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Anjana Mathur>>>>Kuch Khatta Meetha Ho Jaye............

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 themselves.

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.

My 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 joke.

But to 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

Multigatawny 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 mission....

Send your suggestions:::
Anjana Mathur
M-7A, Shalimar Apartments,
Shalimar Garden,
Sahibabad (UP)
Phone : 0120-2628363
Email : 


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