I am very passionate about cooking and absolutely enjoy every moment spent in the kitchen. I find pure joy in feeding others. I began to enjoy cooking from a very young age. Once when I was in the 7th standard, my parents said they were going out somewhere and I was extremely delighted as I could be by myself for a few hours.
The minute they stepped out, I got to work. I ran to the kitchen and prepared pink coloured ‘paaputt’ (a traditional Coorgi dish made out of broken rice, best eaten with chicken curry). To my surprise, it came out really well and I was excited that it was a
Ever since, I got interested in cooking and observed my mother cook whenever I
was around. She was an expert at traditional Coorgi cuisine and my aim was to become just like her.
After 12th standard, I decided to pursue a home-making course for 2 years at the
Cultural Academy in Chennai. I was eager to go there as my maternal aunt lived there and had mentioned about this institution. Also, my brothers studied in Chennai and the idea of being around them seemed fun. I had a wonderful experience there. They taught us everything from preparing short-eats to the main course and desserts.
Like every other course had record books, we too had one in which we used to write down all the recipes. I use the book till date and my children fight for its possession. Cultural Academy taught students everything from scratch and it gave me a very strong foundation that I could build on later as a homemaker.
My husband Ajit and kids are big foodies and it brings me a lot of happiness to watch them relish my dishes. I strive to make every dish interesting and different.
They are my inspiration to cook and I love experimenting with new things. I often look up different styles of cooking on the internet. My family gives me both positive and negative feedback which pushes me to do better everyday.
I love cooking Continental food for them as it is their favourite cuisine. Desserts are another thing that interest me because I believe that a sweet ending is necessary to every meal.
For me, keeping the cooking area clean is of utmost importance as I am quite finicky about cleanliness. I clean my kitchen slabs and stoves on a daily basis. Washing of
vegetables and fruits is necessary before putting them away in the fridge.
Being organised and tidy, I feel, is very important as a cook. Not only do I cook for my family, but also for large gatherings such as weddings and other special occasions. My son has taken after me and is pursuing a culinary course in Australia. My only prayer is that my Lord always gives me the same enthusiasm and energy in the kitchen.
The recipe that I am sharing is of ‘pineapple fluff’, a delicious dessert that is simple and can be prepared by anyone. It is very close to my heart as my children claim that this is the dessert that tops their list of favourites. Moreover, the ingredients are easily available which makes it very convenient to whip up.
(As told to Sagarika Devika Bopanna) Reena can be contacted on 94485882129448588212 Pineapple Fluff
1 large tin pineapple
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsps gelatine
200 gms cream
Heat the pineapple juice, sugar and gelatine till it dissolves.
Take off the flame and let it cool.
Keep it in the fridge till it is slightly thick.
Remove and beat with an egg beater till stiff.
Fold in the cream and pineapple pieces with the beaten syrup.
Leave it in the fridge till set.
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