On cooking- How hard can it be?

In the recent years, I have found myself immensely appreciating people who cook for others. My mother used to and still does that for rest of the family, many others around do that. It is probably hard to get all the ingredients right, especially if you are cooking an Indian dish which is like potpourri of spices. I was always in awe for her (my mommy) cos she could manage so many things by herself and cooking 3-4 dishes was only one of the many things that she did as a chore. The old lady ie my mother, never allowed me inside the kitchen cos she thought I might pour kerosene over myself and jump into fire, for being born to peasants. Whatever… so even though I had a good chef at home, she was neither interested in teaching me nor she allowed me anywhere around the kitchen. Cooking, something that I considered an art, remained a distant cousin of Ferrari 458 Italia speciale, the common factor is that I knew such a thing existed but never had a chance to get my hands on it.

Until nearly a decade back, after I moved out of my parents place *devilish grin*I started trying my hands on cooking and still learning. So today I thought why not make potato wedges (of course the Indian way).

How hard can it be?

The setup itself takes a lot of time (chopping the potatoes and other essential preps). Then the chechi (lady who is a bit elder than me) from YouTube tells me what to fry, when… and so on. She is like put onions in frying pan and leave it there. I watch this bit, pause and go to the frying pan and throw some chopped onions in and leave it there, come back and play.

Oh forgot to switch on the flame.

Goes back, switches it on and back to Chechi for further studies. She says, add 1 tea-spoon chilly powder, 2 tea-spoon coriander powder, 1 table spoon of turmeric powder.


I get back to kitchen and think to myself. So I need table-spoon and tea-spoon to measure and add these spices. That means I need to wash 3 or 4 spoons for the process of adding spices and definitely YouTube chechi wouldn’t do me that favor. I am going to rely on my senses, reflex, power and most importantly moment of inertia required to drop the right amount spices from the box directly into the frying pan.

How hard can it be?

So yeah, spices thrown across randomly using my calculations. Mix the hell out of it in the frying pan and since there is no pause button on an actual gas stove, I simmer the flame to low and run back to her, oh yeah! the YouTube chechi. She goes on telling the rest of it and my snail brain takes the little directions and finally I run back to kitchen for the final showdown.

I do everything and keep the frying pan closed for the potatoes to cook. YouTube chechi has already finished her cooking classes and now she must have already washed her frying pan and gone to sleep. That means I am left alone for the final procedure of actually cooking the potatoes.

I wait and slightly open the lid of the frying pan and with that non-stick stirrer kind of thing, press the potato. Oh dear! Not even Arnie must have had such rock hard muscles in his prime.

I wait again…

15 minutes…I didn’t make those potatoes undergo dope test or each of it would have failed the test with flying colors.

I swear. Didn’t help. Potatoes are still rock hard and looks like they are eating up the flames as opposed to vice-versa. The best thing about not having a guide is that you are free to experiment. I go ahead pour some water from my drinking water supplies and there you go. Let’s see if I can get you cooked.

Another 10 mins past, I look at them desperately, my dear potatoes. No sign of them giving up.

Plan B :

I have some chopped onions and capsicum left. I break 2 eggs and take my back up frying pan. I fry an omelette, have it with some bread which was left over from before. Gladly dinner is done. This is why bachelors love omelette. Omelette never fails to deliver at such or any circumstance while potatoes do.

At this point I can’t help saying that my mother was a pathetic teacher. Neither did I do well in my career despite all the spanking of her’s nor did she teach me something which was useful for daily life. Probably she was smart knowing that I would waste a lot of cooking gas, burning the hell out of potatoes and carrots, can’t blame her for that. The Indian’ness’ has to kick in at some point of time. Look at the YouTube chechi. Open her channel and she is there giving you instructions without any hesitations. Thank you YouTube chechi 🙂

In the end turned out to be good. Hence Semi-Bastard.


Even now those potatoes are still there, where I left them, on the stove. At this point, I wonder whether I should switch off the gas and continue my battle with those chopped schwarzenegger’s (thanks Google) tomorrow. Yes, I should. I cannot bring this building down for some stupid potatoes. So the battle is still on, after a short break…

And yeah, the answer to my question. Cooking indeed is very hard. Respect people who cook for you or if you are the one cooking for yourself, don’t bother, it’s going to be shit anyways.

