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PaneerOurDaughter’s Delight

Sunday, Mar 15, 2020 13:30 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Mar 15, 2020 07:52 [IST]

PaneerOurDaughter’s Delight

KAMAL BARUAH
Cooking is all about a skill of preparing food by combining, mixing and heating ingredients.All we wish at home for is our mother to cook us a hearty meal. Gone are those days of struggling with cooking?Food ordering and delivery platform make life easier by changing the way India eats – all with just a tap! It’s a reality Swiggy dare not introduce a Lazy Roll. Isn’t that LOL – Life of lazy, we tried more times than often to restrain from ordering a meal even at late night. Cooking can be a drag for this busy world. You don’t need to be an experienced chef to cook dishes at home, do you? I don’t either.
I am an avid foodie, yet I did not develop an interest in cooking since I saw MRE “Meal Ready-to-Eat” wherever I go. US Dept of defence supply MRE for its service personnel in combat field. It’s called Packed-Lunch in IAF and I simply loved those typical poori and potato masala. Fortunately my better half is a great cook and I enjoy scrumptiousmeals over dinner. I don’t cook very often but those lucky guests are always full of praise for my style of Biryani, the only menu I cook well but I make kitchen rather messy.Old things are passed away, behold, online food delivery isbecoming new trends. Hosts are no longer in stress to serve afeast at guest anytime.
Despite all luxury to availability of online meals, we try for home-cooked food on weekends. It was not just another Sunday but another special day I busied myself with housework as my wife was days away at school for board paper evaluation. Soon after dropping her in the early morning I began working around. Ourlittle daughter couldn’thelpanything for keeping our home clean and tidy.Her first preference is the morning cuppa which I also cannot do without that. In fact, I started my day with a tea.
Office goers do not believe breakfast as the most important meals of the day. After all mornings are tough as time constraints make it impossible to do everything. And I chose for quick and easy yet healthy menus for the hectic morning however the ideas of recipe were scrambling for few minutes to pull together. I sat by the fire and toasted a piece of bread with a mug of microwave omeletteand a pair of bananasomehow satisfied our healthy appetite.
The next couple of hours of the day were forced in a whirl of feverish activity. The Sunday bazaar is another attraction for me as I walk around a kilometre in the market for want of organic vegetables from villagers. I enjoy the smell of clothes dried outin the sun on the terrace.I began thinking another recipe for the lunch while giving the entire floor a quick sweep. I crouch down in fear for meat and poultry products as the Coronavirus outbreak outside.Finally I chose a milk product Paneerthat come back to me at last howeverthe worst fear has then been realized that I hadnever cooked before.
Incidentally, our daughter’s favourite is Paneer.She was also confused whether to fry it or otherwise. YouTube rescued us for that juncture. Tomatoes are chopped like a professional with onions were cut into the slices on chopping board quickly. As Curry was put under preparation over low flame, I kept a look at timepiece on the wall while acquiring a taste for the cumin and coriander inflected gravy-soaked stews, stained yellow with turmeric.The preparation was going progress, albeit rather slowly. After all lunch got to be ready on time as I was expecting my wife’s arrival after a fatigue duty.However, it’s not just the food which makes it so pleasant. The fact that we do it together is just as important.It’s not just incredible curry served over lunch but happiness is being served at home.
A big plate of basmati rice get delighted everyone although it is blamed for being fattening our belly yet South Indian go for all rice products like Biryani to Dosa, Idli and Vada. Soon I raised the lid on the karhai, the paneer smell beguiled us for a moment.  But that was not continuingon that day as we found a very few spoonful of rice cooked quickly in a pressure cooker. There was no way to cook again another plate. It was 8th March - the International Women’s Day and was the most challenging that I have ever encountered. Although I was experiencing difficultiesitwas a great cooking experience for a memorable meal. Nothing gives us more pleasure or a delight which is not necessarily a Paneer,the more delight is of sharing food. Finally I realise, making freshPaneer is way easier then I think. She is very fussy about food and I could bring a smile of our daughters’ delight.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi