Self-taught cook Sujata Ravikumar’s Indian snack baskets are totally edible and a feast for the eyes too!
At a time when Indian chefs around the world are promoting Indian food with appealing presentations, some talented home cooks are creating a buzz about Indian food in America with their unique creations.
Sujata Ravikumar is one such self-taught home cook whose unique Indian snack preparations have been going viral on food forums across the East Coast.
She is fast becoming a food forum sensation thanks to her unique creation – masala mathri baskets — intricate baskets with woven patterns that are entirely edible along with the treat inside.
Everyone is quite intrigued by the patterns and shapes of Sujata’s dishes in her food pictures posted online.
Talking about her cooking, she shares with the American Bazaar, “My creations are totally Indian cooking. The basket is called Masala Mathri Basket.
“Mathri is an Indian finger snack, closer to what Americans would call a savory biscuit. I fill my mathri baskets with sabudana khichdi or sago porridge and sabudana pops.”
Sujata’s cooking also busts a popular myth that Indian food is deep fried, spicy or heavy. All of her creations are baked and sabudana khichdi is one of the healthiest complete meals.
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“All my baskets, tokris and handis are edible,” she says. “The high point always remains the presentation of my food. It is this that draws people to it.”
Like many other immigrants to the US, cooking for Sujata started as a hobby when she found herself in a new country with a lot of time on her hands.
“I came to the US, seven years ago and I started cooking as a hobby,” she says. “I am passionate about cooking and cook for my creative satisfaction besides feeding friends and family. When I first came here, being in a new place gave me a lot of time to indulge in cooking and baking.”
A licensed cosmetologist, Sujata even as her food has become the talk of the town does not cater professionally.
“I get hundreds of comments whenever I post my food pictures and all of it is very flattering,” she says. “I am known as the baking queen and the one with the magical hands, but I enjoy all this adulation without taking it up professionally.”
“Though I have been asked to, I have not yet participated in any food competitions,” Sujata says. “I keep on getting invitations from various food groups and they offer certificates or recognitions.”
“I haven’t explored that path yet. I am rather happy with genuine appreciation from people who just like my food.”