Anyone planning to print this off and go meet my mother, I’ll find you and I’ll strangle you to death. Don’t do it please, or if you are hell-bent on doing it and eventually dying, let me know a day in advance to change my status in twitter to #FML, isn’t that the new trend? 😛 


103 thoughts on “On cooking- How hard can it be?”

    1. Hahaha. My mother would read this and hardly find this as a compliment. I bashed her up enough 😛 😛
      Well, my mom is 30 years experienced in the field and I am almost 1. I’ll reach there eventually 🙂

    1. Exactly bro. It’s easy to make continental food (somewhat) but I prefer to cook our harder Indian dishes so that later on it’s easy to switch if required 😀

      Thanks for the wishes 🙂

  1. Ha ha 😀 This was a great post. You could have just written down what she was saying you know or watched it on your cell.
    I adore cooking, especially baking. Experimenting with the amounts often leads to surprises and since I have many guinea pigs to try out my stuff with, I happily do as I fancy. No major disasters yet 🙂 Keep going!

    1. Cooking is fun and yeah I could probably use my mobile phone till the day it falls in the curry 😛
      I have been cooking for a while now and I am my guinea pig 😛
      Good luck to you…. err.. to your family!!!

      1. Lol. Why would you kill a poor man? 😛 If food poisoning is what you mean then you might have to try hard 😀 My stomach linings are now made of steel. Thanks to me! 😉

  2. Hahaha! I used to be you a long time back! Now, I am in a much better place. Keeping all modesty aside, I love what I cook 😀 You’ll get there. Just keep on trying.

    Try looking at the same recipe by different youtube cooks, rather than going with the first one. Chances are someone else might have explained it easier. Watch the whole recipe twice and then, start.

    Just a tip – potatoes take longer time to cook if you’re stir frying them 😛

    1. I enjoy cooking because it’s like instant Karma … hehe.

      I’m kind of researching on different YouTube videos as well. I am also in this cooking field for say a year or more now, but I just cook for one person ie me. So there is no variety and stuff. Apart from that life is good. 🙂

      1. I like instant karma! Sounds good 🙂

        Cooking for yourself is fun, you can cook varieties, why not?! Try basic cakes. They’re pretty simple and then, it would be a little more than instant karma! No? 😀

        And you could always choose to be a little generous and send some over 😛

      2. Aare I am sure you cook much better than me. Then why do you insist that you want food poisoning from eating my food 😛 😛
        I have started with basics but soon will switch to various other aspects of cooking, like baking 😀

      3. Haha.. Waise nahi. I’ll definitely invite you over lunch once I am good at cooking 😀 By then Happy will be 18 or 20 so he can drop you both to my place for lunch.

  3. thanks for the respect 😀 I remember one time in college..had a chemistry practical exam..and I did everything right.putting the chemicals in the flask and put it on a burner..very happy with myself..till our sir pointed out that I haven’t started the burner yet 😀 ..such is pressure..of cooking or exams.. 😉

  4. haha loved this post 🙂 🙂 How can the potatoes not get cooked? Did you switch on the stove? :p The chechis on you tube are great. They are angels. If I ask my amma for measurements, she will say 1 glass.. handful (which glass? whose hand). But chechis show you the pucca quantities 🙂 🙂

    1. Exactly. I can’t just outright blame technology. Many people might have died of food poisoning if it was not for YouTube. 🙂

      Glad you liked my post. TC!

  5. HEY, ANoopeee.. :-). Youtube chechi is my guru too. Even though it’s been ana year since I started cooking proper food, I still need the net to be on. I always wonder what would happen if the wifi goes :-P. ANyways good to see you cookking. Njan orikkal varnund 😛

    1. Aunt Shruti :))

      How are you? Hope you are already in KL.

      Cooking is fun…. grrrr… cost effective. You are melcow anytime. I’ll make sure that there are enough spices in the curry 😛 😛 (read red chilly powder)

      Take care!

