and un-lid the pot and give a smiley stir from time to time and be a part of every moment of the cooking process…while you’re chef has queue of orders lining up, he puts the ingredients in the frying pan, maximize the flame and the next thing he does is serve in some exotic Chinese clay…

Let’s strengthen the contention by having a slight shift in paradigm…How many of you like the neighborhood DHABA (Shack) or for that matter the CHAT WALA (Junk food cart)?

We can always debate the health quotient, but the fact is, given a choice you will choose the CHAT WALA over say a Star restaurant or some up-market coffee shop for your “gol gappa”(type of snack). Don’t you feel the tandoori chicken from that Dhaba is better then the new up-market restaurant throng by thousands of wannabes?

The difference is in the style. You’re chatwala or Dhabawala doesn’t have a preset or documented recipe in his wall, he makes the dish from within, he cooks in front of you, he cooks one at a time, he is involved in that dish throughout the process…which most probably will not be for the up-market joints!

To further…how many of you serious think that a tea bag preparation (Separately mixxed hot water, milk and sugar) taste better then a tea simmered in a pot with all the ingredients together? Let me be blunt, if you like the previous mix than it’s just because you are wannabe (pseudo/sophisticated)…Or you are yet to learn what a tea taste like?

So, my dear friends, cooking is just more then exotic recipes…

Because, even though the chicken is already cut into pieces, the vegetables are already chopped in slices of different shapes and sizes, but when they are tossed together in the pan under flames, to make what is called “FOOD”, they come back alive but in UNION and they need you’re heart and soul, they need your attention…So next time you spin a potion for your dear one, don’t forget to add slices of your soul to give a HEAVELY melt in his/her palate!!!



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