The afternoon was an engaging experience. It all began a few weeks back when I decided that my son must learn to cook else the poor Indian boy was going to starve in Germany without his desi food (Haha…jokes on me).
However, my reluctant gourmand (former) set a few conditions before his foray into the culinary world – it had to be simple, it had to be quick, it had to be healthy, he didn’t like washing dishes, he would not carry masalas from India (for some reason he seems to think that there should be no difference between packing for a two month trip or a two year trip) and most importantly, it should not make the kitchen or fridge smell of masalas as he was likely to share housing with non-Indians (very sensitive of him but very challenging for me).
I asked him his preference of foods. “Mum, when I look at food all I see is protein, vitamins and carbs. Let’s just have them in the right balance.”
“That’s not how I cook,” I splutter.
“Not trying to berate you mum, just saying that’s me.”
Naturally I decided to start with the basics – tandoori chicken. Then I started jotting down the recipe which included turmeric/lemon juice/vinegar and red chilli powder/chilli flakes and by the time I got to garam masala most of the ingredients started becoming optional. (Note: by today even the Indian has become optional. Palatable appears to be the only criteria… and the protein and vitamins.)
Eventually I hit upon a majestic dish that met my son’s expectations – one where you mix your chicken, frozen vegetables, quinoa/rice/pasta/millets and any spices available in your kitchen (I am yet to find an alternate for salt; suggestions welcome) with two grand variations of sauté or bake. For further recipes, simply vary the quantity of spices or substitute ingredients with suggested and creative alternatives.
“Mum, you’ve found me the perfect recipe. See, cooking should not be a chore.”
“Neither should eating,” I defeatedly reply.
Written in response to MLMM’s Sunday Creating Context prompt where we are required to write a response using the following as a starting point. Choose one of the highlighted words to shape our context.
The day/afternoon/evening was a/an hilarious/disappointing/engaging experience. It all began…..