"little mulagu podi, little malli podi, little manjal podi...". These are the basic ingredients of an Indian dish. My photographer friend quoted a comic dialogue from the Malayalam movie "Mr Butlers" to illustrate how easy it is to cook Indian food. While cracking jokes and quoting comic dialogues of Malayalam movies from memory, he used a little bit of this and that to cook an amazing beef dish, the taste of which still makes me salivate.
There is a catch. Don't ask him the recipe. Also, don't ask him to cook the same dish again. For him, cooking is all experimentation. To make matters complicated, here is the second edict. Never record or retrace your path. Strangely, the first request reminds me of another friend living presently in California who never share recipes. In fact, there is nothing to share as he cooks from the heart and uses his nose effectively to predict the taste.
So, back to my photographer friend. He cuts the beef into very small cubes. He boils it in water. He sautés onions, ginger, garlic and tomato in oil. Then he dumps the cooked beef into the same pan. Little this. Little that. More action with spatula. Voila!