100 Days of Cooking Challenge

This time I didn't go for a 30 day challenge because I wanted to ease into this by taking it slow and become efficient enough that I can cook a meal in less time and manage my work also.
So this 100 day challenge went like this -
  • 30 day breakfast challenge(July)
  • 30 day breakfast+ dinner challenge(August)
  • 10 day breakfast+lunch+dinner challenge(few days in September)
  • 30 days healthy cooking challenge with weekends being the exception(which means that its not really 30 days of healthy cooking)(October)
Disclaimer: I am not a MasterChef - far from it. But I can now cook a decent meal and I am still learning.

Cooking Challenge
Cooking Challenge

This is the most basic thing many people do in their lives since from a very young age - I understand this. But there are still many other people who view cooking as a big ordeal and may be hesitant to even start thinking that it takes too much time, no motivation to cook etc. This is for those people who want to cook someday.

Me before this challenge:

  • Scared and mostly unsuccessful in lighting stove. Yes, really.
  • Can't cook Maggi also.
  • Used to beg people to get my first morning coffee or any other coffees after that.
  • Got chided for not even being able to cut onions properly.
  • Wake up late.
  • Had no idea what ingredients are needed for basic recipes.
  • Had no idea about most of the vegetable/lentil names.

Me after this challenge:

  • Waking up early without even an alarm.
  • Make my own coffees.
  • Cook all meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner and even any snacks.
  • Understand many ingredients - their purpose, veggies, different cuisines.
  • Health conscious as I am cooking - very careful about oil and masalas.
  • Cooking different varieties instead of same thing everyday.
  • No more pointy fingers at me  - how I cant cook.
  • No more dependent on anyone for food.
  • One step in Adulting done.


  • Cook different varieties to get motivation to cook every single day. Try different cuisines. Buy different veggies every time. Cook a veggie in different ways. Go on a "No-Repeat".
  • Plan your meals a week before whenever you have time(like weekends).
  • Use shorthand to write the recipe basics on a paper - this way you wont be struggling forwarding or pausing the recipe video.
  • Write all the vegetables list and other ingredients that expire soon on a paper and stick it to the fridge. When an item is finished, strike it off.
  • It takes time initially - because you will be confused as what needs to be done at every step. But after few days, you will understand the basics and you will be able to do it quicker. Have patience. It will get better.
  • Take feedback and if you can, note it down in the initial stages - because you won't remember.
  • Take a photo of your meal and maintain that list - it's motivating to see all those pics.
  • Identify the slowest steps in your recipe and see if you can do them in parallel. For example, you can boil the veggies in water in parallel when you are cooking upma.
  • Get help if you can.
  • Pressure cooker is your friend. I was so scared of this - as it always felt that it's going to blast anytime. Pressure cook stubborn veggies for a whistle or two to reduce cooking time.
  • Pressure cook dal for five whistles with more water - you never have to use a masher this way.
  • Don't buy all the ingredients in one go which you are not sure how to use. Ease it in. Few ingredients at a time. For example, I didn't have to use vinegar in cooking some basic meals - I only bought it later when I know I need it for many new recipes.
  • Stay away from the high flame burner for the initial days unless you are just boiling water.
  • Be on the lookout on how you can improve any process - getting efficient becomes crucial when you have so many other things to do.
  • Get to know different food items and their purpose instead of blindly adding them to the dish just because the recipe says so. Why vinegar? Why corn flour in soup? And so on.

Upgrade your kitchen:

  • Get a food processor if you have to cook for many people. If I just need to cut an onion and a tomato, I wont use it. But it's indispensable when I need to cut a whole lot of veggies.
  • Get a four burner stove.




Peaceful Cuisine - These are cooking videos with no music or talking by Ryoya and I used to watch them to calm my mind and have a peaceful sleep. Whenever I cooked earlier, it was a battlefield - lots of yelling, cursing and chaos in general. Cooking was an unwanted responsibility forced upon me. After watching several of these videos, I realized that cooking in itself can be a meditating task. When you are in the moment and focused on cutting, mixing, sensing the aroma of spices and making a meal out of some seemingly random things, you actually feel relaxed and don't feel it as a chore. I have noticed that after cooking, I am more focused and active through out the day - may be its because I have to stand instead of dozing off on the bed, or may be because I concentrate trying not to screw up multiple dishes I am preparing all at once, or may be because of the silence except for the sounds of utensils and food.

Getting better at cooking actually made me believe that I can probably learn anything - because I sucked so much at cooking before and felt like a hopeless case.



Popular Posts from last 7 days

Random posts from the past!