Archive for the ‘Indian Spices’ Category

Way to a man’s heart?

March 23, 2010

I am sure all of you have heard of this old adage “ Way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”.  🙂 I think I came across this saying when I was 12 or 13. You see, my mom used to read Woman’s Era a lot and I would sneak intoa couple of pages especially to read a column called “How I met my husband” where the readers would share their love stories. I know, I know, Woman’s Era and me? I was 12, c’mon! And, till date I am a die-hard romantic and love reading real love stories.

So, I remember asking my mom about this stomach and heart connection. I was pretty good in science and I knew that the esophagus doesn’t touch the heart in any way. My mom explained to me about how guys love food and blah, blah, blah! No, it’s not because it’s blah but I just felt like humming Keisha’s song! But you know, women of that generation revere men and I am a Generation X and I believe in an egalitarian society.

So, as I grew up, I had a mixed feeling about cooking and cooking for your husband. Anyway, most importantly, I hated the daily routine cooking but if it’s a new dish, a gourmet food, I was game. ‘Coz I love challenges and believe me please, simple things are too complicated sometimes!

So, I knew how to cook dishes like Palak Paneer or Chole (I am a South Indian so these dishes are specialty to us) but didn’t know how to make sambar or even a simple curry. And, I fell in love with a guy who not just loved food but he knew “taste”. He liked all kinds of food as long as it’s done well, a true food connoisseur. When we were dating, I hadn’t realized it yet and I used to take my mom’s best dishes that he loved, especially for him to eat. There, I was already living the adage but I wasn’t the cook. I don’t think I even made the effort to fill the box by myself. And, I don’t think even he realized what he was getting into. Oh! The best days are when you are blindly in love.

So, we finally got married and the reality sunk in. Forget reaching his heart, my inability to cook a perfect dish was a blow to my own sentiments, ultimate bane on a woman. For those of you who know me well, they will understand that I don’t like losing. Well, who does, anyway!

Sweet guy as he is, my husband did not criticize anything or me. In fact, he would help me. I finally learnt how to make sambar. Don’t laugh but by far that has been the hardest dish for me to learn. A South Indian sambar is a delicate mélange of salt, spice and sourness with a tinge of sweet. But you see I cannot cook the Indian way, measuring with my eyes! I like to measure everything in a propah English way with a measuring cups.

Anyway, 2 years into my marriage and after coming here to the US, I finally learnt cooking, not just Indian but I dabble into all kinds of cuisines. I have more time in the evenings as we come home from work on time, one of the few luxuries of being here. So, I am putting this axiom to full use. Although I already have won my husband’s heart, that is not the goal but it’s the look on his face while he is eating a dish that has been cooked to perfection. And, a couple of times he has even remarked that it tastes just like his mother used to make. Wow! It is the best compliment that a woman can get trust me.