Do you know how to cook? You might have tried to make chai, boil eggs or cook Maggie. Probably these are your recipes.
And on the other hand, there are dishes like Shahi Paneer, Murg Musallam, Dum Aloo Lakhnawi! Can’t cook these? So, let’s just order!
See, eating out is good. It adds variety. But you can’t do that every day, it will screw your body.
And all the fitness classes and nutrition certifications taught one basic thing. A home-cooked meal takes care of your digestive system. A good digestive system takes care of your health. Good health makes you active; that makes you productive and productivity leads to a great career, good friends, more money and that is how you become the Super-Hero of your story.
So, if you want to become a Super-Hero, you need to learn how to cook! Hence, proved! So today I am going to tell you what all you need in the kitchen to start cooking. How you can transit from Maggie to Palak Paneer and Biryani.
But most importantly, in the end, we’ll give you a Bonus Tip so that even if you hate cooking, you will start enjoying it.
So today we are going to tell you how you can learn cooking in just 5 days! Let’s start with Day 1.
Before you can even think of cooking, you first need to organize your kitchen. Take your notes, because we are going to tell you what all you need to shop for, from the Super-Market or your local Sabji-Mandi. We have divided the kitchen supplies into 6 categories.
The first is the spices. Let’s start with the basic ones. Turmeric, Salt, Red Chilli Powder, Jeera, Rai, Coriander Powder, Jeera Powder, and Garam Masala Powder. That’s all the spices you will ever need (as a beginner!) The final category is Hara-Masala (green spice mix). Coriander Leaves, Curry Leaves and Green Chillies. We strongly suggest that you buy them fresh every week.
2. Staple Items
The next thing you need in your kitchen is called, ‘Staple Items’. These are the things that you must have in your kitchen. Onions, Tomatoes, Ginger Garlic Paste, Atta, Rice, Bread, and Oil.
Next, are vegetables. Basic veggies are Potatoes, Okra, Green Peas, Cauliflower, and Mushrooms. You can make like a gazillion permutations and combinations using just these. For the salad, get some Carrot, Cucumber, Radish or Beet-Root.
And don’t forget the lemon! We know that we missed a lot of vegetables, especially the ones that are local to your state but it’s your job to find out what they are and then tell us, which state you are from and what is the vegetable that is local to you.
Next is Milk Products. Milk, Paneer, and Curd. You will use these extensively if you graduate to making Shahi dishes or even Chicken because they make the dish Y.U.M! (especially curd!)
The fifth category is the pulses. In dals, we have Masoor Dal, Urad Dal, Moong Dal, Toor Dal, and Chana Dal. And then come the Beans. Rajma, Kala Chana and Kabuli Chana (which is used to make Choley). You don’t have to buy all of them. For starters, just buy one dal and one bean.
And the final category is Non-Veg. If you are a Non-Vegetarian, then eggs are like the best go-to breakfast option! Chicken is the easiest thing to cook if you marinate it and the time it right. Then you also have Mutton, Prawns, Fish. It basically depends on what you like to eat.
And that’s all the things you need in your pantry.
Day 2: Breakfast
Now your pantry is stacked. On Day 2, you can start simply by making an easy paneer sandwich for breakfast. First, grill 2 bread slices (you can even use a normal pan). Take a bowl. Grate Paneer. Grate some carrot. Add a little curd. Salt, Pepper. Mix it up and your stuffing is ready.
You just place it between 2 slices of bread and that’s your breakfast!
After that lip-smacking breakfast, you slowly ease into Day 3.
Day 3: Dal
On the third day, you will make a dal. It’s the easiest thing to make because now that you have your spices, it’s just a matter of adding them one after the other.
Wash and soak the dal for 30 Mins. You can mix 2 dals together (Masoor and Moong this time). In a cooker, add 2 spoons of filtered oil, add jeera, turmeric, coriander powder, ginger-garlic paste and fry them a little.
Now add tomato. You can chop the tomato or make a paste. Add some red chili powder. Finally, add the soaked dal and fry for a minute.
Add some water, salt and close the cooker lid and wait for one whistle. In the end, add some coriander leaves and you are done.
Make some rice, roast some papad and your perfect home-cooked meal are ready.
Now let’s advance from dal to vegetables!
Day 4: Every Dry Sabji
This time you will learn the procedure to cook any dry Indian curry. Add oil, jeera, onion and fry till the onion turns golden brown. Now add ginger-garlic paste, green chili, turmeric, salt, coriander powder and fry these spices for a few seconds.
To this mixture, you can add any vegetables that you want. Potatoes or Cauliflower or Mushrooms or Green Peas.
Let’s start with Aloo-Gobi; so first add Potato and then Cauliflower. Now close the lid and cook it with low heat. Add a little Garam Masala on top, mix it well and we are done!
Thank God for whoever invented this procedure, you can cook any Indian dish. The different vegetables used and the quantity of spices is the reason why every dish taste different.
Day 5: The YouTube Cooking
Now after you have graduated from the regular dry Sabji, it is time to up your game!
Suppose you want to cook something complicated like Palak Paneer. You can search for that dish on YouTube and watch 4-5 videos. Your aim will be to find a recipe that is neither too complicated nor too simple. Few popular YouTube channels are NishaMadhulika, Cook with Lubna, Kabita’s Kitchen, Bong Eats etc.
First, you write down the recipe on a Post-It and hang it on your fridge, next to the other recipes you have collected over time. Now it’s all about following the instructions to the dot!
Then get all the ingredients ready and lined up in order and then the cooking begins! We are not going to lie. It takes a little bit more effort than usual, so you can reserve this only for holidays. But it’s all worth the effort because, in the end, the dish turns out pretty great actually.
But all the YouTube cooking aside, the one thing that you should always know how to cook is your family recipe. Do you remember sitting on the kitchen slab as a kid and watching your mom/grandma cook? That’s how most of us can learn cooking from them.
And finally, here is the bonus tip!
As soon as you enter the kitchen, do not expect to turn into Tarla Dalal or Sanjeev Kapoor. Sometimes, you will put less salt. Sometimes, you will put more Ginger Garlic Paste.
On some days, you will burn the whole damn thing! But you did not give up after you fell from the bicycle for the first time, did you? Then why quit cooking?
It takes a week or two to learn how to cook and we promise, it gets easier by the day! Eating a home-cooked meal makes you lose weight; gain health and you can’t help but feel great! Sure, cooking takes time but you are worth that investment!