The Cauldron Sisters From Jaipur Can Give Your Party An Exotic Twist. Read How!
- IWB Post
- December 11, 2015
Are you daydreaming today about the weekend? Is the Friday frying you? Sneak out a minute or two from it and enter the yummy-tale I’m leading you into.
Once upon a time, amidst the usual humdrum of the city,
There lived two witchy sisters,
Who with their skills versatile and love extreme,
Exercised sorcery on everything edible!
A spatula here, and a casserole there,
Their kitchen emitted exotic flavors.
One fine day they joined hands,
And began to be called as ‘The Cauldron Sisters’
With a curious mind and a wet appetite, photographer Pallav, and I met the Cauldron Sisters – Ratika Bhargava and Richa Khetan – at their castle, err, home. (I better get out of the fairytale mode now!)
Me: Hello ladies! This is a raid.
Ratika & Richa: *Chuckle* Hiii!
Me: My imaginary FBI sources tell me that an overdose of deliciousness is cooked in this house. Is that true?
Ratika: Ummm, yeah.
Me: You’re under the JWB arrest! Tell us everything about yourself!
Richa: *Grins* Let’s take a seat first, shall we?
Ratika: We are two sisters connected by blood and our common passion for cooking.
Richa: I think I can safely speak on behalf of both of us when I say… We were born to cook!
Me: Oooh! Now I’m even more excited to know the whole scoop! Tell me how and when did it all start?
Ratika: The ‘Cauldron sisters’ label started only a few months ago but the cooking keeda within us ages way back! It was the year 1996 I guess… I must have just finished my class 12 exams that my mother insisted me to join a cookery class during my free time.
Me: So, did you both join the classes together?
Richa: No, I was quite young. She’s five years elder to me.
Ratika: Back then, Richa used to assist me whenever I cooked. I think that is where the sparks ignited.
Richa: We used to enjoy cooking. We always thought of it as a relaxing activity rather than some complex activity.
Me: What all cuisines do you make?
Ratika: Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Thai…
Richa: Lebanese, Egyptian, French, Continental, Spanish, and of course Indian.
Me: Ladies! I’m writing as you’re speaking. And the number of cuisines that you cook is shadowing my writing speed in a big big way right now!
Me: Btw, so many of them! How did you learn them all?
Ratika: We don’t cook these cuisines full-fledgedly. We do selective dishes from each.
Richa: And we like to customize the food as per our or our client’s taste. The basic principle is experimenting and having fun with food. We keep trying new recipes and add our creative touch to them.
Me: *Nom Nom* Sounds delicious!
Ratika: So, what we do right now is cater for small gatherings and parties… for people who are looking for non-hotel but exotic food at reasonable prices.
Richa: We had this idea in our minds since forever!
Me: So, why didn’t you start it sooner?
Ratika: Because I got married, and then I had a baby. Now that my son is 2 year old, and manageable, we finally ventured into this forever-aged dream of ours!
Me: *Peeking inside* Is that cuteness-filled human your son? Can I meet him? Pleeeeease?
Ratika: Sure! *Ratika’s son Tanay comes in accompanied by his grandmother*
Me: Oh my god! He’s edible! I could eat him up!
And Tanay walks away from me. I didn’t mean that literally! Come back here you!
Me: So, doesn’t it get hectic at times? Managing the child as well as the food orders?
Ratika: *Gladly* Actually, she takes care of Tanay. *Pointing towards Richa who is now smiling* She often baby-sits him, and makes him have his food.
Me: Richa must be a blessing in disguise for you!
Ratika: *Chuckles* She is!
Richa: This is our mother. It is she from whom we inherit our cooking keeda. Even she loves to experiment with food.
What’s more? Even Ratika’s husband cooks. I heard all superlatives in the praises of the chicken biryani and bread pakoda that he makes! Cooking runs in this family’s blood, I suppose!
Me: So, other than cooking, what else do you like to do?
Ratika & Richa: *In chorus* We paint!
Me: *Surprised, my expressions did the talking*
Richa: This painting that you see up here, this is made by Ratika.
Ratika: I create replicas of paintings and Richa does original. Both of our houses – this house and my mother’s house, are full of our paintings.
Me: Can I just declare you both twins please? What is this if not an umbilical cord connection!
Ratika: But there’s one contrasting difference between us.
Me: And that is?
Ratika: She’s the patient one and I’m the impatient one. So, as may be expected, she’s good at decorating and detailing the food that we do. I am more inclined towards working in bulk.
Me: That also explains why she has Tanay’s heart!
Ratika: She also does excellent nail-art! There’s no one better than her when it comes to that!
Me: Wow! Sounds interesting! *Simultaneously, I looked down and sighed at my un-ladylike nails and closed my hands to form a fist. Well.*
Richa: Both of you must be hungry! Come let us go to the Cauldron Sisters’ favorite place – the kitchen – for a bite or two!
And Pallav and I gladly followed, rather, intruded into their kitchen.
Me: With all the exotic cuisines that you both cook, your kitchen and pantry must be a storehouse of all ingredients rare and strange.
Richa: A lot of people think that exotic cooking requires exotic ingredients which are scarcely available in the regular departmental stores, but trust us, you can do an equally amazing and delicious job with the usual ingredients that are present in everybody’s kitchen.
Ratika: Yes! Take a look at our fridge and shelves if you please!
And shamelessly, I accepted the offer and peeked into their fridge. What I thought would be an unknown territory seemed like a familiar land. These masalas and dabbas are in my kitchen too! Does that mean I will start cooking? No.
Me: This is so cool! Actually, it is a very ‘Happy Realization’ kind of moment for me. I didn’t know foreign cuisines could be created with our Indian masalas too!
Ratika: That’s the beauty of experimenting and blending.
Richa: We have prepared for you air-fried buns and a mocktail to drink. Please try them…
Me: They look lovely! *As they prepared the mocktail* I want to get my whole JWB gang here to learn this.
Should I reveal how clumsy we girls are? To tell the truth or not to tell the truth?
Me: Btw, what are these buns made of?
Richa: That is a mystery that you should unravel by tasting them.
Me: Hmmm. *Nom Nom* A samosa and vada pav filling inside? This is soooo good!
Meanwhile, Pallav quickly slurped the blue mocktail. I’m the one who did all the talking! I should be thirsty! Huh!
Me: Thank you so much Cauldron Sisters for treating us and chatting with us! I am going to be back with the rest of my gang, soon!
Ratika & Richa: The pleasure is all ours! Looking forward to meet Team JWB!
Picture Courtesy: Pallav Bhargava