Of all the things I do on a weekday, cooking is probably the most rushed. At least as rushed as it possibly could be.
The good news is, you can only rush it so much. That is if you’ve learnt your lessons, want the intended results and not spend an hour scrubbing the vessel after.
So you start by heating some oil – vegetable oil cos it’s cheap, coconut oil if you can afford that wherever you are, peanut if you aren’t allergic and any others if you’ve explored more. The vapors are rising off the oil surface so you now add your black mustard seeds. (no I will never side-note “or cumin if you’re North Indian“. Just don’t bother if you want to add cumin to uppmaav).
So this is where cooking begins to test your patience.
Was the oil hot? Of course.
Are the seeds crackling? No not yet.
Let’s wait 15 seconds. It usually happens in 15 seconds considering 15 is longer than you and I and all of us think it is.
Is it happening yet? You know, if I were home, I’d add some curry leaves at this point to induce crackling, never mind if it’s only the leaves and not the seeds.
Okay it’s finally happening! So now we add diced red onion – the rationed red onion that cost $0.75 each and was chopped while calculating its worth in rupees. This time you really can’t tell why the tears.
Also add some salt at this stage to accelerate the cooking and browning like that uncle/aunty in the TV cookery show told you. (If you opened this article I’m assuming you’re at that age). Keep sauteing – toss and toss and toss.
Is it browning? No not yet.
Did you add the salt? Of course.
See, at this point, you’ve given up trying to rush this. Cooking will take its own time. Which is why it slows you down, often when you absolutely need to and just aren’t aware of it.
I know it’d be low-key insulting to even bother to tell you the rest of the recipe. But to finish what I started, once the onions are translucent, throw in chopped carrots, bell peppers and whatever else is in your kitchen that can be eaten half-raw. Saute for a while. Add the rava, mix well until you’ve slightly roasted the granules. Pour in water and keep stirring until it boils, evaporates and reaches the consistency at which you like to have the meal.
Turn off the heat, take in life at a slightly slower pace than before you embarked on the uppmav.