Ponnada Padmaja emerged as COWE’s “PAU"SHE"TIK Queen

Ponnada Padmaja from Vizag for her dishes Jonna Idli (Jowar Idli), Korrala-Panasa Biryani(Foxtail Millet and Jack fruit Biryani) and Khanda (Elephant Foot Yam) -Kharjura (date) mix Sweet emerged as COWE’s “PAU"SHE"TIK Queen. She walked away with first prize, Refrigerator.

Ramadevi from Warangal for her dishes Karela Kurkure (Bitter Guard Roast), Raagi Barfi (Ragi or Finger Millet Barfi) and Sweet Potato Steak) and T. Sridevi from Karimnagar for her dishes Kanda Kabab (Elephant Foot Yam Kebab) and Jonna Pindi Payasam (Jowar Flour Kheer) emerged as 1st and 2nd Runners-up in the Cooking competition. The first and second runners-up walked away with 48 inch LED TV and Microwave Oven respectively as their prizes. All three winners were given away gift vouchers instead of products so that they can go to the shop and redeem them in their city to avoid transportation hassles.

It was a hard journey. They fought with 720 participants to reach the finals. And in the finals held on Sunday at IHM in Hyderabad, they competed with 24 participants.

The remaining 21 participants were declared consolation prize winners and given away induction heaters.

All three winners were jubilant. They all are homemakers. They were super excited. My joy knows no boundaries said Ponnada Padmaja. K. Ramadevi, a single mother said this win has boosted her morale. I am always fond of participating. T. Sridevi wanted to become an entrepreneur. She has 20 years of working experience. I will explore my entrepreneurial journey now, she said.

The prizes were given away by Chief Guest, Shri Srinivas Gupta, Chairman, Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation(TSTDC); Guests of Honour, Shri Maneesh Rastogi, Dy General Manager-SBI; Shri Pramod Vijay Vargiya, General Manager--SIDBI and Special Guests, Shri Kapil Kumar, Sukaso Cera Colours; Shri Pradeep Chowdhary, GEF India Pvt. Ltd; Shri Karan Bajaj, Electronics Mart India

Speaking on the occasion Uppala Srinivas Guptha said the days of women confining to the kitchen are over. They are found everywhere now. They are multitasking. They have abundant talent. If given an opportunity they will go places he said. He assured them to achieve pinnacles of success and earn a good name for Telangana.

The contest which is an initiative of COWE and Hands in Hospitality Chef’s Association (HIHCA) is a contest with a difference and organised with a unique purpose to spot talent and turn ambitious rural women into food entrepreneurs informed Jyotsna, President, COWE Telangana. The idea of this contest is the brainchild of Suman Kumar, who while talking said, that her next big job is to turn a major part of these 720 women into food entrepreneurs. After doing that we will think of hosting a next similar event.

The finals of the unique Cooking Contest called “PAU"SHE"TIK Cooking competition” was held in the city on Sunday at the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition at DD Colony, Vidyanagar in Hyderabad. But winners were declared today and presented prizes.

Twenty-four winners from eight preliminary contests held across two Telugu States at Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Nellore, Vishakhapatnam, Karimnagar, Warangal, Nizamabad and Jadcherla/Mahboobnagar competed in the finals.

The final participants include Nagarajitha, Seshu KUMARI, Veni Prasad, Purnima, Pramila, Susheela, Aytan Rajitha, G. Bhavani, B. Lakshmi, Satbir Kaur, Ponnada Padmaja, Nethi Aruna, T. Sridevi, Shailaja, Swapna, Ramadevi, Srilatha, P. Devi, Soumya, P. Rajasthan, Namratha, Satyamma, Susheela Raj, U. Mani, Shanthi. These twenty-four women, mostly homemakers aged between 35 to 65 reached finals competing with 720 women. They were given two hours to cook three dishes-Starter, One Main-course dish and a dessert.

Five member judges panel tasted the food and judged based on healthy ingredients used to cook, presentation, cleanliness, least amount of wastage and other parameters.

All cooked healthy food such as Paushtik was the theme. Older women proved their mettle over younger women. The beauty of the contest was the fusion food. The old participants cooked old-type dishes in modern trends in terms of ingredients, cooking method and presentation observed a chef Chinnam Raju of HIHCA.

Unnecessary food waste has been an issue always. But this time it is observed that they had the least wastage, which is a great performance said Chefs Raju and Srinivas, who were also part of the judging panel informed Madhu Tyagi, COWE (Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs of India) National President

It is a three-month-long contest. The preliminary rounds of the competitions were held in four cities each of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Three toppers from each city were selected for finals.

Before the finals, a workshop for the participants was organised in the morning. In the afternoon. they had a live kitchen where they cooked their food.


It is a unique Cookery Contest with the purpose to spot rural women with entrepreneurial aspirations, shared Jyotsna, President, of COWE Telangana. The route chosen was a cookery contest. Through these contests, COWE and its partners tried to spot talent in rural women with entrepreneurial aspirations and subsequently, COWE will put in efforts to turn those rural women into food entrepreneurs.

The Hyderabad-based, home-grown national body of women entrepreneurs, the Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs of India (COWE) aims to turn 150 rural women into food entrepreneurs through their novel initiative called “PAU"SHE"TIK Cooking competition”, titled “Mera Swad Mera Swaasth”.

About 720 rural women participated in these contests. 20% of these women will be converted into women entrepreneurs in near future, COWE informed.

Before presenting the awards COWE invited experts in the industry and its ecosystem and organised an orientation, on the entrepreneurial journey.

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