I owe my interest in cooking
to my mother and grand mother who had great culinary skills and
made a variety of delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes
at home. As a child I was a keen observer and was enamored by
their process of cooking. I often wondered how they managed to
organize big dinners, where they did the entire cooking
I, myself, started cooking at a very
early stage. While cooking, I always tried new ingredients to
make my dishes more delicious. I also used to read articles on
cooking and tried them out with some variations. My cooking was
appreciated by all, especially by guests who wondered what
special additions I had made to the
usual vegetables! My uncle, who often traveled abroad, used to
give me special tips about continental food.
After my marriage, my cooking skills were appreciated by my
in-laws too. Often at big parties I used to manage cooking
single-handedly. This also included all the extra
embellishments, like the bird's nest (potato), Baingun Penguin,
Kheera Tomato Lamp, Orange Basket, Watermelon's Baby Cart etc.
which were admired by all friends and family members.
well-wishers often suggested that I should participate in
cooking competitions, but I hesitated in doing so. Then,
suddenly I got an opportunity! One fine day in Feb 2002,
when my gas cylinder was refilled, I received a form to
participate in a cooking contest organized by Bharat Gas.
The areas that were included in the contest were Delhi and
the NCRs which were divided into four zones. The
participants had to undergo a number of preliminary rounds
to reach the finals. I again was reluctant to participate.
But this time my husband and daughters compelled me to fill
the form and participate in the contest! I knew it was a big
surprise for the first preliminary round. I was one of the
two ladies selected out of 60. I even received a gift - a
set of Borosil glasses and a big Borosil dish! For this
round I had prepared Shami Kababs and Katori Chaat and was
selected for the semi-finals. The semi-finals were to be
held at The Grand Hyatt, Vasant Kunj. In this round I opted
for the non-vegetarian group and was aksed to prepare a four
course meal in two hours. I prepared
Soup, Mutton Biryanai, Zaffrani Chicken Korma and Melting
Moments. All the ingredients and cooking utensils were
provided by Bharat Gas Group and The Hyatt. It was indeed a
marvellous experience to work in such an environment. The
entire pane of the chefs of the
hotel were three and they were in full praise of my cooking.
The best thing they liked was the way I had laid my table
and presented the food. To add to the beauty, I had prepared
a cucumber and tomato lamp inside which, I lit a candle .
This drew the attention of all the chefs present there.
After sometime all the results were declared and there I
was - FIRST !!! in the
non-vegetarian round. It was a matter of joy and surprise.
So now I was selected for the final round which was to be
held the very next day at the same place. It was the first
time that I felt a little nervous. I knew I had to make it.
The whole night I went in planning the various dishes. The
next morning my husband and I set out for the final round.
For this round, only ten ladies were selected. I was asked
to prepare a five course meal including cream of almond
soup, Nargisi Kofta, Chicken-o-Gratin, Lachha Parantha and
Pineapple Pudding in 2 hours. I laid the table. The
judges of 'The Bharat Gas Cook and Win Contest' included a
big panel - the GMs and senior executive s of Pepsi, Coca
Cola and Ashok Masale, ITDC Group of Hotels, Electrolux,
BG's Marketing Promoters. After the contest, a grand
function, followed by fabulous lunch was organized by hotel.
After the lunch prizes were to be announced. My heart was
beating fast, I stood THIRD out of ten.
I received a
microwave oven and a washing machine form Electrolux. After
wining the prizes , the winners were surrounded by the press
reporters. My whole family was excited and my joys knew no
bounds. My husbands was there by my side to share the joy
with me. He was a big moral booster for me and owes equal
credit for my success. At last! I succeeded in my cooking
M-7A, Shalimar Apartments,
Phone : 0120-2628363