At Pratigya Bhavan, our shelter home for the daughters of Joginis and those at risk of being dedicated, we have started a new programme for the girls. Every couple of weeks they will spend their saturday afternoons with teacher trainer and keen amateur chef, Ingrid (from Chile), to learn some of the basics of cooking.

Starting out with sweet recipes for the first few weeks, the girls have already made and decorated cookies, and learned how to make a traditional South American sweet with condensed milk and coconut.

“We thought that starting out with sweets was a good idea because not only are they simple, but the girls get to enjoy the treats they have made at the end of the afternoon, at snack time. It certainly made them interested in learning!” - Ingrid

After they have finished with sweets, they will learn to prepare other dishes, including spicy Indian curries and bread. Living away from their mothers means that they are not learning to prepare food by helping out in the kitchen at home, so the idea is both for the girls to have fun cooking, but also to teach them life skills. 

And it’s not just about the cooking! Whilst preparing the food, Ingird reminds the girls about good hygeine habits, such as hand-washing and cleaning surfaces.  They also start out by exploring the recipe, reading it together, understanding the weights and measures used, and doing the maths together when the quantities need to be changed. Each girl is also creating their own recipe book, by writing the recipes down and pasting in pictures.

So far the girls have immensely enjoyed their cookery classes, and the fruits of the labour even more!