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Versatility to the fore

Jayshree Prabhu is a `Jill-of-all-trades'. A school teacher, a fine cook, she runs a small library and does stitching and embroidery. She has conceptualised the Saraswat food festival at Curry N Rice.

HEARTY MEAL: Jayshree Prabhu (right) with Chef Murthy of Taj Banjara.

SHE MAKES about 30 varieties of dosas, an equal number of sweets and kharas and many other dishes too. She is a teacher with the DRDL School, Kanchanbagh.

She runs a library in her building and is adept at stitching and embroidery too. She is Jayshree Prabhu who has been living in Hyderabad for three decades. Athough she is equipped with all the necessary skills, she chooses to remain modest.

Jayshree leads a disciplined life. "I make time for every thing. I am up from 4 in the morning and continue doing something till I sleep at 10 a.m.," she says.

For some years she has been quietly conducting cookery demonstrations at the DRDL campus, Kanchan Bagh mostly during holidays.

How did she get the offer from the Taj to do this kind of festival? "One of the employees from the hotel got in touch with me some months ago and I agreed on the condition I would be able to do it in summer. I took it up as a challenge," says Jayshree whose hands readily flip many dosas at ease - from sweet, neer, rawa (with coconut), cucumber dosa, urad and chana, rava and urad dal and much more. In coconut sweets her repertoire extends to 10 types of barfis where coconut is used with vegetables like tomato, carrot, beetroot. She has been giving these demonstrations along with photocopies of recipes. Mangalorean food is her specialisation, though she makes North Indian food as well.

When she goes back home (Mangalore) she gets back certain things like tender cashewnuts, jackfruits and bedige chillies and sources the rest of the ingredients in the twin cities.

Being such a storehouse of culinary talent is she putting down her recipes for future use? "I am writing the recipes for dosas and sweets to begin with." The book will be ready for publication shortly.

Jayshree takes academics as seriously as cooking. She teaches the natural sciences to classes VII to X. She has set up a library solely on her own initiative in the apartment building. Stitching is another passion she indulges in. "Recently I made some frocks for a relative's child in a short time."

With just sheer interest and enthusiasm, she is able to bring the traditional flavours alive and is a true cordon bleu.

For the time being just enjoy her culinary skills at Curry N Rice Taj Banjara Hills where she lays the choicest Saraswat spread for the foodie.

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