When Men Cook (Guest Post by Sakshi Nanda)

I feel privileged to host my friend from the blogging world, Sakshi Nanda on my page today. She blogs at Between Write and Wrong.

Sakshi is a lively and cheerful person, but most of all, she’s a wonderful human being. Her posts ranging from the tit-bits on mothering her 2-year old son, lessons learnt, relationships, friendship and social issues, which otherwise are left unattended strike a chord with the readers immediately. The essential dose of humor that she adds in her posts is something that I adore most. Her recent article ‘The Room for Guests’ was one that took me down the memory lane and made me relive those beautiful childhood days. She loves cooking ideas, and having them read even more! She believes watching Pingu, singing Jack-n-Jill and eating baby food is therapeutic. And that the pen is man’s best invention, only after diapers that is! 😉

This happens to be the first ever guest post on Dew Drops and this also happens to be Sakshi’s 100th post. I’m honored. 🙂

Let’s see what caught her attention while men were in kitchen. 😀


When men cook, look up at the moon. Is it orange? Silver? Green? No, it’s blue.

Of course that is not a bad thing. The blue moon, I mean. It’s rare and hence it is special. Day after day we see the same moon shining silver and bright. It takes a man in the kitchen to turn it blue. Bathe us in this rare light. And it’s a momentous O’clock when a man says – ‘I’ll cook today, why not!’

What happens when men cook?

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When men cook, it’s all about science

Archimedes for the soaked kidney beans and Newton for dropping in the fenugreek seeds! And all kinds of theorems tossed in the salad or made heavy with cheese. A battalion of measuring cups and spoons, ladles and bowls. Even peg measures, the most reliable for 30 ml or 60 ml, or maybe double (so what if it’s just chai that is going to be made). Such a rational way of adding water, salt, turmeric, chilli powder that the Age of Enlightenment unfolds right inside your kitchens. Careful hands dropping them in the pan. A gram here and milligram there. Watch them, and it’s like someone beading a necklace with pearls he wrenched out of oysters. Cumin seeds! The man will count the number, drop them in the hot oil and move some calculated yards back. Excused, the recoil! What if they crackle in protest of a man’s hand and pop in the wrong direction? The mini-mines in the pan can instill fear in anyone’s heart. And here it’s just dear men. Notes taken for the next time. 5 seconds, and 7 baby steps towards the pan again. Time to add the onions, sniff sniff and a cascade of tears. Even at Rs. 70/kg what a terrible lot, the man complains!

When men cook, they follow the written word

They don’t cook with their minds, but with their behinds. Oh you get me wrong. I mean the recipes they hang behind them on the wall to swirl around and read, word for word. Maybe borrow spectacles so they can see the minutest of difference between tbsp. and tsp. The finger runs down the sheet, the eyes pore over it, the mind makes temporary notes and the ladle goes round-round-tik-tik-swish. How many rounds? Well, check the recipe, yes he will! The clock is the hero. The time keeper for success. Every second counts for a man making pasta cream, like for Bolt running for a gold. Oops! Excuse the bad analogy. For they work at different speeds (Actually, very different speeds!)

When men cook, they don’t cook daal

Why cook daal? Boiled lentils and no more (with cumin seeds, of course)!  Cook continental, or ‘conti’ as is lovingly called. Or maybe stir fry some veggies in red wine. Or white. Celery and lettuce and exotic cheese. Sauté mushrooms in butter or salad things up with olive oil. Spend the monthly budget but make it exotic will you! Bhoona masala is what mundane is made of, and hard work too. The kitchen travels in the hand of a cooking man. It goes to US of A and makes big burgers, or rises up to China and to Manchuria in particular. It may just go down under, make something with beer. Beer? Why, Australia has to have a dish which needs a little lager? Daal, roti, subzi can remain in The Everyday. It’s a blue moon, darling, and it’s Russia on my plate this day!

When men cook, the kitchen changes face

Master Chefs at home are experts at cooking. But the Dept. of Cleaning is not under their jurisdiction, conveniently. They need liveried attendants to clean up and wind up after them. Ok, homely dressed will do too, as long as someone else is making the kitchen feel at home again! In moments of sheer genius, who cares where the oil dripped or sugar fell to invite the ants for a little treat? Which spoon stand the dirty used ladles carelessly adorned or how many utensils were used to simply beat the eggs? Trifles, all! When men are cooking manna, all the mess can matter not. Trivialities, those drips drops splashes splatters hits and misses on the floor tiles, or even on the wall. The cooking took an hour, the winding up maybe two. But where there’s gilded food to be had, who minds a little extra dose of to-do?

