cooking is an art. when one has the right tools, and an understanding of the rules, a worthwhile creation is inevitable. cooking is no different.
the first tools are the ingredients. when they are different colours, different tastes, and come from different places, you will have what you need.
you should eat leaves, pulses, grains, roots, fruits, nuts, bulbs, and mushrooms. milk and fish can also help with a lot.
some people choose a diet. i indentify as vegetarian. do not let your badge ideology depart from your true ideology: consider the impact of every ingredient you use on its own merits, as they are each as nuanced as yourself.
the second tools are what you will cook with.
one pan will do. two pans is nice. my preference is for woks as they work equally for frying, steaming, and stewing, which are the three main ways i cook.
a frying pan is fine if you only fry and steam; a saucepan is fine if you only steam and stew. one can fry in a saucepan, but the tall sides will do nothing to help.
one knife will do. i like big ones with a thin, square blade. it makes chopping hard vegetables easy. it can be used as a scoop.
a pestle and mortar is good for powdering. stone is best; wood holds flavour.
a chopping board can hold ingredients before they are potted. it is a smooth surface for rolling and chopping. find a size comfortable for you.
cutlery. chopsticks are the most simple and versatile. if you choose a knife and fork, consider also a wooden spoon for stirring.
a rolling pin makes rolling dough simpler. tapered ends can make rolling circles even simpler.
i like to work in proportions, and use a measuring cup to help. find a cup that suits how much you eat.
i use three quantity words.
"a measure" is the quantity of my measuring cup. my cup in the metric system is about two hundred millilitres. a measure of an isolated vegetable like an onion is the whole vegetable.
the recipes are for one person: two people, twice the measures. for dough, one person takes two measures.
"a hand" is usually of spices or herbs. it is the center of the palm when a hand is cupped. hands can be multiplied by those being served, but more hands doesn't make a better meal.
"enough" is what is right for you. some ingredients are potent and some people do not like them. the oil needed depends on the pan you use. get to know who you are feeding and what helps you feed them.
the most important thing to remember is that recipes are guidelines. if you have different ingredients, change them. if you don't like an ingredient, change it. food is an art. experimentation makes art.
the best foods are simple and versatile.
flatbreads are simple and versatile.
mix one measure of water and two measures of flour. knead until it goes smooth. only add more flour if necessary; be patient.
put a very small amount of oil into the pan. shake so it covers the bottom and sides. use a high heat.
take some of the dough and flatten it. put it in the pan. don't let it stick. it will cook fast. turn soon.
it is done. do this again and again.
noodles are simple and versatile.
mix one measure of water and two measures of flour. knead until it goes smooth. add more flour when you need to; it is important the noodles are not sticky.
flatten the dough into a rectangle, noodle length. slice into noodles. use flour to stop noodles sticking to other noodles.
to cook, add to boiling water right before the end.
noodle soup is best with your own noodles.
add one measure of beans, chopped mushrooms, sweetcorn, and chopped onion to a pan. add a measure of water for each vegetable.
add a hand of salt, turmeric, and oregano. add enough soy sauce and enough chilli.
keep the heat hot until it starts to bubble. cool it and add the noodles. when the noodles are cooked, serve.
noodles in oil is a good summer meal.
use a hot heat. add a measure of water to a pan. add a measure of chopped mushrooms, a measure of sweetcorn, a hand of halved garlic, a hand of ginger, and enough chilli and mustard. once bubbling, add noodles.
put green leaves in the bottom of each bowl. heat a measure of oil above the pan.
store the broth. put the vegetables and the noodles over the leaves. pour the oil over the vegetables. pour enough soy sauce over the oil.
a bean chilli takes time to make well. do not worry: most of that time is the heat.
add a hand of mustard seeds, enough oil, a measure of onion and a hand of garlic to a pan. fry.
add a measure of beans, two measures of vegetables, and a measure of water. add a hand of chilli, a hand of oregano, a hand of ginger, and a hand of salt.
lid the pot and leave for hours.
aubergine is a beautiful vegetable. this curry gives it the appreciation it is due.
some dry foods are glorified through sauce.
add a hand of garlic, a hand of chilli, a hand of coriander, and a hand of vinegar to a measure of water and enough soy sauce.
sweetcorn soup is wholesome in taste and colour.
add enough oil and a measure each of onion and potatato to a pan. let it wilt.
add two measures each of sweetcorn and water. add a hand of turmeric, salt, and chilli. lid it. let it simmer.
before eating, crush the lumps.
tea brings peace.
different spices sing different songs. mint awakens. ginger relaxes. coriander inspires.
add a hand of crushed spice to a cup of bubbling water and stir.