1. I find that the most common mistake people make when cooking is that they don’t keep a tab on the temperature at which the food is being cooked. The heat levels may vary for every step. Always adjust the temperature accordingly.
2. The key to good cooking is using fresh ingredients. I can’t begin to stress on the importance of cooking with fresh produce/meats/seafood. Always buy your products from a place where the quality of the produce is high. It may come at a price, but it’s worth it.
3. Keep tasting the food. It’s essential to taste the food at different stages to check if everything is in place, and if not, to adjust the flavors according to your taste buds.
4. Following recipes is great, but learn to modify those dishes to suit your interests. Learn the recipe thoroughly first, and then experiment. Follow your own judgement.
5. Always cook meat which is at room temperature. If the meat hasn't completed defrosted, it won't cook properly too.
6. Thawing meat is always a big concern, especially when you don’t have the time to wait on it to defrost naturally. I generally take the meat out of the freezer and keep it in the fridge overnight a day prior to cooking it. In case I don't do that and need to speed up the process of defrosting, I fill a pot with hot water, and then I place the packaged meat on the surface of the water. Do not place raw meat directly on top of the water. Make sure it is packed in a sturdy container, or else place the raw meat in a pan, and then place it in hot water. Let the meat float over the hot water for approximately 20 - 30 minutes. Change the water if it starts getting cold.
7. The biggest and the most important tip is to add a touch of love to your food. As corny as this may sound, when people ask me what is so different about the dish I cooked, I say I made it with love. It’s true! I love cooking, and my approach is to always go with the mindset that whoever is eating my food should be able to enjoy it thoroughly.
8. Finally, the devil is in the detail. It’s always the smaller things that create the biggest impact. In terms of cooking, look out for small details like using the right measurements, or getting the heat levels correct. Most importantly, keep an eye out for plating. Always present your food in a clean and simple manner. When food looks messy, it automatically gives the impression that it could be unappetizing, no matter how good it tastes.