Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Karma Cuisine


Karma Cuisine

News is that model Joey Mathews is all set to become desi Nigella Lawson on a cookery show called ‘Love Bites with Joey’. We get the hint. The show is aimed at tantalizing taste buds among other things. Women have that edge when it comes to cookery shows. If men indulge in suggestive cooking, the show has all the chances of becoming vulgar. 

Sample this: “Aww, look at this…! Absolutely amazing! Wow! “I simply love this…splendid…hmm…heavenly! Yes, Yes!!”
What do you think?

Well, this is a male chef exulting on a television cookery show (NDTV Good Times). 

And guess what was cooking?

 ‘Doodhi Halwa’ (Bottle gourd pudding). 

Sorry chef, but the halwa looked yucky! The finger licking was a waste. And the generous sprinkling of pistachios didn’t help either!

A delicious tele-tyranny is the unabashed self-admiration by the chefs. Agreed, that all the ‘Ahhs’ and the ‘Oohs’ help the viewer to salivate and to come back asking for more.But for me, there are other serious issues. For starters, the irony of my cooking is that I have been accused of watching too many cookery shows . The outcome has never been worth the effort. 

 “It’s nice. But not like the one they showed on TV,” says my son. “Ma…why can’t you cook like them?”
I am tempted to ask, “And when did you taste the one cooked on TV?”
As I look towards the husband for some generous helping, “Well tried,” is all I get.
I recognize he’s winging it.  The consequence is evident when no one opts for a second helping. Insist, and both complain of flatulence.

Worse! The pot luck lunches have become my nemesis. The ladies sense my dilemma. They refrain from assigning me the task of cooking any exotic dish. Almost invariably, I get to cook rice. No peach puddings or avocado dumplings for me. 
Why am I sulking? I can very well, stick to dal, roti and forget all about exotic cooking. Well, since food continues to have a visceral hold on most of us and with my social reputation at stake, my culinary clumsiness hurts.

What irks me is the fact that the recipes churned by the celebrity chefs’ on television are always delectable - never over-cooked, never over-salted and never over-fried. Unlike the celebrity chefs, I am unable dress my culinary creations in hyperbole. Also when I am about to add those dollops of butter or a generous spoon of cashew paste, the high triglyceride levels restrain my hand. What is with these damn triglycerides? Like inflation, they refuse to go down. 

Another advantage that the television chefs have is that they don’t have to answer doorbells, update status messages or attend phone calls while they are in the midst of cooking sessions. With all the ingredients washed, diced and chopped already, it is easy to waltz in the kitchen and finish preparing three dishes in thirty minutes flat - including the commercial breaks. I would love to watch these chefs straddle their cooking with the maid, the kids, the husband, the electrician and the courier guy - all vying for attention at the same time. Their boast is sure to be deflated like my chocolate cakes

Despite odds, my struggle to dish out absolutely divine food continues. I will continue to stew in my misery, than trim expectations. Perhaps watching the lovely Joey Mathews will pump up the jam. 

A word of advice for Joey Mathews  - Do your own thing. Don’t copy Nigella. She isn’t referred to as the British Goddess of cookery for nothing. And ‘Oohing’ and ‘Aahhing’ is not the only recipe for success.

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59 comments:

  1. So true!! Whatever happened to being original...and for the record I have never tried any of the dishes shown in cookery shows. :) I prefer to do my own thing...so that hubby has nothing to compare it to. ;)

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  2. Well written :)) cooking shows are all glossed up to make the entire experience look amazing... they don't have to chop, clean, etc... and their kitchens look like five star hotel rooms :/

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    1. Above all their ktchens are airconditioned....I dare them to cook in Delhi heat at 43 degrees.:)

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  3. These shows are so depressing.
    Firstly, they make those dishes look so delecious and you obviously cant taste them; I mean how mean is that, you can look(and hear) but cant eat!

    Secondly, On a rarity if I go ahead and make one with all my heart, the looks of whatever has been made are a far cry from what I saw on TV, and the taste, well lets not even go there!

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    1. Thats the way to go dear. I dare them to cook in Delhi heat without A/C.

