Cooking Gourmet

“Shhhh,” the discordant sound of the pressure cooker resonated around the entire kitchen. Being an international student in Japan, I have been cooking for myself almost every other day or two. I would say, it is to some extent fun and rewarding. I mix the spices, slice the spinaches, and season the meat or the fish, as if I was practicing art. I like cooking and I think I am getting better at it day by day. As I opened the lid of the pressure cooker, the hot melted beef curry made me appreciate the art of cooking just once again. It looked very tasty and mouthwatering.

During my university’s winter break this year, I went back to Bangladesh. Over phone calls with mom and dad, I have always stressed to them about how good of a cook I am. “Ma I think I am a better cook then you are!” I would sometimes tell my mom. My dad never believed it. And so, one weekend back home, I thought I will cook for ‘the family’.

So, I personally went to the groceries. I bought beef, potatoes, carrots, masala, yogurt, and any other seasonings to create gourmet. I diced the vegetables evenly, seasoned the meat with masala, yogurt, cumin, oil and just to bring a bit of citrus sourness into the curry I squeezed in some droplets of lemon. After keeping the seasoned beef away for a while, I mixed them with the vegetables and threw them altogether into a pressure cooker. The stove was set mildly, and the timer was set. In the meantime, I tidied up our dining table and put out the tableware. After a while, the pressure cooker whistled “Shhhh”, and as soon as I opened the lid of my cooker, the amazing smell of Indian beef curry diffused into the kitchen and the dining room. The food was ready.

We sat together as a family around the dining table, and it was dinner time. I had butterflies in my stomach as this was a test of my cooking expertise and of how I had boasted my skills to mom and dad. Mom shared around the curry to everyone around the table. She had also prepared some dishes herself and we helped ourselves with those. Now, it was time for the highly anticipated moment. I looked at mom, she picked up a spoonful of my curry into her mouth and chewed for a while. She is a very difficult person to read. My dad and my younger brother followed. “Son, this tastes really good” my mom remarked. “Hmm, it tastes good” my dad approved. And, as I looked at my brother for the final approval, he smirked. I grabbed myself a spoonful and let the taste dissolve into my mouth. Okay so, the spices are fine, the citrus punch is there and as I tried to self-analyze, I burst out laughing. My younger brother cackled, and mom and dad could not hold it in too. We all laughed there for a while. I had forgotten to put salt into the curry. It tasted horrible.

It was a wonderful memory that I took away from there. My family won’t forget it and I will not too. The rest of the days I stayed back in Bangladesh, mom showered me with her rich knowledge of cooking and good food. I did gain a kilogram or two from her amazing food and honestly speaking, nothing beats her cooking. My cooking skills must improve a lot more to be even comparable to Her’s. And thus, they have an old saying back home, “No son, forgets the taste of their mom’s cooking”. I agree.