Indian men can cook. Don't be surprised!
From young media guys to middle aged ad professionals, out of work intellectuals and writers -- all versions of modern day Adam in India are climbing on to the food bandwagon, the one which women have been strapped for so many years.
"Some of them are actually interested in cooking and performing in front of guests has become a very attractive pastime," says gourmet expert and food consultant Karen Anand in her new book "Simple Cooking For Smart Men."
Men love kitchen gadgets which do half the work like the good food processor whereas women don't. For some strange reason, women of a certain age love to toil and slave with blunt knoves and old vessels to prove how hard they have been working.
"But today's 'cool men' need their basic tools, in working order. They also love a nice looking kitchen, not one that looks straight out of a Victorial novel or a Siberian labour camp," says Anand.
They (the men) love quick recipes, easy shopping and a smart table with smart accessories. The thing is that everything has to be made simple, she says.
But then few are actually bothered about where the ingredients come from or shopping for them. "... Let's not discourage them, this is a start," she says.
The book says that smart men today are fit and aware of the looks. They are happier eating a balanced diet of east and west than traditional, time consuming dishes.
"The only problem is that, when it comes to life outside their mothers' homes or eateries, they have no clue. They love good food but have no idea to cook, shop or manage a household," says Anand noting "I decided to give them simple recipes - the kind of food he misses, a soup, a salad, a pasta and a really important flamboyant easy peasy desert which actually relies on a tin of packed Gulab Jamun."
Since men don't have much in the way of utensils, Anand says she has created special international recipes which men can make in one frying pan - a complete one dish meal - a rice based one, a noodle one and an all time favourite potato and egg.
Then there is the mouth watering and not much heard of potato fritata, and masala nachos. There is Gazpacho (cold tomato and pepper soup), Som Tam (Thai green salad) and the desi lean baingan ka bhartha.
Along with the book, Anand also has come out with a Wine Guide and covers everything one needs to know about wines - wine terms, how to serve wine, how to bluff your way through a wine evening, the Indage list of red, white, sparkling and rose wines and their pairing with Indian food.