Hi I am Gulzar, when I married Salim I got introduced to the joys of cooking. Yes! you have guessed it right I loved to cook (so much so that the first gift I asked and got from my husband was a Sanjeev Kapoor Cook Book), I learnt to cook but never had the whole kitchen to myself, any Indian married woman would know what I mean. And also I came face to face with another fact, you know what they say “the way to a man's heart is through his stomach”, it is very very true atleast for my man.
Well with the introduction to cooking came another introduction, my husband as a food critic. Not just the taste part but the timing part too!! With it came the revelation the Mahashay used to be a (when I feel like it) cook. After listiening for the nth time how much of a fast and tasty cook he was, one Sunday I planned a tasty biryani which I had to foresight to prepare the masalas in advance. Our household being a khoja muslim household, the biryani or pulav is a must on most Sundays. I than sprang my surprise on my husband. He was to help me prepare that Sundays Biryani! The look on his face said everything, but I used all my wifely charms and he agreed to partner me that day.
I must say the first thing he volunteered was to cut onion. My brave hubby. While he cut the onion or was it he cursed the onions, I marinated the chicken, while I fried the onions, he washed the rice. I must say we really came together that afternoon, the biryani later too came to a fine Dum and the fragrance was really not of just the masalas but more so of the the lovely time we had spent together as a couple. You can say in a way that was our “Biryani Day of Love”.
I have jotted down a few pointers some from my experience and some from the wiki net.
I would whole heartedly suggest that you both get into the kitchen as often as you can. It's always more fun when two are in the kitchen than just one. It becomes a team effort rather than one person's responsibility and if you're of a competitive bent, you can even spice it up by egging one another on to see who can produce the most tasty dish.
Go grocery shopping together. Get him involved at the basic ingredients level if he's not already doing this with you. Talk about what you're purchasing and why as you move through the store. Get him interested in asking for choice cuts of meat, the freshest of vegetables and the most exotic of important spices so that he sees this as an exercise in bringing home the very best for his household. He'll be enthused in no time!
Find recipes that appeal to both of you. Spend some time together flipping through a few cookbooks or recipe sites to agree on mutually delicious recipes that you'd both enjoy eating.
Make it a culinary experience. Try out recipes by seasons or countries and make a plan to try these recipes together and discover new tastes and textures that neither of you has ever tried before.
Look for male oriented recipes, which involves a lot of frying, roasting, barbequing. At the very least it'll pique his curiosity. Equally, find cookbooks written by men (Chef Sanjeev Kapoor immediately comes to mind).
Don't disappear completely during the times he cooks. Be nearby offer to do preparation work such as chopping vegetables, cleaning mutton, preparing basic curry.
Be supportive and avoid complaining when the food he cooks isn't perfect. Nobody's cooking is perfect all of the time and you're probably able to remember times when you just knew your cooking was abysmal but he was kind enough to swallow it and keep quiet.
Discover what he does best and praise him lavishly. Be sure to crow about those the most until it becomes the household thing to ask him to "make that dish that only you know how." After all, he does it to you, so do it back!
Be sure to openly praise him in front of his mother, your mother, the children and the neighbors for his culinary prowess. It's hard to back down after that.
And as for my husband, No, he has not stopped being a food critic but from that day I saw a new found respect in his eyes and he his now more than willing to lend a helping hand when my two kids become more than a handful
Now after so many years of marriage I am now an experimental cook and sometimes with his help always willing to try out new recipes, new ingredients sometimes to accolades and sometimes to disastorous results lol! Pizza to the rescue!
So when are you going to have your Biryani Day of love.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.