Gastrosexual by birth

There was an interesting article on what the Times of India termed as gastrosexuals yesterday. I don't know if 'gastro' and 'sexual' go together but I guess it sounds catchy and newsworthy. The piece was on men who cook - a smattering of celebs who cook, men joining cooking classes and so on.

One opinion voiced in the article was that men cook by rules, follow recipes to the step... wouldn't know that you can dilute coconut milk powder in water if there is no coconut milk and so on. The argument stated that women are more instinctive when it comes to cooking.

Come again? I think that is a sweeping generalisation. I hate following elaborate recipes. Most of the stuff I cook up are by instinct, visualisation and a sense of balance of spices. And I know that I am not the only one.

I can think of at least two cases to the contrary. We had once gone to a friend's house who while sipping beer concocted a wonderful dish with chicken, coconut milk, mustard oil and pepper corns. Since then he has got married and has inspired his Gujarati wife to take up Bengali cooking. That's inspired! The other occasion was more recent where we had visited another friend who put some bottled sauces together with cheese and whipped up quite a nice pasta. Again, his own recipe.

And when they came over on Friday I added basil and Italian herbs to paneer to come up with quite a different tasting paneer dish. And converted my kosha mutton recipe to kosha chicken as we are a bunch of thirty somethings who aren't allowed red meat. And, no, I did not get the mutton recipe from anywhere. Just had in mind how fish kaalia is made... then quadrupled the amount of onion and garam masala... cut turmeric to the minimum, kept the rest the same and hardly added any water.

So there you are... three men who follow their instincts in the kitchen. I rest my case.

What is your experience? Do men who cook go by the book? Or do they go by their gut?