Being a homemaker, does have its own pros-well if you look at them that way.I have started taking more interest in cooking-maybe, because I have nothing else to do.No,but still,I am partial to eating tasty food & since I am old enough to do it myself,I make a go for it.Obviously, I can't ask my mom or worse still, my mom-in law to try their hands at fusion cooking or better still hybrid rasoi.
I am petrified of making chapatis- phulkas are fine, but, the chapatis, wherein, you fold them,apply grease ,sorry oil & then again roll them out is something,I, have not been able to perfect so far.Hence,the dependence on the maid for the same as my kid is only fond of rotis for her dabba.She has refused to switch over to any nashta items like poha,upma,seviayan upma et al.
I am also coerced by my hubby to refrain from using onions,drumsticks,cauliflower,etc in my cooking as he feels these are tamsik foods.Not that I am a very obedient wife, but then, when I have to cook only for two to three persons,I find it illogical, to prepare separate dishes for each family member.Garlic,I have never used so far.
Moreover,my dad suffers from bleeeding piles & so I use masalas in the most minimalistic way.In addition,I have to use oil as if I am doing oil free cooking as my dad is a heart patient as well.Recently,my mom has been diagonised with diabetes & hence sweetness also has disappeared from my dishes.
Now, you may be tempted to ask if my rasoi has any swad ? Well,for that you will have to volunteer & test the food by tasting it.
I have found that dahi & malai can be used with wonderful results.I use malai in pulavs as also while kneading stuffed parathas.Mind you,the malai, I get in my home is the one which is of cow's milk.So, that is almost fat free.I loathe malai & hence, try to use it in dishes where it will not add to the taste except add some creamy texture to the dish.
In upmas,instead of water ,a diluted version of chaas can be used which will make the upmas tastier & tangier.I make upma by using lapsi rava -I prefer the finer variety of lapsi but even the coarse lapsi rava can give good results but, it would cook better in a pressure cooker.I have been told by my north Indian friends that they cook dalia in cookers.
One of my neighbours has revealed a secret-she puts kadipattas in the dal before pressure cooking the dal.This saves vagar oil-you need less oil for mustard & jeera seeds.My Maharashtrian friends have told me that adding haldi & hing to the dal in the pressure cooker gives an excellent aroma to the dal & I have followed their advice ever since.
While preparing sabzis,prepare vagar only with mustard,jeera, urad dal, & dried red chillies .The other ingredients like kadiaptta,green chillies,can be added along with the veggies.Even haldi & hing can be added after the veggies have been put into the kadhai.This way, you use less oil as also the haldi does not get burnt.
I use very little amount of masalas as well.Salt,I try to add at the last just before I have to put off the gas.This is so because,I had read that as the dish nears completion,it needs less salt.Moreover,namak kam is the mantra in this age of high blood pressure.
I feel my rasoi though sounding taste less will get to be the norm -well, for reasons more economic than for health.With the cost of food items aiming for the sky,it makes sound economic sense to use less & less of more & more ingredients,isn't it ?