I was not that bad at cooking before marriage, I mean, I know about masalas, dhals, boiled rice, raw rice etc. I used to prepare edible but not so tasty food. When I got engaged I thought of learning basics like sambar, rasam etc.
After marriage, when we set our home in Bangalore (after about 2 months of marriage), my in-laws were with us for 10 days. I came to know that BD eats only chapati (phulka to be precise) not rice (with sambar, rasam etc.). I have no clue how to prepare phulka. My mom used to prepare chapati (on dosa pan with oil) only once in a month and that too with a staple side dish of potato gravy (the one with besan).
I fell at my MIL’s feet for help and asked her to teach me cooking. During their stay I learnt how to prepare phulka, dhal and kichdi. Actually I saw her preparing all this. Once they left the show started at our house. First of all I did not know how to knead chapati dough properly. It always turned little loose. And my phulkas never puff up on flame. If I prepare dhal, the entire building can consume it. I once prepared tomato rice with one tomato! I never got salt right in my dishes. Once BD told. ‘there should be be some uppu in upma’ 🙂
I never called my mom for any recipe. My MIL taught some easy recipes, tips and how we should listen to our heart when we are confused with salt quantity 🙂 Slowly I learnt house keeping and cooking from her. This continued for about 2 years after our marriage. That is till the time I was in Bangalore.
Now, though I am not a great cook and all that, I can prepare a decent meal for guest all by myself. But still, I feel I am good at south Indian cuisine compared to other cuisines.