Home baker, Reshma Mali made her first cake during a cooking show on Zee Marathi and cleared the round without even tasting it!

Mishkaat Imrani
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Home baker, Reshma Mali made her first cake during a cooking show on Zee Marathi and cleared the round without even tasting it!

Hailing from Bhose, a small village in Pandharpur district of Maharashtra, Reshma Mali tried her hands on baking for the first time in 2014 for one of the rounds in 'Maharashtrachi Ruchira', a cooking show on Zee Marathi. She baked this cake without even tasting it and still nailed it. Want to know how? Keep reading.

It was a friend of Reshma Mali who insisted she participate in ' Maharashtrachi Ruchira' (A Marathi cooking competition). Reshma did take part in this competition where in the first round, she was supposed to finish a dish in 35 minutes, which she completed in just 20 minutes, and that's how her journey into cooking and particularly in baking began. After clearing this round, she became 'Solapurchi Ruchira', and was among the 8 participants who were selected from different cities in Maharashtra for this competition which aired on Zee Marathi in 2014. " We had to make Malpua in that round and there were 6 more women. I was the first one to finish it and so I became Solapurchi Ruchira.", said Reshma Mali.

Reshma Mali

source Reshma can be seen standing on the right side of the chef Parag Kanhere.

This cooking competition had 5 different rounds, and Reshma cleared 3 of them. In the 2nd round, she had to bake a vanilla cake, and it was nothing familiar to what she had seen. There was an oven which she hadn't ever used and a very new cooking technique. " The Judge showed us how to bake the cake, and then in the next 10 minutes, we had to make the same one. It was on the spot. But, I did it because I learn very quickly. However, it was a challenge to clear this one, as I don't eat eggs, and it was an egg cake. I did not taste it, and that's why the judges loved it even more.", she says.

In the third round too, the entire menu was new for Reshma. The crew asked her to go home and prepare for the dishes. " It was tomato Pasta, cheese corn balls, and caramel pudding. I did not even have a phone back then. So, I went to my friend's house in Pandharpur and learned about the cooking method and ingredients. I had to memorize everything as I had never seen such ingredients in my locality.", explained Reshma.

Reshma completed both rounds before the other contestants. The judge, Parag Kanhere, and even Supriya Pilgaonkar, who would appear as a guest on the show, couldn't stop praising Reshma's cooking skills. " I never had imagined that I would win that round. I remember that the judge said to us that the winner is like Sachin Tendulkar when he plays cricket, and I had no idea that he was referring to me. He then told us that I had won and hugged me. He became emotional as I was from a small village, had no idea about these things, and still won.", she said.

Reshma Mali

However, in the fourth round, Reshma got eliminated, and her journey in the show stopped, but what did not stop was her love for baking. After thinking for 2 months, she decided to become a home baker. " I thought now I know about baking, and I used to make cakes at home in Kadhai for my kids. So I decided to open my own parlour.", says Reshma.

In 2016, after saving up and preparing in the best way, Reshma Mali opened her very own home baking business, ' Ruchira cake parlour', and since then, there's has been no looking back for her. She has baked around 6,000 cakes, and people seem to love it. Now she also conducts baking classes for other people.

Other than just baking, Reshma Mali is a farmer too. After getting married, she started farming and does it even now. " I was financially crunched when I started baking, but later, it gave me strength. All my siblings are educated and well settled. So with this, I feel I am doing something on my own.", she said.

To maintain a balance and schedule, she has hired 8 more women to help her in the field where they grow sugarcane. " It reduces time as there are more people working. That's how I give time to my home bakery", she added.

Talking about her experience in the show and especially with the participants, she said, " There was one lady from Mumbai, and she was an expert cook. But, later on, when I won the round, she came up to me and asked how do I cook so quickly, and then she started talking to me. It was very overwhelming as everybody else was highly educated, but they all were very helpful", she said.

Further sharing her experience with Supriya Pilgaonkar, she said, " Oh, she used to interact with me a lot, and would say to me Reshma this is a competition and you must not lose points, and even gave me a nickname, 'Krushi Kanya'. She would talk a lot about farming, and it was fun.", said Reshma.

From not knowing how to use an oven, to panicking after getting her initial orders, to being able to bake 4 cakes in an hour, Reshma Mali has come a long way. Reshma has learned everything through the internet and even has an Instagram page, where she posts about her cakes and farming. " I see a lot of youtube videos. But, now I know almost everything about baking. But, I am still learning. I am planning to work on the Photo cakes, and that's what my next goal is.", she mentioned.

Born and raised in Pandharpur, Reshma Mali is a home baker, farmer, and mother of 3 kids. " I am my mother's third daughter, and when I was born, she didn't want to have another daughter. She didn't take me for 12 hours, and I still feel if I was not born, it would have been better. But, I am trying and paving my ways with whatever means I have", she said. 

We say, she is an inspiration, and we are glad she never gave up. We wish her luck. Follow her on Instagram here to see her work. 

Also Read: Meet the Baker who introduced Mumbaikers to fresh-baked cookies! Neha Sethi, Co-Founder & Head Chef of Sweetish House Mafia

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