TODAY -

Paneer Our Daughterís Delight

Kamal Baruah *



Cooking is all about a skill of preparing food by combining, mixing and heating ingredients. All we wish at home for is our mother to cook us a hearty meal. Gone are those days of struggling with cooking?

Food ordering and delivery platform make life easier by changing the way India eats Ė all with just a tap! Itís a reality Swiggy dare not introduce a Lazy Roll. Isnít that LOL Ė Life of lazy, we tried more times than often to restrain from ordering a meal even at late night.

Cooking can be a drag for this busy world. You donít need to be an experienced chef to cook dishes at home, do you? I donít either.

I am an avid foodie, yet I did not develop an interest in cooking since I saw MRE ďMeal Ready-to-EatĒ wherever I go. US Dept of defence supply MRE for its service personnel in combat field. Itís called Packed-Lunch in IAF and I simply loved those typical poori and potato masala.

Fortunately my better half is a great cook and I enjoy scrumptious meals over dinner. I donít cook very often but those lucky guests are always full of praise for my style of Biryani, the only menu I cook well but I make kitchen rather messy. Old things are passed away, behold, online food delivery is becoming new trends. Hosts are no longer in stress to serve a feast at guest anytime.

Despite all luxury to availability of online meals, we try for home-cooked food on weekends. It was not just another Sunday but another special day I busied myself with housework as my wife was days away at school for board paper evaluation.

Soon after dropping her in the early morning I began working around. Our little daughter couldnít help anything for keeping our home clean and tidy. Her first preference is the morning cuppa which I also cannot do without that. In fact, I started my day with a tea.

Office goers do not believe breakfast as the most important meals of the day. After all mornings are tough as time constraints make it impossible to do everything. And I chose for quick and easy yet healthy menus for the hectic morning however the ideas of recipe were scrambling for few minutes to pull together.

I sat by the fire and toasted a piece of bread with a mug of microwave omelette and a pair of banana somehow satisfied our healthy appetite.

The next couple of hours of the day were forced in a whirl of feverish activity. The Sunday bazaar is another attraction for me as I walk around a kilometre in the market for want of organic vegetables from villagers.

I enjoy the smell of clothes dried out in the sun on the terrace. I began thinking another recipe for the lunch while giving the entire floor a quick sweep. I crouch down in fear for meat and poultry products as the Coronavirus outbreak outside. Finally I chose a milk product Paneer that come back to me at last however the worst fear has then been realized that I had never cooked before.

Incidentally, our daughterís favourite is Paneer. She was also confused whether to fry it or otherwise. YouTube rescued us for that juncture. Tomatoes are chopped like a professional with onions were cut into the slices on chopping board quickly.

As Curry was put under preparation over low flame, I kept a look at timepiece on the wall while acquiring a taste for the cumin and coriander inflected gravy-soaked stews, stained yellow with turmeric. The preparation was going progress, albeit rather slowly.

After all lunch got to be ready on time as I was expecting my wifeís arrival after a fatigue duty. However, itís not just the food which makes it so pleasant. The fact that we do it together is just as important. Itís not just incredible curry served over lunch but happiness is being served at home.

A big plate of basmati rice get delighted everyone although it is blamed for being fattening our belly yet South Indian go for all rice products like Biryani to Dosa, Idli and Vada. Soon I raised the lid on the karhai, the paneer smell beguiled us for a moment.

But that was not continuing on that day as we found a very few spoonful of rice cooked quickly in a pressure cooker. There was no way to cook again another plate.

It was 8th March - the International Womenís Day and was the most challenging that I have ever encountered. Although I was experiencing difficulties it was a great cooking experience for a memorable meal.

Nothing gives us more pleasure or a delight which is not necessarily a Paneer, the more delight is of sharing food. Finally I realise, making fresh Paneer is way easier then I think. She is very fussy about food and I could bring a smile of our daughtersí delight.


* Kamal Baruah wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a former Air Warrior and currently working for SBI Dispur. He can be reached at kamal(DOT)baruah(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on March 20, 2020.



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