Jaisa ann, vaisa mann …

It is a common practice in Ayurveda to eat food according to the kind of dosha or constitution of your body. Kapha types benefit from bitter and pungent food, people with a pitha dosha benefit from bitter, sweet and cooling foods and if your dosha is a vatha type then it is salty, sour and heating foods for you. Food is cooked without the use of oil and green chillies and other spices. The belief is that the food you eat can heal the imbalances in your body. This kind of cooking philosophy makes a very popular saying in India, “jaisa ann, waisa mann” hold true. You are what you eat. Your temperament and nature is more or less based on the kind of food that you consume.

Have you ever thought about the reverse of this philosophy? Kehte hain ki swad toh khana banana waale ke haathon mein hota hain! Food is only as good as the amount of love and hard work that has been put into preparing it! Ever wondered why the kadhi chawal your mother makes is way better and much more comforting than the gourmet food at a high end restaurant. Why is it that the instant noodles you ate during your college days tasted better than the expensive Chinese food you eat at a five star today? Or why you relish a meal that your spouse, who normally cannot cook to save his life, has prepared as a surprise for you?

The reason is simple. Cooking is a combination of art and science. Food prepared with love, conviction and interest along with proper cooking techniques will taste good. You cannot create a good dish if you are not in the correct frame of mind and just throw together a bunch of ingredients in a pan. Good food is not a product of expensive ingredients, complex cooking techniques, degrees and certificates. A good dish is a master piece that is created with a lot of love, interest, patience and of course haathon ka jaadu! Someone who takes great pain and uses perfect precision in their cooking process may not necessarily come up with a great dish unless they have the knack for cooking! The person cooking food should always have the right attitude. I firmly believe that the positivity translates into taste and spreads positive energy from the cook to the food and to the people eating it!

To enjoy cooking you also need to have a pleasing kitchen. No one wants to cook in a haphazard, unorganized and messy kitchen! Imagine cooking in a beautiful kitchen with a clean worktop, proper utensils and fresh, interesting ingredients – it will be a breeze and will make you want to keep coming back to try out newer things everyday! Another big incentive in cooking is all the praises you get – works as positive reinforcement! It is pretty simple. Food and love are synonymous. You cook with love, serve with love, eat with love.

There is a popular Spanish phrase which says “barriga llena, corazon content” which literally means “full stomach happy heart.” It is true that people tend to be a lot grumpier when they are hungry. When someone eats good food it instantly lifts up their mood. Don’t you think it is essential that the food which is going to make someone happy should also be prepared in a happy frame of mind? Don’t make cooking a compulsion. You shouldn’t be forced to cook, for you cannot put up a great dish if you don’t believe in it. Don’t be afraid of failure, you may not be an amazing cook from the first recipe you try, but if you like cooking, eventually you will come around. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Keep smiling, keep cooking and keep eating!

Tiil I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

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