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  4. Dal roti khao prabhu ke gun gao :)

    I must say that what the dish looks on tv i can never make it look like that .. SO i dont follow them anymore :)

    Bikram's

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    1. Jab dal roti se man bhar jaye to go out for a nice meal...

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    2. Its best to go out for a meal when not in the mood for ghar ki dal roti...and i am talking about food here!

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    3. yes true we got a excellent chinece down the road and a yummy indian buffet place nearby :) eat as much as you can toooo , works wonders for my lean and mean wasitline :)

      yummmyyyyyyyyyy

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  5. The worst part is thinking about the washing up - all the ingredients laid out in different vessels, and then another for baking, another for pan frying...A mountain of dishes is far from exciting!!

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    1. Yep, cleaning up is a nightmare.....unless one has help.

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  6. But I like what you cook on your blog. It's always lip smackingly delicious and what's more, it has never given me flatulence!

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    1. Now that is a perfectly baked lip smacking comment!Yummy!

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  7. I love Sanjeev Kapoor the best. He tells the exact recipe. There is always a wide gap between reality and fiction :).

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    1. Unfortunately, I am not able to follow him...I am that bad.
      What I cook turns out to be entirely different from what they show on TV.

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  8. Alka,

    Do you really try out those recipes? I think cookery book by Jigs Kalra would be much more helpful than these. And simple DAL ROTI and CHAWAL cooked with love tastes much better than TV MURG MUSSALAM.

    Take care

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    1. I used to...Yep...Dal roti it is for me.

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  9. Lol...doodhi halwa? I should try that :D

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  10. Huh...great post, Alka. I refrain from watching such shows,they are real pain. The chefs of these shows are simply irritating:( Soaps are far better to watch than these cookery shows!

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    Replies
    1. Cooking requires passion...I simply dont have it. I admire women who love to cook.

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  11. Well Alka, best for some of us to stick to daal, roti and writing. I cooked palak-paneer for a friend the other day and was asked the recipe. I'll let you in on the secret - fried onions, chopped ginger-garlic, haldi, mirchi, namak, chopped spinach. When it is done, add 1 plate of cooked palak bought from your favourite restaurant and don't forget the paneer.

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  12. Great..Will try that. Honestly I dont have the zest for cooking. And when your heart is not there, the dish is bound to taste insipid.

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  13. loved that read. i went through the same self doubt, but being male, i figured out that it was all a show. for all you know, like food photography, the sugar isn't sugar and the mashed potato isn't mashed potato. i also agree that it takes more than looks and puns to get a good food show going. the sexiest food on indian television is undoubtedly from the bouncing abdul kalam of indian cooking, tarla dalal. no glamour, no innuendos, plain accurate instruction and love for cooking.

    how to cook like a masterchef

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    1. So glad you liked it. Each time the husband catches a glimpse of a cookery show while flipping channels he quips, "why cant you cook something like this?'
      And this is what I want to say to him.
      :)

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  14. Alka, the tried and tested like Nigella Lawson and Hell's Kitchen are perfect examples of originality and copy cat likes of Joey can never match! Your lipsmacking writeup is far more delicious:)

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    1. ha, ha..Thanks Rahul...where r u right now? Still vacationing?

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  15. Joey in a cookery show. Wow. NOT.
    I love watching masterchef too :) and honestly I think you can never recreate what they create on TV, thus, take the inspiration but create your own dish.

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    1. True...this was my frustration speaking..:)

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  16. Feel sad for Joey,comparisons started even before the show did.Initially I too moved my head side to side in rejection but then I thought,should give the girl a chance before writing her off. Nigella has almost perfected the art of subtle seduction over the years especially her raiding-the-fridge-at-night bit.
    Hang your pots and pans lady and invite the critics for a duel in the kitchen:D

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    1. True, subtle seductress, she is. Honestly, this was my frustration speaking...I am so unable to recreate the same magic at home...and trust me I have tried.

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  17. My mom makes excellent Doodhi halwa, its simply divine, both in looks and taste.

