Manning the kitchen

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Women love their kitchens. So sharing that sacred space with men is not something that comes easily to us. However, if Samar Halarnkar’s new book, The Married Man’s Guide to Creative Cooking, is anything to go by, more and more Indian men are entering the kitchen, and fixing up some surprisingly 
scrumptious dishes as well. 
On Wednesday evening (August 21), the book was launched at 36 Oak and Barley, Kemps Corner, in the presence of actor Gul Panag, journalists Naresh Fernandes and Harsh Man Rai, and Chef Nachiket Shetye. What ensued was a fun panel discussion on the changing times, and a role reversal of sorts that is seeing the Indian man pick up the frying pan more frequently. “Indian men should cook; I mean, look at us, we are the worst possible species of male,” joked Samar, and added, “Cooking makes you appreciate those who cook for you; and in most cases, that happens to be women.”
Gul, who was conducting the discussion, also had an interesting take on the different approach men and women have towards cooking: “I think before I enter the kitchen; I already have a very clear idea of what I’m going to do. Men, on the other hand, I think, are a little more spontaneous,” she said.
Samar revealed that he took down his first recipe when he was 14, and has been cooking ever since. He further added that, in his bachelor days, cooking for friends on his faithful hotplate also helped nurture his hobby. 
Besides Samar’s own creations, the book also features recipes from his mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens, which he has improvised.

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