Multitasker: Rinku Battacharya

Naarisakhi is proud to introduce Multitasker: Rinku Battacharya, who manages her family, work, blogs, cooking classes, writing, … list is endless.
Let us find out more from Rinku Battacharya

1. Rinku, Tell us something about yourself?
I am a very spontaneous person, I love to try new things and explore different cultures. I am a mother of two beautiful children. I am trained as a financial professional and I work with non-profit organizations helping them work out their business and operational needs.
Cooking and working with food is a hobby for me and something that comes naturally to me. This first started with my food blog, cooking in Westchester http://www.cookinginwestchester.com
Over time this led to the birth of my Indian culinary workshops and teaching school – Cooking with Rinku. http:www.cookingwithrinku.com. These workshops have become very popular and I look forward to growing the school further and help people learn more about home-style Indian cooking. I mainly teach classes in 4 steady ongoing class formats – An initiation to Indian Cooking and A practical approach to Indian cooking in small hands-on groups.
Outside of these classes I do special events like birthdays, showers, team building events.

2. What made you choose cuisine as career? 
Cooking and teaching Indian cooking is a therapeutic passion for me. I got involved with this trying to find healthy options for my family and children. Over time I realized that people were very interested in learning how to cook Indian food and also understanding the variety that Indian cuisine offers, this led to the classes and subsequently my book. I currently have a newsletter for the classes where I share recipes and can be subscribed to through my newsletter.
About the book:
My book Eclectic Indian, allowed me to learn a lot about the diversity of cooking styles within India. The Indian culinary heritage is so amazingly rich that one can always find something new to learn. I had worked on this book trying to hope that it would offer something different for both regular Indian cooks as well as people who were unfamiliar to Indian Cooking. By the way, as a self-published book, it can be purchased from me at a discount. Just let me know.

3. How do you balance between your family life and career?
Most of the days, I actually think having something to do outside of work does help me keep the edge of work and vice-versa. I tend to find cooking very therapeutic and this helps! However, there are always challenges such as meeting deadlines, having conflicts with personal and professional schedules. I think staying very organized and sticking to a schedule helps, also trying to engage the family in activities help, for example the kids get enthusiastic about food pictures and press coverage!

4. Since you are working from home what are the advantages and disadvantages working from home.
The biggest advantage in my opinion is flexibility. I can often do things around my kid’s schedules and also combine testing recipes and preparing family meals at the same time to be efficient. I am very committed to trying to incorporate fresh locally grown ingredients, so I engage my children in things like visiting the farms, working with us in the garden in summer. This actually helps them try to get interested in local ingredients.
The disadvantages are sometimes the boundaries can be blurred and I get caught up with things and loose track of time.

5. Do you feel need to change Indian recipes to reach western world. 
I try to keep the general emphasis of my recipes close to their original roots. There are certain aspects that sometimes need adaptation. I cook as I think and generally am bad about writing up recipes. Western cooks are used to much greater precision, so I think there are times I need to adapt my style. I also like to use local produce for my recipes so sometimes my recipes are adapted for these ingredients. I would like to think that a lot of the adaptations are more to accommodate the fast-paced life that we live rather than simply because of reaching out to the western world.

6. What advice would you give to the women, who want to be a successful entrepreneur?
It is very important to work with something you are enthusiastic and passionate about since that is key to promoting and staying successful in your business. Initially starting up needs some financial planning and investment, it is important to plan and stay organized about this. The initial start-up phase can sometimes be challenging it is important to stay challenged.

8. Any tips on cooking for Sakhis. 
Keep it simple and cook with love!
Sample Recipe from Eclectic Indian
Anaras Malai Malpoa – Pineapple pancakes
Makes 6 servings
Ingredients
For the Syrup
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2-3 pods cardamom
For the Malpoa (pancakes)
1 can evaporated milk
1/3 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon powdered star anise
1 cup crushed pineapple
2/3 cup self-raising fl our
Oil for frying
Method of Preparation
1. Heat the water and sugar with the cardamoms until a
Thick syrup is formed. This takes about 25 minutes.
2. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Beat all the ingredients for the malpoa except the oil
into a thick batter and set this aside.
4. Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan.
5. Add ladlefuls of batter (about 3-4 at time) and fry.
6. The batter should puff up, turn light golden, with a
spongy center and golden crisp edges.
7. Turn and cook on both sides.
8. Drain the excess oil before removing from the frying
pan and place in the syrup for a few minutes before
serving. These pancakes are best served warm.

Interviewed by Laxmi Khalap Bhatt, Editor, www.naarisakhi.com

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