From JG’s Kitchen!

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” —Ella Fitzgerald

They say adversity often bring out a side in us which we never knew existed. 4 months of study leave for final exams is one of the most trying times in the journey of a Chartered Accountant. Given the study pressure and almost nil physical activity, I was pretty sure that without diet control, some extra kilos would be a complimentary gift to my CA degree. I soon approached a dietician who added all sort of vegetable soups, dishes of brown rice, oats, sprouts etc. in my daily feeds.

I always liked cooking. (This is one of the reasons why my taste buds would not accept an immediate compromise 😛 ). So, amidst the hundred books that lay at my study table, I thought to myself, “What if I try to cook one dish a day to utilize my break time? Not only will this help me rejuvenate myself but also help me spend some more time with mom”

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I still remember the first thing I tried was a Choco Lava Cake. It wasn’t complete a disaster, but I did realise that baking is not my forte. With the help of Youtube, I slowly started preparing dishes which I liked every week – Shahi Paneer, Amritsari Achaari Panner, Phad Thai Noodles are a few to name. I started giving these dishes fitness twists, making them healthier and low on fat.

No one thought that I would take cooking seriously except for me. I had decided to try and cook one dish a week. But with office and deadlines, it was difficult to live upto it in entirety. Besides, the dishes that I cooked involved a big bunch of utensils (which mom would make me clean after the food was made :P).

14102991_1761323447484245_7215120330806403718_oI never knew small decisions like these would bring such a turn around in life! Today, over 1.5 years later, I have befriended my culinary army and consistently cook every weekend. I try to make some new dishes of own – recipes that people have never heard of, specially some international cuisines like Swedish, Afghani etc. My family and friends eagerly await my cooking updates every week.

I look forward to weekends and contemplate what to make/ invent. I have gained the confidence to walk into a kitchen at a local restaurant and cook on my own! In my recent trip to Bhutan, I taught a couple of our Indian dishes to some Bhutanese people thus exchanging cultures and recipes!

The love for cooking has taken me to places I never imagined! It has helped me bust stress, given me a new identity and helped me balance my ever so hectic life by purifying all the negativity around me gathered during the week.

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I have thus learnt to never suppress hobbies. They keep us engrossed. It may take more efforts in the beginning, but the end result is a wide smile of contentment and at that moment, all fights and efforts do feel worth it. It is true that happiness can never be bought, but trust me, hobbies act as a catalyst to finding it. As for me, food is life and life is food; cooking just takes me a step closer to my life 😉

~ As told by Jay Gosar

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