Cooking - Rachna cooks


Cooking and food are my passions. I read a lot about food and recipes. The best part is that as a family, we enjoy a lot of experimentation in our food. The food cooked at home is predominantly North Indian, but I do cook South Indian stuff, Chinese, Thai, Italian and Mexican too. The reason I enjoy cooking so much is because my husband and kids love eating. I try to make most chats at home because I dislike eating the roadside stuff. Most of my cooking is done in very little oil. And, I use mostly sunflower or rice bran oil. I also use mustard and peanut oils in winter. I use olive oil for the Italian foods.

The emphasis is on making balanced meals of proteins, carbs, vitamins at every meal. The only thing I am finicky about is the authenticity of food. For those who are aware of Indian cooking would know that in each region of India, the tempering for dals (lentils) and the method of cooking of vegetables is unique and different. That gives the unique taste to food of that region. You do not find mustard seeds and curry leaves in North Indian dals, which are tempered with heeng and jeera (asafoetida and cumin predominantly). The Maharahtrians, Gujaratis and South Indians use curry leaves and mustard seeds in everything.
In Bangalore, when we eat a North Indian thali, it hardly has anything North Indian in it. The veggies and dal all have different tempering along with generous dollops of coconut. Imagine rajma and chhole being cooked this way. Also some of the rich curries overflowing with cream and butter are not how North Indian food is cooked. The difference in taste is in the garam masala prepared in every home. I don’t remember my mother using cream even in koftas. The max extent she went to was using cashews or almonds to make the gravy rich for very rare curries.
I feel, no matter what one cooks or eats, maintain the authenticity of the dish. Imagine using Indian spices in a Thai curry! So, when I look around for a good North Indian restaurant in Bangalore, I can’t think of any authentic ones, or maybe they are not in my area. And, they use excessive food color, which is a big put off. I wish those having their own restaurants would pay attention to these details too along with maintaining good hygiene.
Anyway, these days I am trying my hand at pickles. I recently pickled green chillies and am waiting for them to mature to eat them. My mother made great pickles; most of the recipes are gone with her. But, I do use the internet to cull out similar recipes, which are close to the familiar taste of my mom’s cooking, and then make adjustments in the ingredients.
I think making something delicious and nutritious for one’s family is so fulfilling.

14 thoughts on “Cooking

  1. LolzzzzzzzzzzzzHAr jagah ki ek hi kahani hai!!!!!!!!Same herein hyderabad!After tolerating it for 3 years One of my colleague started his own venture in food service and he is doing quite fine, but he have to bought cooks from north to generate that taste!!!:)

  2. Hm…My mom was telling the other day…the vegetbles we brought @ 50 costs a cool 100 now. I think veggies are the ones most affected by price hike.It’s extremely good tht ur kids get the homemade, healthy foods at a time when junk foods seems to be the fashion

  3. @Appu Welcome to my blog. Sure, I will check out your blog for recipes and even otherwise too.@Bhupesh Ok, that’s nice. One has to do that to get the authentic taste. All the Udupi joints in Mumbai have authentic chefs from down South, and that is the secret of having authentic food.@Jon Oh Yes, the prices of veggies, fruits and even pulses are sky high. My maid was lamenting that her dals are getting more and more watery, and fruits and veggies are off her table. Imagine the kind of malnutrition in such kids. Otoh, like you rightly said, some kids are having an overdose of junk food or calorie-laden restaurant food leading to obesity and health problems.

  4. Very true. Here too we dont get authentic South Indian or North Indian food. North Indian has an ample quantity of cury leaves and south indian-onkly the cook knwos what he puts.result everything is home cooked now a la BAA of baa Bahoo and baby.It is economical, healthier and tastier.

  5. very few realise the dangers of food color. Indians have an advantage due to use of turmeric when it comes to cancer and alzheimer. The turmeric powder prepared at home is mustard in color. whereas the turmeric powder one buys is yellow and the food color added is carcinogenic..i don’t mind fusion in food, but it should be declared when it comes to restaurants, but i can understand their point of view, they have to prepare what they can sell:)

  6. you are right….. pune is known for its multicuisine availability but hardly any place sells the authentic north indian food. I am a punjabi and you can easily imagine the plight of not finding a good north indian food outside…. especially the things you can’t cook at home…but it’s good, that you try different things and believe in serving balanced meals.

  7. @Bhagyashree If you want the true flavors, you have to slog in the kitchen :)@wise donkey You are right! I don’t know who likes it, but I dislike the extra orange color in Tandoori chicken and Indian Chinese dishes, green colors in palak gravies and so on..I don’t mind fusion when it is a fusion place. I don’t like fusion in my favorite home food. Many people I know also crib about the same. There are great authentic small places selling food like Bengali, Kerala, Tibetan etc. which do well. So I feel there will always be takers for authentic home cooked food.@jaanvi I understand Jaanvi. I have lived in Pune too. Pune has some very nice eateries. There is an authentic Maharashtrian eatary, which is really very nice. I can’t recall the name. Authentic North Indian… hmmm… can’t remember any!Thanks, yes, I love to try and eat all kinds of foods.

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