Every cook is a mother when love becomes the prime ingredient. Mrs. Pavithra Radhakrishnan was born and brought up in the city of Coimbatore. She had great affinity towards art and creative fields right from childhood. The love and support of her mother Girija added flavor to her interests, which gave her family an aesthetic cook. She began to participate in various inter school and intercollegiate meets at a young age. Sooner the media turned its attention towards the young woman, rightly followed by an article in Kumudham and Dinamalar. Face painting, rangoli, vegetable arrangements, vegetable sculpting, flower arrangement and what not was she good at.
Mrs. Parvati was married to Mr.R.Radhakrishnan, a businessman in Salem and sooner did god gifted them with two children, Hamisha and Nidhisha. She had her typical grihasti(home maker) life until one day she made brownies with the leftover butter. The aroma of the butter spread all over her apartment. She got her first order for a birthday celebration. Those were times when raw materials were not of easy access to Coimbatore. She had to travel all the way to Bangalore to purchase all the necessary tools for cake making, and that’s where her journey began.
Patience and consistency are very important in freelancing. There was a six months of gap between the first and the second order. The time of waiting allowed her to learn new things and become more creative in her field. She learned to make hanging cakes, chandelier cakes, topsy-turvy cakes and gravity defying cakes. The growth of social media gave her chances to grow along.
An unexpected call from Zee TV gave her a chance to participate in India's first ever Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly baking superstar competition. Contestants from every state of India had participated. After multiple rounds, she was selected to the final round, where she represented Tamilnadu. The final round at Jaipur was so challenging for her, since she didn’t know Hindi. Other contestants took her so lightly and told her she won't sustain in the competition. The theme of the final round was “Celebrating 75 years of Independence”. Other contestants made national animals, birds and flags with their cakes. But she was so particular that she had to do something out of the box. She made miniatures of all 15 contestants depicting the unity in diversity. She said that, “though we are all from different states, culture and religion, we are all bound together under one roof INDIA”. Since their love for their country was as fathomless as the ocean, she made the cake blue. She added rainbows and hearts which represented joy, happiness and harmony.
Chef Ranveer Brar and chef Amrita Chand were the judges. They were in tears when they heard the meaning behind her cake. And that’s how she won the big title, “Baking Super Star”. It was also telecasted on Zee Television.
Akki Roti (Rice flour Roti)
Akki Roti is a flat bread made with Rice flour and vegetables. There is a popular breakfast from Carnatic cuisine. Akki in kannada meaning “Riu” and roti are flat breads. They are not only gluten free, but also delicious and easy to make. Vegetables that are rich in water content like radish, Chow Chow, bottle gourd, zucchini and carrots are added. The water that leaves during grating is used to make the dough. My mom used to spread the dough on a banana leaf and griddle, more like in a traditional way. But I prefer to spread the dough directly on the tawa. It can be done either way based on the convenience.
Rice flour - 1 cup
Grated carrot - ¼ cup
Grated radish - ¼ cup (pink and white)
Grated Chow Chow - ¼ cup
Grated bottle gourd - ¼ cup
Chopped onion - 1
Green chili paste - based on the preferences
Salt - based on the preferences.
Collect the excess water from vegetables while grating them. Mix all the ingredients together. Now pour the veggie water little by little to bind the flour. Avoid pouring a lot of water the first time, add as and when needed to make the dough. The dough should be a little sticky and moist as it helps the dough easily. Grease a cool pan and place it on the kitchen counter. Place the dough ball on the tawa, begin to flatten it heavenly by spreading the dough from the center all over. Dip your fingers in the water and spread the dough. Once you are done, keep the tawa on the stove and cook it. Akki roti is done if it turns to light golden on one side. It is best tasty when served with pudina chutney. To make the next roti, we have to cool the pan completely and repeat it. They are good for being served hot. My mom serves hot for breakfast.
Pavithra Radhakrishnan is the title winner of Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly Baking Superstar. She is a brilliant baker and cook who has inherited the cooking magic from her mother, Girija. She is also interested in face painting, rangoli, vegetable arrangements, vegetable sculpting, flower arrangement.
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