The air at Hotel The Plaza, at Paryatak Bhavan in Begumpet was taken over by the fragrance of festive cooking. All the action was on the hotel second floor for Gold Winner presents The Hindu Our State, Our Taste, Masterchef of Telangana. Inside the cooking hall, one was greeted by various smells and sounds, from the sizzle of onions being fried in hot oil to the whirring of the mixer grinder. Thirteen finalists from Telangana (Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Warangal, Khammam, Karimnagar and Nizamabad) put their culinary skills to test to win the title of Masterchef of Telangana.
The task for the finale was to make one dish each for starter, main course and dessert in a given time frame of 90 minutes. Sitting outside, Asma was debating between making between double ka meetha and sheer korma as every dish had to be a Telangana special. Asma also manages a YouTube channel with her mother and sister. “It has to be a local dish and double ka meetha is the most popular Hyderabadi dessert,” she quipped.
The families of the participants were also present at the contest arena. They had come not just to cheer, but were also there to calm them down and discuss the sequence of dishes to be cooked. G. Sailaja from Karimnagar had an elaborate list. She chose to make use of seasonal ingredients like sweet potato to make bhakshalu. Before she was called into the cooking area, she was heard discussing with her husband if it would be a good idea to make a pachi pulusu.
Sadam Latha and K.Shobha Devi who became friends through one of The Hindu’s earlier cookery contests were catching up with each other. They were discussing cooking trends on social media and gadgets that might make cooking easier and faster for women.
Each participant chose ingredients that would help them finish their three dishes within the stipulated time-frame.
The only male finalist Jay Kumar from Khamam stirred up a storm with his non-veg starter and kebab as his wife cheered him on, but was also worried about his chopping and cleaning skills. She was heard saying, “I am his kitchen assistant, so I hope he is able to handle the chopping and cleaning well after her finishes cooking.”
At the end of a grueling cooking round by the 13 participants, D.Lavanya from Secunderabad was adjudged winner of the Our State Our Taste grand finale for Telangana. Her winning dish was prawn sarva pindi, golgappa, onion kheer gongura, and biryani.
Kalaveni Priya from Nizamabad was adjudged the first runner-up while G.Shylaja from Karimnagar was adjudged the second runner-up.
The Hindu Resident Editor (Telangana) Ravi Reddy, The Hindu business head (Telangana) P. Srikanth, The Hindu General Manager – Events and Activation Shafiqur Rahman, Vahchef Sanjay Thumma, ETV chef Raju Garu, Gold Winner area sales manager Vijayakumar, Life Spice managing director P.V. Reddy, GRB Ghee general manager Srihari Kishan, Bambino general manager Ragahvanad Srikanth and Medimix DGM (Marketing) Rajesh Surve distributed the prizes to the winners.
The title sponsor was 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. Textiles partner is CMR Shopping Mall, hygiene partner is Medimix, realty partner is G Square Group, energy partner is IOCL, housing finance partner is Hinduja Housing Finance, ETV is the telecast partner and knowledge partner is Vahchef Sanjay Thumma.