Renting a place to stay with your friends in a different city or staying with random roommates might sound like a new experience or all fun and games, but in truth requires a lot of silent work in the background. It also means sharing of responsibilities, but most of it comes down the biggest responsibility – Cooking!
At Colive, we have introduced the concept of a ‘Community Kitchen’. Now, a community kitchen is a shared culinary space, which belongs to all members of the Colive community – this can be both a liberating and frustrating experience.
Cooking though, can be a way of letting out steam after a frustrating day or simply be a way of refocusing yourself and making culinary art. It can also be a therapeutic in nature, take my word, this coming from a half-decent cook.
Making life easier and fun in a community kitchen
- Always wash the dishes you use: Nobody, whether you are the chef or the one eating the food, likes to wash dishes. Most importantly, nobody likes to see a pile of stinking dishes in the sink. So in a shared kitchen space with your roommates, always remember to clean up after yourself, whether you are cooking or eating.
- Don’t eat your roommate’s food: Your roommate is a brilliant cook, he worked hard in making that delicious ‘prawn curry’. Do not touch it if you fall under these two categories: a) You did not contribute in buying the ingredients or making the curry and b) Remember the first rule, unless your roommate has offered it to you.
- Enjoy the conversations: Now this is a bit off-beat, but you should also enjoy your time in the kitchen and more so in a community kitchen. Communication is the key to forging relationships and what better than to engage in light hearted banter or knowing each other a little bit more in the shared kitchen space while you peel those potatoes. Like I said, cooking can be very therapeutic.
- Be reasonable, not Gordon Ramsey: On occasions your roommate might keep the saucepan to soak in the sink. Now, it might be because he wants the greasy stains off or he simply forgot being busy with work or had a sick day. On another occasion you are cooking together and your friend isn’t so great at deep frying, the chicken is still raw! Do not turn into Gordon Ramsey, remember he has 5 Michelin stars and you technically have none. Be reasonable in these situations, until it becomes an everyday issue.
- Share the load, share the food as well: You are an awesome cook and sometimes your friends might not be, they haven’t lived the hard life, there food was always made by mom, but they are helping you out in the kitchen work. So sometimes, mind you only sometimes it is great to share what you make. That awesome butter chicken or the chilli beef, your friends will love it and they will always recommend you to their friends, in case you have aspirations of becoming a chef. Nothing like a little in-house branding. Do not; be like Joey all the time.
- Start coliving, start enjoying: Coliving doesn’t only guarantee you a decent cooking space, but also offers you an opportunity to live with like-minded people who think exactly like you and like staying exactly as you do. Such similarities works wonders in a shared kitchen space, as together you and your roommates can cook culinary delicacies, while keeping the kitchen spotless.
Just to get your community kitchen started, here’s one of my favourite recipes which I have perfected. Like I said in the lines above that I am a half-decent chef myself. So here goes, mind you I am a Bengali and we love fish:
Katla Komola (Katla fish in Orange infused curry):
- Take the Katla pieces. Soak them in salt and turmeric.
- Heat oil in a kadai. Fry them in the hot oil.
- Make sure, they don’t turn very red while frying.
- In a separate pan, heat some oil. Add in the ginger paste. Keep frying till the smell goes away.
- Add tomato puree or chopped tomatoes. This adds the color to the jhol.
- Next, add chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric powder.
- Cook them well.
- Keep stirring to avoid the mix getting burnt.
- Now, add a cup of water.
- Add sugar and salt as per taste.
- Add the fried fish pieces, add a lid, and let it simmer.
- The fish gets cooked in the steam.
- Keep checking on the fish, if you feel the fish is near cooked. Add the orange juice.
- Add some green chillies, and some garam masala powder.
- Let it simmer for some more time. Do not overtly the orange juice.
- Fish is ready!
- Garnish it with some orange slices and curry leaves.
Find out more about Co-living at: www.colive.in