Living alone and tired of eating out every day? You can cook quite easily at home, using simple ingredients and easy recipes. We compile a guide to help you out.
When you left home for another city, you had not bargained for the fact that your daily meals would be the first casualty of your changed lifestyle. After weeks of ordering food from nearby restaurants, you finally got bored of it and decided to cook for yourself.
Except – you don’t know how to cook! It’s easy enough if you follow a few thumb rules, like –
* Start small. Though cooking is largely a process of following a recipe closely, it also requires intuition and some amount of knowledge about the alchemy of ingredients. If you’ve never cooked anything beyond a basic omelette or oats, it is better to start small. For dessert, make a simple ice cream using a Milkmaid recipe instead of trying your hand at flan. Or you can go for a basic potato sabzi instead of a complicated vegetable korma. Starting small will yield better results and increase your confidence.
* Salt is both your friend and enemy. Almost every recipe you come across, whether savoury or sweet, has the words ‘Salt to taste’. Salt is a strange ingredient, indeed – it adds depth of flavour, but a single extra grain can ruin the whole recipe. However, using salt in your food is often a matter of trial and error – so keep a tasting spoon handy and keep tasting the preparation to adjust the proportion of salt. Use only a quarter of a teaspoon of salt in most sweet recipes, and none at all in Milkmaid recipes.
* Keep your mum on speed dial. Your mother has always cooked for you and knows exactly how you like your food prepared. So, who better than her to help you cook your meals, or to correct a cooking mistake you made? She can even suggest her own touches to a new recipe you’re trying. Besides, it’s always nice to talk to her, right?
* Use fresh ingredients. The secret to good and wholesome cooking lies in using the right ingredients. Stale or inferior quality ingredients change the taste and overall texture of the dish. Besides, it might ruin your health if the ingredients are starting to deteriorate. Always check the expiration date on packed food and feel raw fruit and vegetables before purchasing. Here’s a good tip: don’t buy vegetables and fruit in the evening hours, when the day’s leftover material is being sold. And always buy seafood and meat as soon as the shops open and the day’s fresh stocks arrive.
* Get your required dietary quota every day. Apart from cooking wholesome recipes, whether main courses or Milkmaid recipes for desserts, it is important that you get all the food groups in your daily diet. Make sure that the meals you prepare comprise carbs, good fats, proteins, minerals, and some amount of natural sugar. You can take supplements to get your daily dose of necessary vitamins.
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