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Why Everyone Should Learn To Cook

Two years ago, I was a care-free working (though I'd just quit my job) girl who hated cooking. Back then, if someone had told me that I'd be a fabulous cook someday I'd have laughed in their face. Really, you're talking about a girl who has burnt the rice in a pressure cooker because she was so absorbed in a book that she didn't hear the whistles. My poor mom came home to find the kitchen in a cloud of smoke that day! A girl who couldn't make a cup of tea or coffee to save her life.

And yet, flash forward to today and I'm a girl with an actual recipe blog. I can cook several cuisines and I'm always on the lookout for new dishes to make at home. On the way I've burnt my fingers a few times and chopped or nicked them several times over - inspite of challenging my mom that I would learn cooking without hurting myself :D Other than fantastic new dishes and how to make them though, I've learnt quite a few things about cooking that has changed the way I think about it.

Cooking is something that every Indian girl is supposed to know, it's part of the list of requirements if you want to get married. Given that the only real argument my mom could come up with for learning to cook was, "One day you will get married and then you have to cook for your husband/in-laws. What will they think of me if you can't cook?!" I wasn't exactly itching to get started. This is the most common reason mothers give to their daughters, even if it is not exactly the best or most persuasive.

But once I did start cooking, I realized that being able to cook is something that everyone - regardless of gender or age - should know.

1. Cooking is a survival skill
For one thing, cooking is a survival skill. Once you leave home and start working/living on your own, you realize how important it is to cook for yourself. Driving and cooking are the 2 things every adult should know, at least if they want to be independent.

2. Cooking is healthy
With stress filled jobs, not everyone has time to cook. But what you sacrifice in time, you gain in health. There is a huge difference between cooking everyday with the occasional takeout and eating out every single day. Making your own food changes your eating habits. You will automatically eat healthier when you're aware of what goes into every dish.

3. Cooking is inexpensive
Seriously, I can make an entire week's worth of meals (for two) at home with the money it would take to eat out once. And this just for 2 people. If you consider that the typical family has 2 kids, then the savings are even greater. No matter how much we earn, I'm pretty sure we can all use more!

4. Every dish just the way you like it
When you cook for yourself, you can customize the recipe to your liking. There is no need to complain to a waiter or get annoyed with your spouse because he/she cannot remember that you don't like raisins. From noodles with ketchup or ice cream with gulab jamun, make it however you like - authenticity be damned!

5. Cooking is fun
Really, I'm not kidding. No matter what your interests or hobbies, cooking is a fun activity. Many people consider cooking to be a chore but it's just a matter of perspective. Think of cooking as a game where winning means you get delicious food and great compliments :D Cooking is both art and science, so both artistic and scientific minded people can enjoy it. Whether you measure ingredients down to the last gram or just throw everything into a pot and hope for the best, cooking is amazingly fun!

So what are you waiting for? Grab that ladle and get cooking!


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