Articles for January 2015

Recipes written in simple steps

Today is Sunday.  It is raining outside, well I should say more like torrential downpours like most monsoon days in Kota Rajasthan north of India.  I am visiting a friend, Sandeep from my college after almost six years.

A nice hot tea made with ginger tastes so good on such day, and that’s exactly what my friend offers when I reach his apartment.  We quickly go back in memory lane and talk about our college days over a hot cup of tea.  Few hours later, hunger strikes.  With such heavy rain outside, Sandeep suggests we should simply cook at home.  His plan is to make a mix vegetables with curry and chapati, Indian bread.  I am impressed that Sandeep has learned cooking.

I help with what I can, cut the vegetables.  Cauliflower, green bell paper, potato, onion, tomato, green beans, and green chilies.  Sandeep then asks to grate ginger and garlic.  So far so good, we are making progress.  Sandeep is on to kneading the dough for the bread.  In just few minutes he is done, I am impressed already.  Sandeep starts making chapati and on another stove I help with sautéing vegetables.  In less than hour and half we are ready to eat.

We devour on freshly made chapati and mix vegetables.  Sandeep prepared an excellent meal for us, very tasty.  Now you should know that I know nothing about cooking.  This food is an inspiration to start cooking.  I am thinking when I go home I should be able to cook something like this.  I ask for recipe and Sandeep suggests I should write recipe based what I have seen in the kitchen and he will help with any edits as necessary.  Sure I will send my notes shortly, I said.  Rain is slowing down now and with awakening of reality to go to work next day, we both decided to call it a day.

To write down recipe in small steps, turned out to be lot harder than I thought.  I did my best to write recipe that included ingredients, measure, steps, cooking time, and heat.  Sandeep has to correct a lot of what I wrote.  In the end, we created a winner recipe which I used lot many times in years to follow.

After almost twelve years, in 2012 when we decided to work on Cook With Me, we decided to write recipes in steps.  Remembering my experience with writing such recipe, I thought this is going to be more difficult than it appears.  In spite of work involved, I knew that such efforts are well worth the efforts.

Mrunal started writing recipes in steps and on countless occasions I argued with her about some difficult steps.  Striking a balance between too simple and too complex is difficult.  We understand that there is no one answer and what we created in our first release of the app is just a starting point.  Based on my own experience, I can surely say that simple format helps with cooking and encourages you to write recipes which your family and friend may actually put to use.  We look forward to adding ability to create and share your recipes in our simple format, soon.  Till then enjoy Mrunal’s recipes we offer in Cook With Me, hope you like the recipes and simplicity of the format.

App preview video we did not submit

Towards the release date we were occupied with fine tuning recipe pictures and tweaking recipe steps for flow, proper structure, etc.  Also we chose to wait for final build before taking screen captures we needed for app store submission.  With universal app comes the responsibility of having screens captures for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.  It took a while to arrange all of that.  App preview feature which allows you to include a video for your app in the app store got neglected by us in this rush.  Now that app is approved, we cannot add video for the app.

If you have a lightening cable to connect iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to your desktop or laptop running Mavericks, it is super easy to make app preview video.  You need Quicktime to capture video from iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and bit of editing in iMovie will create an app preview video for you.  As a  matter of fact Manas and I was able to create one within two hours.  See below the video I have uploaded on YouTube.  With the next update of the app we sure will make best of this feature.