Last evening while at dinner we were talking about how in one household you could have three people cooking the same dish three different ways. A friend commented on how in his house, his mother makes a dish in a certain way for dad and the rest of them have a different version made for them. The food for dad is referred to as “Dad’s food” and the others know better than to touch it.
Another lady spoke about how when a girl gets married, she moves to her in-laws house where her husband and mom in law are used to cooking a dish in a certain way while she grew up watching her mom/gramma cook it a certain way. This lady commented that she was in a dilemma on what to do, but then she managed to meet them half way through and it worked out fine. But there are others where you need to go all the way to one side to satisfy the palates. Many a times when a dish is made in a way different from what we are used to, our mind just freezes up and refuses to even let us try it, leave along eat it [even if we do end up liking it]
The major influences in my cooking journey has been my gramma, I have learnt a lot by watching her cook and what is more, she is a good teacher as well , unlike my mom who is good at cooking but not great at teaching… So, when I go to someone else’s house and see a dish I have grown up eating, and it tastes different, a mini conflict erupts in my head and sometimes I just shush it and other times I voice our my concern/ ask how the dish was made and then only rest my case.
The one thing I have been taught is to not add Perungayam [asafoetida] when making dishes that have onions or radish in them. But then I see friends who add the same to onion & radish based dishes.. I wonder why I was told not to add, what happens if you add [ if the taste changes or if there is a chemical reaction of sorts, or these veggies dont mix with it well]… But trained that way, I dont add it when I make onion or radish based dishes.
Do you have any such quirks? lessons to share?