“Odisha celebrates culinary-diversity with a fierce millet cook-off on the last day of International Convention on Millets”

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Millets Mission concluded the International Convention on Millet on the 10th of November with a bang. A fierce state-level cooking competition went underway, as competitors for several districts faced each other with millets and their creativity as their primary arsenal. With the theme of “Tribal and International cuisines”, the competitors were pushed to their limits to showcase their ingenuity and versatility of incorporating millets in their presentations.

This pan-state millet-based cooking competition was organised as another initiative by the Odisha Millets Mission to encourage millet acceptance in the citizen’s daily lives. While a total of 20 participants took part in the competition, these participants were previously stated champions in the competitions in their specific districts hence making it an exciting challenge for everyone. Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition, Bhubaneswar acted as the prime anchor for the event aiming at educating participants and audiences about the nutritional value of millets, including their high fibre, protein, and mineral content.

Divided into 2 categories, 20 competitors were evenly divided into groups of 10 members of women self-help groups and 10 students. Each contestant was assigned to present 2 cuisines they knew the best. Ms Binodhini Pradhan was crowned the winner in the WSHG category with her “Jugar(Sorghum) adibasi khana” and “Poda noodles with Mandia Milk” dishes, meanwhile Mr Soubhagya kumar Barik winner from the student category presented “Setaria Futura (Japanese Millet Sushi) Accompanied with soy sauce & wasabi” and “Millet Gaintha Pitha garnished with pistachio & pomegranate”. Both the winner were facilitated with trophies and certificates during the closing ceremony of ICM.

Cooking events such as this competition, help gain the required attention from the audiences. One another such event happens on the inauguration day of ICM, when the renowned Indian masterchef Vikas Khanna enchanted the event with his live cooking show in which he taught the audiences on how to make pancakes with millet. Entranced, the audience could connect to what the chef was teaching and this shows how successful these creative attempts from the Odisha Millets Mission are proving to be.

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