Setting up the Lonely Hearts Kitchen

I got this idea when I saw a post from Cook Like a Bong for recipes for bachelors. I thought, hey, why don't I start such a section?

My creds? I am largely a self taught cook. I picked up stuff from the Internet and then followed my instincts. I love food and therefore try to make dishes which I like to eat. I am not fond of hard work. So I have discovered my short cuts on the way. Most of my dishes don't take too much of tending. Can be done while watching TV. I like variety in my food. So while my basic genre is Bengali I have a decent range in Indian, Oriental and Continental dishes. Most of my dishes can be made with stuff available in India. I have taught my maid how to make my favourite stuff. It's worked out well. So I have training experience. I believe in delegation rather than handholding. So she was up on her feet soon without my standing behind her instructing. I often give recipes to friends over the phone. Works out fine.

What's in it for you. The chance to have home made food versus ajino moto, artificial colour and reused oil abused restaurant food. Plus chances are that a good cook is unlikely to remain a bachelor or spinster for long.

These are a list of Irani Cafelike rules that apply to posts here:

  • Short, staccato instructions
  • No separate ingredient section (why should I do all the work?)
  • No food stories. We mean business here
  • No food photos. There are no references here. If you cook it and you like it, is perfect. If you don't, blame the coach
  • Most portions will be for two. It is difficult to cook for just one. Keep the extra stuff in the fridge. Then, one day, you will get lucky
  • A limited range, not the most traditional. These are stuff I have cooked up over the last nine years or so. Any dish here would have been tried by me before. Limited but proven.
  • A bulk of dishes will be Bengali and Indian. But that's me
  • I will try to give idiot proof instructions. Unclear? Drop in a comment. Others might be unclear too
  • A bulk of dishes here would be non vegetarian. But that's me again. Plus they are easier to cook than veggies. Less peeling and chopping to start with.
  • Some would be repeats of what's already on the blog. But to the point without the stories that are there elsewhere

Here's a list of essentials before you start cooking:

  • a kitchen/ cooking area
  • a fridge, a must
  • a microwave, reheats and cooks too
  • cooking range/ gas cylinder and burner
  • a maid, cleaning up is painful after cooking. Don't skip this if you have access to one
  • Milk. Buy a tetra pack. Lasts a week when open and kept in the fridge
  • Rice. Rotis are level 11. I can't make them

Spices & seasonings

  • Indian :turmeric, coriander/ dhania, cumin/ jeera, red chilly powder, garam masala powder, black pepper. Mustard seeds. Kalo jeera (black onion seeds/ Nigella seeds). Keep in air tight jars, boxes. Bugs will attack otherwise
  • Salt, sugar
  • Tomato Ketchup
  • Cooking oil (best to buy those low cholesterol ones)
  • Soya sauce
  • Pizza seasonings - oregano, chilly flakes. Comes when you order pizzas home. Store the sachets
  • Cheese, butter, ready made curd, packaged coconut milk and tomato puree. All in the fridge
  • Ginger paste. Garlic paste. Can be bought ready made

Basic veggies

  • Onion, potatoes - no need to keep in the fridge
  • Tomatoes
  • Green chilly, coriander/ dhaniya leaves, curry leaves

Utensils

  • 1 pressure pan. You can fry and cook in it too
  • Microwave proof bowls and plates
  • 1 saucepan. Nonstick
  • 1 deep saucepan/ patila - for boiling rice/ pasta/ noodles. 1 large metal strainer for the same
  • 2 plates and glasses

These are basic and enough to get you started. You'll discover new needs on your way.

Recipes coming soon ...

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