      1. Great grandfather Anoop, I am doing great, tired but great. I am not in kl but will be going next month. Tada! I love cooking even though net has to be on full time😊. Njan athyavisham nannai cook cheyum ingot vannolu one day muthu muthasshaaaa

      2. Little Shruti, you are the first person to be tired and great. You are going home next month :O Guess who else is going home next month 😀 😀

        Great to know that you are a good chef. Oru naal njanum midukan aakum 😛 😛 Well, eeyal vilichal ale varan patu. Chuma valinju kayari njan engane aa varuka 😛 (just kidding)

  6. hehehe. youtube chechi! they’re going to be such a saviour when I do eventually start to cook full fledge! I remember this one time parents were out of station and on their way back. I thought I will make something to surprise them, and surprised they were! all thanks to dear mallu chechi! 😀

    1. Hey Princy,

      Glad you are at the same level as I am 😀

      Well did you surprise your parents in a good way? I hope yes 😛 😛 But the truth can be known only if your parents are questioned thoroughly 😀

      1. Hahha. Shut up! It was an awesome surprise 😛
        I don’t cook much, cause I don’t need to now 😛
        I just like baking when I do feel like entering the kitchen 😀

      2. Lucky you! Peasants like us do not have that option. I get it why you are called Princess 😛 you cannot say that it is for no reason, hehe

      3. haha.. kidding re!

        On a completely different note, I had to look up 😡 in urban dictionary. You did put me through a lot of torture there. #80s kid 😛 😀

      4. Are you also a #80’s kid? I guess yeah 😛

        :X is much younger than 😛 and 😀 if you are talking about age. So I might have missed seeing him. :/

      5. Didn’t we already establish that you and I are almost of the same age? 😛
        You can credit my extensive emoticon knowledge to late teen years being spent almost entirely online 😀

      6. Yes, we did, meaning you are as old as fossil (seriously kidding) . Please don’t deny me an opportunity of using a #. I think # is the only thing that works these days and makes me feel young again. 😛 haha

        Iol clearly you had a good teen age. I spent my teens learning to plough yaar. It was all wasted with bullocks, doing extensive farming (on FB of course) 😦

      7. Hahhah. I still haven’t caught the hashtag craze. Chalo won’t deny you of this little thing #alittlecrazythough 😛
        Hahha, farmville? We have that in common 😀

      8. It’s just making fun of these twitter users re. I will never understand # and instagram and splitsvilla. 😛
        I did play it once in FB I guess then moved on to hayday which is a mobile version and then stopped farming completely. 😛

      9. I have also watched couple of episodes of Splitsvilla before 😦 Women in that show were hot then. How are they nowadays? 😛

        Naa won’t tell anyone 😉 You too tc of my secret 😛

      10. Roadies, I have watched quite a few episodes. Only for hearing how well people swear at each other. Would give me joy. 😛 I haven’t watched TV in many years. Thank lord for that. 🙂 I think our time of watching MTV is over. Right same aged buddy?

  7. Cooking..it’s like a battle to me which i never fought. 😛 and mothers are angels for people like me. Congratulations for the potatoes being cooked, seems you’re quiet a good cook. 🙂
    P.S. omelettes are life savers. 😉

    1. Learning bits and pieces of cooking 😉 Thank you. Hope you will get into the battle field some day. YouTube will be of great help. 😉

      Of course omelette’s are life savers 😀

  8. This was hilarious. I have been experimenting on cooking for some time now and this is what I realised. The outcome depends upon the person you are. My sister chumma experiments and she ended up burning some fine LIndt chocolates, painted the kitchen with lots of soup that splashed from the mixer, made some sucky noodles by adding lime pickle (heights of experimentation) 😛 I am proud of her! Taking the risks! 🙂

    I am the other extreme. Very, very very cautious. I do all the research, weigh the pros and cons, think of the consequences and there has never been any casualties. Never had to throw the food I made.

