Cooking Tips for the Unintiated 1

I know most of you will raise your eyebrow looking at the title. After all, you know of my fiascoes with Cooking 1 & 2. In spite of many years of cooking (palatable food), I still am uninitiated and clueless about a lot of cooking skills.

It so happened that nearly a litre of milk had survived near the expiration date and something needed to be done to finish it fast. I keep getting pearls of wisdom from friends who are excellent cooks and know all the tricks to make excellent food. One of them is my eldest sis and she suggested that I make Cottage Cheese (Paneer) from the milk.

Here are the tips for the Recipe (For Disaster):

1) Firstly never ever go for suggestions from great cooks. My sister made it sound as if it's a 'game for my left hand'. I, in the heat of the moment actually started believing this nonsense and took up the challenge.

2) Always use a thick saucepan which is deep enough to hold the milk and leave an inch or two of empty space for the milk to boil. I paid a heavy price for over confidence and being a smart-ass by choosing a small pan. The aftermath was not pretty at all.

3) My sister had told me to squeeze some lemon in the boiling milk for it to curdle. Always make sure is it 'some lemon' or 'a lemon'. These doubts could kill your recipe.

4) Have patience, everything takes its own time. Cursing and giving black looks to the task at hand will not make the dish hasten and appear magically.

5) Do not assume that all muslin cloths/cheese cloths are of the same density. You use them to separate the curdled cheese from the whey (watery liquid). My muslin cloth was stubborn enough to retain the whey and the struggle to separate the cheese from the whey would have reminded one of Moses parting the Read sea.

After sweating buckets and being on tenterhooks, finally I was able to coax the milk to curdle and VoilĂ .....Folks, here is my Cottage Cheese.

All throughout the process, I had sudden urges to dump the whole mess in the sink and get it over with. But my pride stood in the way, as I had boasted to hubs about expanding my culinary skills. I even had evil thoughts of opening the store bought Cottage cheese and grating it and presenting it proudly to hubs. In the end Thomas Edison inspired me to finish the task just as he had struggled to make a light bulb work.

"Thomas Edison, said, "I have not failed 10,000 times. I have
successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.


  1. Ha! Ha!!! Not bad. I thought you would have learned by now not to totally believe when dear Jo says some dish/art work/activity is very easy. Multiply it by 10 and that's the reality of its ease ;)

  2. Ha! Ha!...Congrats you made it.. but hows the consistency of that cottage cheese...? It will tell you the real truth..;-) BTW - its really a very easy dish!!

  3. Vini it looks least you din condense pasta condensed!!!! The white evaporated into a white goey rubber!!!!

  4. aur kya kya bacha hai ghar may , is there ample scope to try new recipe.

  5. Haha- live and learn is another good phrase..well, I guess by the time we meet, you will be a culinary expert. So, lage rahiye,LPben!:)

  6. It takes great courage to be able to confront mistakes and women are not too open about their mistakes in the kitchen. Sorry, if that sounds generalized. I mean it in an appreciative way that you have shared valuable experiences that will also serve as tips for those who like to experiment in the kitchen even if they are not experts at it.

    If my wife had to write a post on this theme, I can promise it would become an encyclopedia of culinary disasters:)

    You are a star for sharing it all with us so hats off to you!

  7. Anju:I always fall for Jo's talks and the breezy way in which she says...its very simple :)

    Aditi :Thanks, yeah consistency was V good. Made paneer bhurji yipeeee...

    Malli:What the hell were you doing?? How can you condense a Pasta??? OMG u r worse than me....

    Ashish : hehehe yes lots of experiments. Do read of my other cooking disasters...

    Amit : Definitely, btw I am not a bad cook at all...just get scared midway a new recipe...

    Sanand : Wow, I am totally flattered by your comment. I agree women hate accepting their mistakes in the kitchen and most will look at you strangely if you accept your mistakes.

    I guess all women go thru these initial forays into bad cooking.

    Thanks for praising my honesty :)

  8. I'm not going to comment on your culinary masterpiece...but I am going to comment on the post.

    I had a ball reading it...was very funny esp. the "giving black looks" :D. I could just imagine myself doing the exact thing. Some of my looks should frighten curries so much that they should definitely pull up their ..err... masalas...and get done within as short a span as possible.

    (And oh, i will mail you soon!)

  9. Shikha: Yeah, wish our Black looks could cook everything in a jiffy...I personally am not a big fan of cooking...I am sure you will wonder my husband bears me hates chores, hates cooking...what kinda wife I am :)

  10. I will *not* wonder that, don't worry, because: I'm married. I hate chores. I don't enjoy cooking. and well, don't conform to most typical stereotypes of the ideal wife.

    Infact, I don't even like these stereotypes. I'm sure that our poor husbands probably fell for that streak of eccentricity in us, and of course, the creativity, the madness :D. (What fun is life if you don't have the unpredictable ;))

    Most probably the stereotypical wouldnt even have worked for the hubs, so no, they aren't doing so bad either, methinks :D.

  11. good to meet a non confirmist like me :) I too hate stereotypes...and I think my hubby did fall for my eccentricity. He finds it endearing :P
    Good for me hehehhe


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