    Its surprising as I had always pegged you as a great cook, I don't know why. My advice would be to try few of the dishes that appear in Femina magazine, I have tried and if you follow the recipe perfectly, the result will have your hubby and son sighing with pleasure :)

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    1. I am sure she does...I am an average one. It s just that my heart is not there.

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  18. haha.. so true... no matter what they cook, it always ends up pinpoint perfect.. never a comment like "could use more salt or sugar" :)

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  19. :) true about the cookery shows lol!

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  20. Okay I went and googled this Joey Mathews person.

    As I read your post..I remember Mr. Ratnani's show on NDTV Goodtimes...the way he keeps repeating 'sexy - sexy - sexy' at everything...that gets my mom's nerves, although she will again the show the next day. My target if ire here is his blender though....that damn thing never spits!!!!!

    As for Nigella Lawson....I guess her body was exempted from triglyceride when she descended the earth.

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    1. You are talking about Vickey goes Veg...he is so damn self obsessed.Haha..abt the blender!
      As for Nigella, we have to check her cholestrol levels...:)

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  21. Ha ha good reading.
    Agree with you on that answering door bells, phone calls and all other sundry things which turn up at the wrong time.

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    1. After a looong time.......Glad could make you smile.

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  22. hehehe! this post and the comments below are giving me ideas...its been a year of marriage and we've had no cooking issues...only because he loves to cook..and i'm the sous chef!
    enjoyed reading abt ur son ;)

    vaise, i dont get any time to watch much TV, so i dont know about this show..but i know Nigella so i got it...good read!

    Don't you often wonder their picture-perfect dishes might not be that yummy after all!!

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    1. Lucky gal! Aisa husband kahan milla? Not that I am looking for one......but I can spread the word among other interested women who loathe cooking.

      I am sure five out of ten, their yummy food tastes yucky.

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  23. What happened to my comment? Disappeared in a black hole :)

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    1. Really, I was missing you. Its okay, now that you have read this.
      BTW it was a pleasure meeting you son.
      Enjoy!

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  24. hah that hits sixer. All I can do is nod for all you said. clap clap.

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  25. I was laughing my heart out. Seriously these guys have a magic wand and we have to do everything and cooking. I enjoyed reading it.

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  26. well...while watching those shows i use to say my wife "can't you cook n serve like they do".....and she says "they get paid only for finger licking and all those AAHS n OOHS and certainly not for cooking"......
    BTW i m working in Radio n TV for last 20 yrs and can tell you that those dishes r niether that yummy nor that much good looking as they seems to be while watching at it...!!

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    1. You did that too? It all looks very colourful and appetizing on TV.

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  27. Hahahhaa......U rip apart the realistic stuff from fakeness, give me a high five as wen it comes to cooking m just like u :D

    Loved this post alka...I ws on a break so i think missed d more good stuff..aahh oohh;)

    Will cope up slowly!

    Love
    Mani

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    1. High Five!

      Welcome back ...Break ke baad.
      Love

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  28. These cooking shows..I tell you Alka - they just LOOK GOOD! they say "Oohs" and "aahs" for camera sake.We have never tasted them. My husband gives the same comment for all experimented food "It's good only".

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  29. heyii Alka visiting your blog after a long while ya..been so out of touch :(

    hehehe i have to tell you about the part when she bit into a kebab and went "oohh the juices, the softness ...so so so succulent"

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  30. @Vaish, Sulagna....

    Yep the oohs and aahas are to attract the men folk.

    And "oohh the juices, the softness ...so so so succulent" has some connotations not related to the food...;)

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  31. Hahaha, you voiced my plight in the kitchen...sometimes I feel 'Oh crap! Now they want food again-abhi subah to khaaya tha!' I can cook the regulars too and won't let you strave to death-I just don't understand if we would do all the fancy stuff at home, what are the restaurants for! :/

    And yes, these chefs don't have to answer doorbells, stand in steaming kitchens, have no one to cut vegetables for them n most importantly attend to calls of internet in between-tough life we have there! Phew!:-)

    Hang in there-you are not alone-and RICE is an exotic dish btw!

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