Something has been on my mind for the past few years as I have been in semi retirement mode. I’ve been thinking of going back to things that I really enjoyed doing years ago but lost touch with between work, kids and moving across the world every few years. So recently, and after a lot of procrastination I challenged myself to get past the inhibitions I thought I had developed, and really committed myself to painting, handiwork and other arts I used to adore. I alarmingly discovered that most of the things I thought I would love to go back to are no longer able to capture my amusement or interest. I thought of writing this revelation down so that I can reassure myself that how much so ever I think I am still passionate about these things; I actually may be not.
After a lot of introspection I now recognise that all these years have changed my choices, interests and passions to some extent. I used to enjoy painting, sketching, knitting, crochet, DIY projects, skating, dancing, beading and much more. However, something that I had not done much in my earlier years while studying and enjoying student life was cooking.
Over the last two decades and more, alongside practising my profession, raising the family, working in and traveling to more than 54 countries, socializing with friends and keeping up with my urge to do the crazy things on and off that I am so known for, I have had to cook for family and friends. This was new to me yet surprisingly never bogged me down. The satisfaction of creating something new, feeding the family, and looking at the content faces of people with stuffed tummies seemed to be the ultimate and most fulfilling reward. Fortunately, I found shortcuts to making complex dishes in a jiffy. Over the years, I realized that preparing four course meals for 20 people did not in fact take much time for me at all.
At the request of some of my friends I have been sharing a few of these quick cooking tips on a one-on-one basis. I feel now that I have the time; it may be a good idea to put my years of experience and experimentations in the kitchen on a public forum. Moreover, now that I have finally started using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, I can share effortlessly with a wider community, and hope that someone may find the tips useful. When I see people spending so much time cooking, or not cooking because of the time it takes for them, it really bothers me. I believe that 60 to 80% of the average time spent in the kitchen can be reduced easily. Since moving back to Canada, something that bothers me even more is the rampant use of the oven in this part of the world. The carbon footprint that oven-cooking leaves behind is horrendous. As a basic rule of thumb, cooking on the stove and using pressure-cooking methods can save more than 70% of the electric power and time taken to cook, while simultaneously retaining far more nutrients. So, after a lot of consideration of these ideas and discussions with people from all ways of life, I see that the need is not just for quick recipes but quick, healthy and green recipes.
With these thoughts, I am going to be writing down some “4 steps or less” quick and green recipes for popular Indian dishes (to start with) that some of you may already have tasted at our home. I plan to post them on a Facebook page on my account. This should keep me busy for some time, and it will still have to be seen how long this project will sustain my interest, but for now it seems I have found my new passion.