A wide range of sumptuous dishes, ranging from pickles and chutneys and rotis to flavoured rice varieties, to dry fruit sweets and desserts vied for attention at the The Hindu’s Our State Our Taste cookery contest at The Capital Hotel in Guntur on Sunday.
This is the fourth leg of the six regional rounds being conducted across the State, and the grand finale is scheduled in Vijayawada on January 28, 2023. The remaining two rounds are scheduled to be held in Rajamahendravaram and Visakhapatnam on January 7 and 8.
Sunday’s event saw an overwhelming turnout of participants from different walks of life and age groups. The contestants presented their dishes to judges Sanjay Thumma and Raju, both of whom are popular chefs. The judges walked across the tables, sampling the items and interacting with the participants and enquiring about the method of preparation and the ingredients used before announcing the winners.
Mr. Raju said that they selected the winners based on the texture, flavour and presentation of the dishes. Mr. Sanjay said that though they selected only three winners, with two others being given consolation prizes, all the dishes presented at the contest deserved a prize.
K. Sai Prasanna of Maruthi Nagar in Guntur bagged the first prize, who prepared Tender Coconut Pastha Payasam. After preparing the dish, she brought it in the Coconut, which attracted the delegates and other contestants.
R. Annapurna, a 66-year-old woman from Khaza village, won second prize. She had prepared several dishes, and the judges found it difficult to decide which of the dishes to select for the second prize. Reacting to this, Chef Sanjay observed that she prepared two dishes with the finest taste and texture and explained about the preparation apart from the health benefits of the dishes. Ms. Annapurna said that her prize-winning dish, Konda Pindaku chutney, is helpful in healing kidney problems and helps in blood circulation.
Sk. Payrijar, a 55-year-old woman, won third prize for her tomato halwa. Chef Sanjay observed that after a very long time he saw this dish in the competitions and added that preparing this sweet was tricky. He said that the selection of ingredients, particularly the tomatoes, plays a crucial role in the taste and texture of the dish.
B. Satyavati won consolation prizes for Ragi Sankati-Natu Kodi and K. Radha for Gongura Mutton.
Murali Madhav, Manager (Ad Sales) Vijayawada, Ravi Kumar, Senior Deputy Manager (Ad Sales) Vizag, both from The Hindu, G. Rajasekar, area sales manager of Gold Winner, Subramanian Gupta, regional sales manager of Life Spice, Mukurram, Area Sales Manager of GRB, Koteshwar Rao, State sales manager of Medimix, Ashok Rajgopal, Assistant Manager LPG Sales of Indian Oil, Nagaraj, Store Manager of CMR Shopping Mall, and Sudhakar, Cluster Head of DBS Bank gave away the prizes.
The title sponsor is Gold Winner Cooking Oil. The event is an initiative by The Hindu, powered by LifeSpice and GRB Ghee, in association with Preethi Zodiac 2.0, Bambino. CMR Shopping Mall is the textiles partner, while Medimix is the hygiene partner. G Square Group is the realty partner, IOCL the energy partner, Hinduja Housing Finance the housing finance partner, DBS Bank the banking partner, ETV the telecast partner and Vah Chef Sanjay Thumma the knowledge partner.
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