Disclaimer: I claim to be a great cook (only) because I believe that C is CS (cooking is common sense)
Stereotypes don't apply here. I mean it - the length and breadth of the vegetables don't determine the taste and essence of Sambar. I hate it when people claim they can't cook something because some ingredient is not available. Well it just means use CS to improvise. If one doesn't have chickpeas for making channa masala use groundnut. Taste better and tastes different too.
According to my granny the key to being a great chef is the ability to correctly identify what is wrong with the dish. I remember her saying this long ago - "as long as the salt and chilli are in right proportions everything else doesn't matter". I completely agree -well, that is unless you are making sweets - because sweets are the only exception to Granny's law of elementary cooking (straight off from food is the one of the 5 exceptions to Gamp's law of elementary transfiguration - courtesy HP and the DH)
To me, cooking is about common sense - just like you understand fire is hot - so is "too much pepper." Anything can be remedied by adding / reducing certain other ingredients on the recipe. It might taste different but it doesn't matter as long as it tastes good and hey if it turns out to be totally different from what you intended to make you get to name a new recipe :) (This is the secret to my paneer korma - it was initially meant to be panner butter masala :D)
You might be wondering this totally off the mark post unrelated to my usual ramblings - been experimenting with cooking of course and hence C is CS.