He made Noodles, Pasta Arabiata, White Pasta, mocktails like Fuzzy peg and so on. Barring our traditional cuisine, he loves all the other cuisines, and hence when he plans on cooking, we can expect tasty Continental dishes. Not that I am complaining, because not only we, but even his grandparents enjoy it! In addition, once in a while he would also help me roll out chapathis, puris, and so on. The moment I try new recipes his face lights up and both of us try and prepare it together.
Coming to my younger son, according to his hierarchy he joined my elder son as his sous chef! You can imagine him being bossed around by the Master Chef! This was however not to his liking, and after just about couple of times in the kitchen, he felt that cooking was not his calling and so there was me, who was promoted to the role of sous chef, when the post fell vacant!
Right from his childhood, my younger son's staple food both for lunch and dinner was curd with rice and mind you with no seasoning, with only one or two of his favourite vegetables. Parathas, Aloo parathas, chapathis were a big no with him. Every other dish would be spicy or not his favourites. In a way, it was very easy for me to plan a menu when he was around. It did not require too much of planning, did it now? He was totally the opposite of my elder son and was loathe to experimenting with anything new. His taste palate dictated simple non-spicy, regular comfort food and that was curd rice! His knowledge of cooking I must say was zilch.
So, when he had to go abroad for his studies, he just did not know A or in this case C of cooking! Nor did he have a clue as to what ingredients go into what. Since this came up suddenly, I did not have enough time to teach him the basics, as most of his time was spent running around for visas and in completing other official formalities. So my only solace was, that he was going to stay with three of his seniors and I fervently hoped and prayed that they would at least know some basic cooking, enough to sustain them.
It turned out that I was fretting for no reason at all! Why? because it so happened that one of his senior housemates was an accomplished Chef! No not in the actual sense, but cooking was his hobby! So within a short time of them settling down, this Master chef with the other three sous chefs, worked magic in the kitchen in that far off land. The pictures of these gourmet dishes sent by my son, made even a pro like me look like a trainee. :-(
The pictures were something out of a food magazine. He sent pictures of absolutely delicious looking hot and spicy Vegetable Biryani, yellow sizzling Dal tadka with fluffy white rice, nicely roasted parathas, chapathis with vegetable kurma, yummy looking aloo parathas with curd and pickle, a melange of colorful Pav Bhaji ..... the list was never-ending. Not only did it look mouth-watering, but they also had the time and patience to plate it beautifully. It sure did cross my mind, that I might want to go on a sabbatical to their place!
Breakfast was not at all on their list, as he said there was no time. Lunch would be a simple sandwich or salad which he would pack to college, he told me that he could not afford the canteen food. Dinner however was an elaborate affair. It was very touching as well as a proud moment for me when he sent pictures of his very first solo attempt at cooking. Yes, no prizes for guessing what it was - curd rice with seasoning, plain rice, dal tadka, and carrot and potato curry, which he said, his friends ate heartily.
We were really astonished when they threw a grand Diwali party to their house owners of foreign nationality in that distant land! This was a party where all the four children had whipped up a mouth-watering four-course meal, complete with a beautifully designed menu card explaining what each dish was....totally five star way! The pictures say it all!
I guess life really teaches a thing or two when you are on your own. What a delightful gastronomic journey this has been for him. Can you keep a secret? I am planning on hanging up my apron when he comes home for vacations and let him treat me to some of his delicacies!