    You just have to realise who you are. After all, it is similar to assembling a machinery or driving a car. Just know what is placed where, how they work, when to use and how much pressure to apply. 🙂 It is all about how you see it! 😀 Whether its cooking or driving. 🙂 You’ll have some beginner’s follies, but soon you’ll learn 🙂

      1. No problem at all 🙂 I’ll make sure that I don’t give you a food poison 😛 So more time required to practise.

  9. Simple potatoes took so much time to get boiled 😦 pathetic, man! Did you mix some water? DID you? 😥

    By the way, my story is, my mom never allowed me near the kitchen. A week after my marriage my mom-in-law asked me to switch off the flame…I had no idea how to do it and had to ask her. She was dumbstruck! 😀

    But, now I’m a good cook..honestly… 🙂

    1. Glad you said the truth… hehe. Indeed pathetic 😛 😛

      Same like my mother 😀

      Cooking is something that comes time. I’ll also get better, but women have that knack and patience. 😛

      1. That’s a good point as well 🙂 Well cooking can’t be classified as female only thing. It’s just depends on interest level and patience I guess. 🙂

  10. Keep on trying! That’s a good start already 🙂
    My father loves to cook and usually he made us special Sunday spaghetti every weekend. My brother now is following his lead that he prepares Special Sunday meal with his family 🙂 Experience told me, cooking is not difficult, it’s about patience and know how to treat the ingredients. To be honest, most of the time I don’t have patience and not care care too much about the ingredients, so that perhaps makes me a not promising cook..

  11. What a wonderful post Anoop! 🙂 I came to appreciate whatever my parents cook for me even more especially I came back in HK after studying overseas. Cooking takes a lot of time and patience. Most importantly, they are cooking with love for me. This is what I found most precious 😉

    You did a great job cooking the Aloo (clap clap). I also did try to make Indian dishes for my Indian friends in the past and I know it requires a lot of preparation time. 😛

    1. lol… Aloo 😛 Indian cooking is throwing around lot of spices and hence a bit difficult 😀 Anyways, sure to get a hang of cooking sometime in future. 🙂

      1. haha yes Aloo…To be honest, I love to call it Aloo more than potato…It just sounds very cute 😛 To me, Indian cooking is fine but the only thing that bothers me is how time consuming it is 😛

  12. Shyentammo… I agree with you man, cooking is a tough job. 😦

    YouTube chechi helped me a lot too, when Amma wasn’t around. But still, such a nice feeling alle when you get it right and have a good meal that you made yourself. 🙂

  13. So cute… Potato roast at the end…good going, please feed some to your Mom, when you meet her… Lets try out Potato Manchurian next… I only make good tomato rice, and veg kurma…cooking and be fun and hard… no Maggi to the rescue any more, it will be curd rice as fast food… I wonder what your experience will be making chapathi’s, I have not suceeded in that yet.

    1. Haha.. Well, I made something of it in the end. Cooking is good and saves you a lot of money than eating out. Curd rice as snacks, lol

      I have made chapatis, thought it didn’t look round. They tasted pretty ok 😉

  14. With potatoes, anything can be made… for snakes I make soups, or boil corn or make pappads, or make peanut masala… it is easy to make cutlets too…potato, and all the stuffing ingredients then atta and bread crumbs… nice you trying cooking, its chemistry only albite kitchen chemistry.

    1. Actually my Kitchen Chemistry is pathetic 😛 But I’ll make food anyways, cos that works for me than going out and eating 🙂

  15. It is not so bad… I thought you putting cold water on that oil that is hot…and expected a blow up catastrophy…evidently you were not that naive. I remember when I was 14 or so wanted to cook something delicious and put eggs in the over and heated and it burst… I did not even clean it and all low level creatures that were spineless came over, Mother cleaned and scolded me badly… well try this dish… I am wanting to try it… it is mash patatoes and I am guessing will taste great https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ITDVPnbfY8 … check out food food channel.. and check out cheif Harpal… keeps singing ‘namak chamak dal dehteh hai’, this one is for you … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_go7Uh7wXvc … anyway

    1. Wow. thank you so much mintymile. I was going through the Tomato pulav thing and it looks so good 🙂 The chef was amazing.

      Glad you were unhurt by your experiment. I remember a friend in younger days who burnt his hand doing something stupid.

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