Women vie for kitchen queen title - Contestants cook up mouth-watering dishes at cookery contest

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  • Published 9.08.10

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 8: While Bina Pattnaik, in her late fifties, prepared an aromatic shahi mushroom curry, Diana a college student cooked a mouth-watering gajar halwa.

Housewives, working women and students, who hardly get time to pursue their passion of rustling up new flavours, participated at a the state level edition of Mallika-e-kitchen cookery contest.

The unique and interesting cookery contest that was held on Saturday in the capital saw around 50 women from different walks of life gather at hotel New Marrion to prepare some exotic delicacies.

The contestants prepared lip-smacking varieties of cakes and puddings, country cakes, sweets, desserts and even experimented with different types of biryanis, pulaao and yummy Mughlai curries.

However, the contest required the women to prepare only microwave-cooked food. Oriya dishes like khiri, khichdi, kasha mansa were also prepared by the contestants.

“It is a wonderful participating in a cookery contest. There is hardly any such contest that allows the wo men of the city to bring their cooking flair to the forefront,” said Charulata Satpathy, one of the contestants.

Diana, whose favourite pastime is try out different types of recipes said, “I participated in the contest because I enjoy cooking food with the help of the microwave. It’s easy to cook and tasty as well. As the cooking requires less oil it’s also good for the calorie conscious people too.”

Apart from the cookery contest, there were also other games and quizzes for the recreation of the participants.

Tandra Ray the veteran Oriya actor, Madanlal Gupta, head chef of Bhubaneswar Golf Club and Apsar Ali, head chef of The New Marrion, judged the preparations.

“Our main criteria for judging were presentation and garnishing. Since the contestants were asked to prepare the food at home and bring it, we also checked to see whether it was an authentic microwave made recipe or not,” said Ali.

“It’s good to see such a massive response from the womenfolk. They participated in such a large number in the competition. All of us cook for our family but rarely do we get a chance to cook for the sake of our passion and receive appreciation for the same,” said Ray, for whom the main condition for judging was taste and aroma of the dishes.

While Charulata Satpathy was declared winner for a delicious plate of mutton koda, Jyotshna Samantray’s became the runner-up for her exotic Chinese preparation.

Along with Satpathy and Samantray, two other winners from Cuttack were selected for the East Zone level to be held in Calcutta, which would then be followed by a national level contest.

“Many people think microwave is suitable only for heating food. We aim break this myth via this contest. The next level will have live cooking rounds for the participants,” said LG marketing manager Prasant Kar.

Thus, when it comes to a candid chitchat or flaunting culinary skills in the kitchen — women top the list.