• Sun. Oct 2nd, 2022

Cooking Feelings with Some Memories

ByShaheen Kazi

Apr 12, 2021

COOKING FEELINGS with SOME MEMORIES.

Do you like cooking? A lot of you don’t know this, but I love to cook. Growing up with the stay-at-home mom, I had spent time assisting her in the kitchen. Although she never allowed me to cook, fearing that I might eventually burn my face. I absorbed whatever she did, how my mom would chop the vegetables, how she would sauté the onions until they were brown, how she would keep things prepared in the evening for my next school tiffin in the morning.   

One confession – I wasn’t interested in entering the kitchen, yes, but when I fell in love with someone, I started searching for recipes. To make the impression!

Most girls in their teen years feel that way, nothing new. But the actual phase comes when you are the master of the house and a mother. The kitchen comes close to women’s lives. The living room, bedroom or balcony; It’s just the place where she keeps the decoration for another family member to unwind. But from her point of view, the kitchen is everything. If your kitchen is filling the air with a smoking’ aroma and warm smoke, then your family is happy at the dining table.

It was 2004 when I got married. I was just 24, and I didn’t know much about cooking at all. In 2004, there was no social media assistance, and things were very different than they are now. With the help of some of my mother’s old recipes, which I remembered she used to make in the kitchen, I tried to intervene. Yes, initially, it wasn’t a good result. I was completely ignorant about many spices, measures and quantity. So there were many times things got ruined on my kitchen counter? But in this trial and fry trip, my husband stood by me. His great support was that he never complained about my cooking; he accepted with happiness all that I had cooked and presented in front of him. And because of his positive outlook, I decided to take cooking seriously in my life.   

 One night I said to myself, “If I don’t know how to cook, that doesn’t mean I won’t learn“.

Without the assistance of anyone, I started looking for recipes from books. I made every minor note in my cookbook.  Yes, things were changing little by little, and the best part was I was not good at all to figure out the objects and taste. Till today I am, and I’ve always been open to improvisation. 

I wish to share a little memory with my readers. With no fear, I took a courageous step. One day I cooked Chicken Biryani and sent it to my mother’s house. Anxiously awaiting my mother’s feedback the next night, I called her and asked about my recipe, “Chicken Biryani I wish to give the name Jungle Biryani”. The rice had become lazy, and the chicken spice was not blended into the mixture, and even the potatoes were half cooked. Next time before cooking Biryani, she laughed and said I need to learn the appropriate technique from her. 

 I never got the good taste and would always be back for more. My mum’s funny comment made me stronger and focused. I worked hard every day to improve my cooking skills, and today I can cook various biryanis and other types of food. Yeah, but that Jungle Biryani let it be one of the nightmares.

 I think cooking has a lot to do with writing stories. As we do in storytelling, we all know the ultimate purpose of the kitchen. Whatever dish we’re trying to make. The charm is in the taste, the way we say it. The ingredients we want to add right off the bat. Cardamom or not? Cinnamon or not? Bell pepper or not?

I consistently make decisions and experiment. Apart from the screenplay’s vast frame and its desired end, everything else is spontaneous, according to taste and desire. Sometimes we reach the end and realize that we have arrived at a better fate, a new flavour, a different story. Kind of like we keep sampling from time to time to make sure food tastes good? As an author, I keep reading out what I have written from the beginning to check if the words need pruning-if it sounds okay to my ears. Years of practice have allowed me to trust my taste. If it tastes good to me, then everyone else will be pleased.

While baking, one thing I had realized baking is not the same as cooking. Whereas baking requires a spontaneous experimenter, it also requires precision of time and heat and careful measurement. An additional tablespoon of flour may make your cake soggy.

If cooking is like writing, baking is like architecture. If you don’t get it right, the building will collapse. Whereas I made pizzas and tikkas, and I plan on making lasagne this weekend. My career as a baker will still be an amateur because I am not enthusiastic about putting it into practice.

It’s not the same as my spontaneity. I love to go with the flow, not hold it measured. Always seasoned your kitchen with your true love. Writing and cooking are two different art forms, but both require the same essence of effort and feedback from the audience for more remarkable improvement. And a bit of appreciation to go forward.

“Victory is for those who do not give up”.

Shaheen Kazi

Shaheen Kazi is an Indian author originally from Mumbai and has lived in the Gulf (Saudi Arabia) for more than a decade and a half. After getting acquainted with IATA, she concentrates on her passion for writing. Her accomplishments include two books, 'AGE WAS JUST A NUMBER' (Romance Novel) and 'CUPIDS ARROW' (Poems) and two anthologies and many other upcoming projects. She also writes short pieces in Literature Times. Being an enthusiastic poet, author, writer, and creative thinker makes her a little unique in what she does. Books have always been her best friend; libraries and bookstores have always fascinated her from a young age. Mobiles are essential, but for her, the book is a beautiful world to live within. She is a non-kindle reader, and she can never read any book on kindle. She doesn't go anywhere without a book. She sees herself as the luckiest to continue her dream of becoming a novelist/poet and working on what she loves most. She firmly believes in being somebody when nobody thought you could be. Besides writing, she loves reading, travelling, knitting and singing. She is excellent in her culinary skills too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Get in touch with us.