Churning out surprise elements

Churning out surprise elements

Churning out surprise elements

A cooking competition ‘Dabur Hommade HomeStar contest’ was held at the International Institute of Hotel Manage­ment (IIHM) in the City, recently. This contest, which was organised to discover culinary talent in the City, showcased different items by 16 participants.

There were two sessions, one with eight participants each, and they were asked to roll out special dishes with given items.

They were also given a surprise item to be turned into a dish. Sajitha Riaz, a homemaker talks about her experience, “I made ‘prawn egg curry’, which is from a family recipe, something which has been passed on from generations. The surprise element that the organisers gave us was raw banana and we had to make a dish out of the same.” Sajitha who loves experimenting with different tastes and styles, made banana kebab with cashew filling in it.

“Cooking is a stress-buster for me, from the regular office work. I’ve never made anything of raw bananas. So I just fried it and made green chutney to go with it,” details Manila Rauniyar, a market segment manager. Manila who also prepared Shahi Bengali Murg along with buttermilk, was excited to get this chance to explore her cooking skills.

Shirley Job, a homemaker, loves to experiment with her cooking skills, despite the daily chores. “I made Trichur style ‘Kerala fish curry with raw mango’ and ‘capsicum and banana’, and plain rice with fried onion and nuts,” she explains about her dishes. When asked if the surprise item did actually take her by surprise, she says that while she was preparing the fish curry, she was already thinking about what to do with the banana.

“Cooking is a passion for me, and I got deeply involved with it after my graduation days. I have been to Thailand and am deeply impressed by their cuisine, which is why I chose to make ‘Thai steamed noodle’, ‘Thai green curry vegetable’. The other two dishes I made were ‘raw banana and capsicum curry’ and jeera rice,” says Ananth Krishnan, a software consultant. Ask him how he felt to be the only male participant in the group and he says that he was at the event to showcase his talent and that’s all that mattered to him.

Commenting on the participation seen at the event, Amit Singh, a chef and a judge at the event, says, “The different factors we took into consideration while judging included innovation, presentation, taste and hygiene. Of the different items seen here, the most distinctive feature seen is innovation.”

Salini Charles, director of IIHM, who was also one of the judges for the event, comments, “It’s interesting to see so many people enthusiastic about taking part in this event. We’re trying to showcase cooking not only as a career but also as a passion. This contest also included a surprise element which made the contest more challenging.”

The winner of this contest will win a trip to New York, and get a chance to dine with chef, author, TV judge and host Vikas Khanna, at his restaurant.

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