And when men cook, they stand atop Town Hall’s hall. Beat a thaali with a spoon

Announce the deed done, the ordeal that is over. The science, the expertise, the meticulous moves. They stand all proud, with that dish in their hands and enjoying the whole pantheon of Gods showering flowers on their heads from the clouds above. Some get a little tattoo with the date and time of achievement, when they served a perfect dish (or so they think). Some become world celebrity chefs, of course. Wear what they may, say what they will, taste everything and cook a pretentious meal you empty your life’s savings for. Others are celebrities in their own dens. For on that special day they had buttered the bread, or better still boiled not one but two eggs.

When men cook, it goes to their heads.

The kitchen fumes, of course. That’s all I meant! Then they need an Aspirin, maybe a few minutes of head massage or foot. A little extra TLC for standing beside the LPG, a whole half hour through.

But despite the sweat and salt, when men eat what they cooked, they burp the loudest too!

(Views expressed are personal. The author, under no circumstances, is including your man in the ‘Men’. At best, she is exposing her naiveté by generalizing. Maybe, her sexist attitude too. But like all Gods say in one voice – Forgive, and you shall get more blog hits. Amen!)

78 Replies to “When Men Cook (Guest Post by Sakshi Nanda)”

  1. What do you mean check the bloody recipes? I am yet to see a recipe that says so many tsps or tbsps of salt – what the hell do they mean – salt to taste; whose taste, pray? 🙂 NOW you know why men do not turn out good dishes – it is all the fault of the recipes 🙂

    1. But Suresh, men DO manage to cook wonderfully. Not everyone is looking to fault the dear old recipes. Maybe the trick is in not confusing the salt with the sugar? Just wondering! 😀
      Thank you for reading!

      1. Hmmm – maybe you did not know but I am one of those who do cook decently and do not turn my kitchen into a disaster area in the process – else I’d never have dared stay a bachelor 🙂 So, I assume your comment was addressed generally and not to me specifically in the same manner as my comment was a general defense and not specifically a defense of myself 🙂

  2. Cooking is part exact science and part art 🙂

    I love to cook, but I leave a mess behind so mom says it is lesser effort for her to cook herself than to run after me to ask me to clean things up

    1. What is ‘part exact’? See, this is what I mean. If I was talking about science and scientific measurements, you have gone a step ahead and thrown another mind-boggling cooking term at poor me. Men!
      Also, I already agree with your mom, Santulan! 😀

  3. Right..Let’s see…where do I start? Great topic for your 100th post Sakshi. And Rekha – I stumbled upon your blog only quite recently, and i’ve loved it. And with now Sakshi’s guest post, well, two of my favourite writers under one roof; Not sure I could ask for anything more from the blogging world.
    On to the post now :
    Though I categorically refuse to be categorised into the category of the afore-mentioned “men” (at least as far as cooking is concerned), I can’t help but nod along with some of your observations 🙂 Men are usually more obsessed with “pre-cooking organisation” than clearing up the “post-cooking mess” that they’ve created. And yes, men love their ego-stroked especially when it comes to their role in the kitchen. Do you suppose it’s because traditionally the Indian society has labelled the kitchen as a “Woman’s territory”? Maybe its the days of Khana Khazana and Masterchef that make them want to make a song and dance about their achievements in the kitchen? Or maybe it’s just because Men are from Mars? Whatever the reasons may be, if the tables were reversed long enough and men got to spend time in the kitchen on a regular basis, I’m sure they’ll figure out “cooking with their minds” as you say. Great post once again 🙂

    1. Truth be told. My 100th was meant to show my husband in a different light. I guess that happens tomorrow – for the 101th. That shagan ka ek rupaiya has been added to it.
      As for your comment on my post, I copy what I said elsewhere – Hm. I am happy I drew a nod-of-sorts out of you, Sid. But I am amazed at the socio-cultural study that my post generated in your head. Why, I am nodding myself. 😀
      Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

      1. “My 100th was meant to show my husband in a different light” – Ok, I’m really intrigued now. Shall keep my eyes peeled for that. As for the post, it wasn’t a nod-of-sorts; it was a nod, for most of it. With regards to the socio-cultural study, thanks for the helping “liven” up my ageing brain cells. Until the next post………

  4. As I m not married can’t do a comparison with a husband…. but yes… that’s my red… esp the red wine, and lots of known and un known spices…. and the cleaning dept is entirely left behind for me n mom! But still kuddos to all men in kitchen even if its once in a blue moon. 🙂

    As usual great post 🙂

    1. I do agree. Kudos to all the men in the kitchen. They do manage to escape the wild jeera and come out with faces un-marked with new moles. 😛
      Thanks a lot for the ‘great’, Sheethal. 🙂

  5. LOL The last line was the king for me! It IS written for my husband :). Creating a mess is also so true. What do I care? I enjoy mess and leave it for the maid :). But otherwise, my husband is as good a cook as me, perceptible and knows with instinct how to put what where. And another thing that he is better at is that his dish turns out really consistent compared to mine because he is more methodical in his work :). Funny post!

