[Under the firm tutelage of Master Chef V.]
Did I mention that I don’t cook? Biryani, broth or all that nurturing stuff… I don’t do that. Unless you mean eating it. Or pouring it out of a can and stirring hot water into it.
I like doing things I’m good at. And so far cooking is not one of them. Also, I have this niggling suspicion that if I start cooking there will be no end to it and I’ll get no credit for it like millions of (foolish) women before me. So I did the smart thing, wrung my hands, swallowed accusations of incompetence and the ocassional embarassment in front of the in-laws, sat back and relaxed.
The only time I worry about not being able to cook is when I start thinking about having children. Which has never been a problem for the past 28 years because it wasn’t a thought that crossed my mind too often. Now, though, that’s changing. And I refuse to raise my spawn on instant noodles because I’ve actually met a couple of people who were and it’s not pretty. Also, although I rebelled against veggies and still do, I secretly believe they’re good for you.
Anyway, now V’s a wounded soldier and I have to rise to the ocassion. Actually I wouldn’t have had to but it’s Chinese New Year too and the shops where we get cheap cooked food quite possibly will be shut. So I *gasp* volunteered to cook.
I even bought chicken. Till now, I’ve been pretty sure that non-veg cooking is not for me. Hypocriticial I know but while I can’t stop eating meat, I really don’t like handling raw meat. Too close to the truth and all that.
Till the very last minute I didn’t actually think I’d be doing it. But then V started dictating instructions to me and I started writing them down to his amusement. Leave nothing to chance, is my rule of the thumb when confronted with anything culinary.
Then I started chopping. I’d never admit it outside of this blog but I actually like doing routine stuff like this. Where you don’t have to think about anything else but the knife going chop chop chop. Except if you dream too much you might end up nicking your fingers which is why I’m not ideal for stuff like this. But I managed to get through with all my extremities intact. And I discovered if you chop an onion in half and put it in the fridge for a couple of minutes before chopping it, your eyes don’t tear up.
Also, you can just chuck the chopped stuff in the blender if you don’t want to cut too fine.
Next, I started dumping things in the cooker. Here’s when it got stressful. V hobbled into the kitchen and started shouting “quick quick stir it. it’s burning”. We had a mini fight and I nearly toppled the malasa jars but then I got it under control and chucked the chicken in. I had bought chicken legs only so it wasn’t too gory though when I valiantly tried to separate some fatty parts, I didn’t get very far. My other failing is salt. I’m really wary about throwing salt in for fear of yucky over-salted food. But I tend to err on the side of caution.
Then, basically, you just close the cooker and stand around reading a magazine and after it starts spouting steam turn it off and stir the mixture. Stirring is fun. Which child doesn’t like stirring?
And there you have it. Yummy chicken in half an hour. If The Bride can cook, so can you.

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