By P.T. Bopanna
Though I am neither a foodie, nor have any basic knowledge of cooking, I have been successful in running www.coorgrecipes.com, a website devoted to Coorg recipes.
During the course of my chronicling Coorg, I realised that Coorg had a rich culinary tradition which was worth preserving. To that end, I put together a Coorg recipes website way back in 2006.
Initially, Manavattira Sharada Mandana, contributed recipes to my website. I also included recipes culled from the book ‘Kodava Theeni’ brought out by the Karnataka Kodava Sahithya Academy, translated into English by Boverianda Maya Muddaiya. Besides, Chindamada Arati Monappa, textile designer, contributed content for the website on Coorg food and lifestyle.
Boverianda Nanjamma Chinnappa, researcher, shared her article ‘An Introduction To Coorg Cuisine’. Cartoons by Nadikerianda Nala Ponnappa added zing to the site.
I also included a ‘Coorg recipes section’ in my first book ‘Discover Coorg’ which was well-received by readers.
With the recipes site gaining traction, I made the site dynamic and introduced a section ‘Recipe of the Month’ where people could contribute Coorg recipes.
Over the years, the recipe site has garnered a rich collection of Coorg recipes contributed by home cooks. With the internet boom, there has been steady traffic to the site, from readers seeking Kodagu recipes.
Till 2012, the recipe site inclued a Coorg jewellery section. Since I wanted to focus totally on food, I created a new Coorg jewellery website www.coorgjewellery.in and redesigned the recipe website exclusively for Kodagu food.
Another new section called ‘Coffee with Priya Ganapathy’ was added to the redesigned site on making of the perfect cup of coffee and varieties of coffee liqueur.
Not being too familiar with culinary practices myself, I felt the need for involving someone knowledgeable in the field and with food writing experience, to curate the site to ensure the quality of the recipes being featured. I roped in Biddanda Shalini Nanda Nagappa (in picture), a Canada-based food blogger, who hosts “A Cookery Year in Coorg”, the most authentic Coorg food blog. Her popular blog features well-researched articles and family recipes.
I am on the job of putting together a book sourced from my recipes site. The book will also feature interviews with personalities in the culinary and cultural fields, and essays on various aspects of Coorg food and culture that have been contributed to the site. The proposed book will be well-illustrated with colour photographs of ingredients and preparations. The book will be curated by Shalini Nanda Nagappa.
I have created a group and page on Facebook to promote Coorg recipes. My Facebook group www.coorgrecipes.com has over 5,600 members and the page has nearly 2,000 members. Whenever a new recipe is posted on my recipe website, the same is shared on my Facebook group and page dedicated to Coorg recipes.