    1. Your husband needs to meet mine. Maybe it will liven the very dormant culinary bone in my husband’s body. Some instinctualism may brush off on him too. Methodical they are. Why, I asked him to make me a cup of tea at 6pm. I think he’s following procedures prim-n-properly in the kitchen. And, it’s only 9:30 pm. 😀
      Good you smiled! 😀

  6. err .. Actually that’s me 🙂 I cook like that .. when ever I enter the kitchen in once in the blue moon. Very Witty Sakshi. Enjoyed it thoroughly !

    1. So happy you enjoyed it. Other than that – do tell me well in advance when I should look up at the sky and spot a blue moon. In my 30 years old lifetime, I have seen it only once. 😀 You do eat, right?
      Thanks a lot for liking this. Witty is a good word!

  7. I shall reserve my judgment on this! I want to wait and watch how some ladies will refuse to feel placated by your disclaimer that this post is not about their man!

    Fantastic post, as usual, Sakshi. And I really like the accompanying photo, too. 🙂

    Thanks, Rekha, for hosting Sakshi!

    1. So far, no chappal has come my way. I assume the ones silent are smarting, or to give them the benefit of doubt, busy cooking. Or maybe, if was all in the disclaimer.
      Thank you for mentioning the photo. 2 of us on the fan right now. 😀

  8. There are two parts to my comment. The first part is my observations of other men cooking in the kitchen and Sakshi as usual, has hit the nail on the head. Despite the humor in the post, she highlights some extremely important home truths in this post. Those are the fact that men take their cooking very seriously and make it a point to cook as per the book and not go by their instincts. Maybe it has to do with the fact that they trust cook books more than their cooking instincts, if they have any in the first place. Second points she makes which is extremely relevant is the fact that the kitchen looks more like a mine field after the man of the house has finished his cooking. Third point that she makes which is so so true is that men rarely deign to cook everyday food, it has to be something exotic and out of the ordinary when they cook.

    The second part of my comment comes to my observations of my own cooking. First up, I don’t cook by the book at all and am a completely instinctive cook, and although it has landed me in lots of trouble (read under cooked vegetables, less salt, burnt food) I never learn and never ever take a recipe with me to the kitchen. Second point, I try to cook regular food most of the times and stay away from out of the ordinary dishes as they turn out to be out of the ordinary disasters when they go bad.

    Loved this post, and Rekha, am truly jealous of the fact that Sakshi chose your blog to debut with her first ever guest post. As is the norm with all her posts, this one well and truly spoke to me in more ways than one!!! Awesome post, and may this be the first of many more to come.

    Sakshi, lift your ladle a la Tendulkar when he scores a ton 😀

    1. Glad you agree fully about The Other Men, Jairam. 😀

      Also good to know you are an exception-al cook, especially if my post were to be a recipe for judging your culinary skills. 😀

      Jairam, I was honoured to have received the request from her. She is one of my good friends here. And yes, the bat is pointing skywards, though I don’t mind being Milkha Singh either. 😀

  9. I wanna stand up and fight… but I know its all true. I do consider myself as a king whenever I cook a meal and wait for everyone to applaud me and shower me with praises and even gold coins, if they deem fit ( noone has till now but im still hoping ) 🙂

    1. I am sure some gold coins will come your way. Just make sure you shower them on whosoever cooks the meals on non-Kingly days, Roshan. 😀
      You get what you give. 😉
      Thanks for reading!

  10. Hilarious post and loved every word of it. I tell my husband that a man in the kitchen is like a bull in a china-shop.

  11. Great choice for a guest post, Rekha.
    And Sakshi – fantastic, as always, complete with a fab picture and all. We’re having some exotic (not) chicken wings the day after tomorrow – and hubby dear has marinated them two days in advance – just as the recipe says! Me? I can’t repeat the same dish twice! 😉

    1. Oh Corinne, thank you. Your ‘fantastic’ is power n for me. So what if your husband’s culinary skills are not mine’s? 😀 Or even mine, for that matter!
      Thank you. Feeling good!

