As Arvind, the guy who once burned instant noodles, I understand first-hand the struggles that many Indian bachelors face in the cruel, unfamiliar territory known as the kitchen. The idea of cooking your own meals can be daunting when you've spent the majority of your life having meals magically appear on the dining table. It's stressful, messy and involves fire – definitely not everyone's cup of tea. But hey, to quote a wise man (that's me): "You don't have to be a chef to cook – you just need to know how to set the fire low enough to avoid burning the house down!" So, let's take together this journey of easy to cook food items specifically for Indian bachelors.
Every Indian, irrespective of their culinary abilities, knows the power of comforting Dal Rice. Its simplicity is what makes it an absolute favourite amongst bachelors. Even at my worst cooking days, I could always trust myself to boil some dal with turmeric and salt, and let the pressure cooker take care of the rice. Bowl up the rice, pour some dal, add a blob of ghee if you're feeling fancy, and voila! You've made your comfy, tasty meal. The beauty of this course is that you can experiment with the dal as your confidence grows in the kitchen – add a tadka (tempering), toss in some vegetables, and before you know it, you're feeling like a MasterChef.
Let's be honest, no list of bachelor-friendly foods would be complete without mentioning our beloved friend, Maggi. My memories with Maggi go from working on last-minute assignments in college at midnight munching on them to being my saviour in hunger-crises at the end of tiring workdays. Remember, there's no dearth of ways to cook Maggi – vegetable Maggi, cheese Maggi, egg Maggi. Your imagination is your only limit. I once read that the Indian market has spawned 12 different flavours of Maggi. Now, that's what I call love!
Boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, omelette, half fry, full fry— the versatility and simplicity of cooking eggs is truly unmatched. They are nutritious, take minutes to prepare, and are friendly on the pocket. Try an ingredient-rich omelette with onion, tomatoes, and chillies for breakfast, or maybe a hearty egg bhurji for dinner. Trust me on this, once you have eggs in your fridge, you'll always have a back-up plan for when everything else fails! I still remember how my first successful dish in the kitchen was a simple scrambled egg. It was far from perfect, but every beginner needs to scramble a few eggs (both literally and figuratively).
Being a South Indian, I am a die-hard fan of Paneer, especially Paneer Bhurji. It's super easy to prepare. You just need to crumble the paneer, sauté with onions, tomatoes, spices, and your paneer bhurji is ready. For me, Paneer Bhurji is a quick-fix solution for those times when the refrigerator is nearly bare, but I require a substantial meal. Be it lunch, dinner or a midnight snack, Paneer Bhurji never disappoints. Pair it with hot chapatis, and you're good to go.
Khichdi is the epitome of soul food for weary bachelors craving comfort. Throw in some rice, lentils, veggies, spices into a pressure cooker and let it do its magic. Pair it with curd or pickles, and relish the melding of flavours in every bite. There was this one time when I caught the flu, and all I craved was some piping hot khichdi. Despite my runny nose and constant sneezing, I managed to cook a pot of khichdi and was immensely proud of my culinary skills.
Whenever I feel the need to add a little healthy twist to my routine, Stir-fry vegetables is my go-to recipe. Get your favourite vegetables, do a quick stir-fry with some spices, and your meal is ready. It’s easy, quick and nutritious. Stir-fry vegetables were a revelation for me when I started living alone and had limited kitchen essentials. It gradually became my staple, and adding a few chunks of paneer or tofu worked as a perfect touch to it.
So, there it is, fellows. A list of easy-to-cook recipes straight from an average cook's kitchen to yours. Remember, in the kitchen, it's okay to make mistakes and learn because that's how you grow. At the end of the day, it's all about serving yourself some love in the form of food because no one else is going to do that for you. Invest in a good apron, roll up your sleeves, and begin your cooking adventure!