I love cooking. It relaxes me, pleases me, heals me. I have been cooking meals for my family for more than two decades now. Over the years, I have learned important lessons on how to create a meal that not only nourishes the body, but also feeds the soul.
Here are the three Ps I follow in my kitchen:
Patience: Don’t keep lifting the lid of your pan or the door of your oven to see if the food is done. Resist the temptation to fry everything on high heat so that it’s done quickly. The lower the heat, the more flavorful your food will be. There are exceptions, of course, such as Chinese stir-fries, which require quick and high-flame cooking, but on the whole, it is a good idea to let your food release its natural flavors and aromas, while also absorbing those of the spices and herbs it is cooked in.
Proportion: This is crucial to good cooking. Even something as simple as a cup of tea can be ruined by too much sugar or milk. Getting your proportions right takes experience and yes, patience! I now know how to get my basmati rice just perfectly cooked and fluffy: two cups of water to one cup of rice that has been soaked in clean water for at least 15 minutes. Lentils require just enough water so the grains are completely cooked but stay separate, giving them a beautiful look. With a little attention to amount and quantities, you can make the difference between average food and amazing. Over time, you will join the ranks of great cooks, who don’t follow recipe measures–they just know how much of what is just right.
Passion: The biggest ‘P’ in my cookbook! I truly believe that meals that are cooked with care and served with love nurture every cell of your being and quench your soul. That is why, we love the tastes of our childhood. As author and motivational speaker Linda Henley said, “If god had intended us to follow recipes, He would not have given us grandmothers.”
I rest my case.