  12. I guess I cannot identify with this at all! 😀 The husband has a cleanliness OCD. So I don’t mind that he doesn’t cook anything other than amazing omelettes, as long as he takes care of the cleaning even after I cook something. We don’t get maids easily here you see. 😉

    A wonderful read Sakshi. Congrats on your 100th post and Rekha, congrats on hosting your first guest post. 🙂 Best wishes to the both of you for many more such wonderful posts. 🙂

    1. Well, if you cannot identify with this here, Jyothi, then you are fortunate as fortunate can be. 😀 Maybe we can thank the maids for the made-for-each-other combination. Or maybe, it was made in heaven’s above. 😉
      Thanks for your lovely wishes, Jyothi. Mean a lot!

  13. LOL!!!
    My dad leaves behind a messy kitchen!

    but, both hubby and bro-in-law are neat freaks. They will clean first and then cook and then clean again! 😛
    So, its a win-win situation for me and my sis! 😉

  14. I loved the rhymes. As a cook, I have been said that I can even overcook water. The only thing I know to make is Cheese Maggi which I make in 2 easy steps:
    1) Make Maggi
    2) Add Cheese according to taste.
    Again loved the poem.

  15. When my dad cooked he was meticulous and always cleaned up after himself. Always. Since I have married I have found that on most occasions I am the cook. Which is OK because I love to cook. The upside is that my husband will help with the cleanup.

  16. you won’t believe, my husband had bought a weighing scale and a measuring cup when he decided to do some cooking. He used it just once, but then the whole episode reminded me of my chemistry lab hours

  17. Hahaha hilarious post ..I will make my fiancee read this 😀 Perhaps when he cooked in my kitchen for the firsttime, he was like “I know everything, so plz leave from the kitchen” and the next minute he burnt his palm. HAHAHAHA loved this post!

  18. Guest posts are a great idea though I’m yet to experiment with it.
    As much as I loved reading this, I couldn’t agree with some of the things mentioned. I know it is all for a good laugh and that’s what ultimately everyone wants. 🙂
    Good post.

  19. Made Vikas read this one. At the risk of perhaps creating a furore in the wedding land can I just say every single word is gospel truth for men who cook. And here in lies the difference in men who can cook and men who cook. men who can are the hosts on masterchef and men who cook (once in a blue moon as stated) are men who watch masterchef with such sincere expression like their world depended on it. And funnily in most cases while they are watching the show their wives are serving food to them 😀 😀

    ahhh that felt good.


  20. Her man’s adventures in the kitchen inspired her to write in verse. Fortunately for me, my husband is Masterchef incarnate. No dropped ladles or a trail of spices behind him. The veggies are chopped to perfection, the spices smoked to the right temperature. It helps he has an encouraging wife, who applauds his culinary adventures.

    1. Truth be told – not about my man either. 😀 A piece of fiction, no more, especially for you with your Masterchef. A social comment after compilation of women’s stories. In jest, of course. True though, I have never encouraged my man to cook. Never too late, I say. 😀
      Thanks a lot for reading, Purba ma’am. 🙂

  21. That’s a lovely take Sakshi ! And very true. Completely agree about the whole thing being an ‘adventure’ and ‘novel’. I dread to go into the kitchen to clean up later. Phew !

  22. Rebuttal – from this man:

    1. Once in a blue moon – not true. I cook more than once a twice a week. At the very least, I’m involved in chopping, prep and as general attendant.
    2. Science involved – not at all true for me.
    3. Follow the written word – I refute that totally. Read this post for my standard recipe disclaimer.


    4. Don’t cook daal – I make dhuli maa ki daal all the time (with the tadka…so there!)
    5. Kitchen face changes – moderately guilty on this count. I hate doing dishes, but I have to do the pots and pans anyway 😦
    6. Beat a Thali with a spoon – who doesn’t like to be appreciated?
    7. Get a Headache – not me. Chopping and food prep I find strangely therapeutic.

    Now, I can tell you – this was a great read!

    1. How lovely to know. Like I said, this is only about mine. 😀 Hope you giggled a little though! 🙂
      I must write another post from the other side of the fence, or maybe you can. After all, you should have The Last Word. 😀
      Off to read the recipe. I sure hope I can do justice to it.

  23. Hahahahahahahaha! Hilarious post. Men cooking with their behinds.
    On a more serious note, I’d like to apologize to all women who’ve had to clean up the kitchen after men left it devastated with their cooking ‘experiments’. Thank you for being patient with us :P.

    P.S. To be fair, I always help in cleaning up afterwards:P!

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