The heat haze above the skillet makes everything shimmer. There are little bubbles in the oil as I lean over and slowly upturn the small bowl containing a mix of spices. They hit the oil with a sizzle, the wonderful aroma of cardamom, cinnamon of nutmeg wafts through the air. Slowly I add the onions and stir until they are golden brown. Its time for the meat.
People often tell me I love to cook because I love to eat. I call bullshit. I love cooking because of the same REASON I love to eat...I love food. I love the preparation of it, I love the chemistry of two flavors mixing together to create something better than the sum of their parts, I love the process of taking different ingredients and forming a homogeneous whole, but most of all I love the expression on people's faces when they eat what I have prepared. Like most artists, good or bad, I cook for the reactions. In fact, I eat the least when I cook, because I want to spread the flavours around as much as possible.
Above: One Day, mai bhi....
Is cooking an art? I believe so. Of course that doesn't make me an artist, just a scribbler awkwardly holding a pencil and hoping that the chicken scratchings in the back of his maths testbook will someday lead to an object of beauty and innovation. And while I don't consider myself to be anything more than the lowliest student of this art form, I know I can be good because I cook out of love. Love for the food, love for the fed but most of all, love of the joy of creation.