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A mom, a chef and an entrepreneur who made it happen

Stories nourish the mind. There are stories that captivate you and there are stories that completely engulf you in their realm and leave a permanent impact on your heart. One such is the story of Chitra Soni, a woman who dared to dream and created a pathway of success for herself and thousands of others who follow her. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation with her.

When I joined hotel management college in 1970, the course was recently introduced in the country and was not that popular among women. Thus I was one of the 5 girls in the class of 100, but I discovered my passion for cooking and enjoyed every bit of it. After the graduation I was placed at ‘The Taj Group’ Mumbai and my joy had no bounds. I was living my fairy-tale, but then unexpectedly due to my father’s transfer we had to shift. I had to leave my promising job, dreams and fairytale back in Mumbai and move to this new city which did not even have a single big hotel, Nagpur.

This transformation hit me really hard and I was exhausted mentally. I had qualifications, experience but no opportunity to showcase my talent. Some months passed by and there was an opening for the post of lecturer in LED college which had introduced HMC recently, I went to the interview and to my surprise I was the only candidate present there who had relevant qualifications! But this journey carved my future as I discovered if there was something I loved more than cooking it was teaching how to cook!

Things were going smoothly, I also met the man of my dreams and we decided to marry, but after marriage, I had to resign from my job due to family commitments. I was clueless once again. One fine day my father in law asked me ‘What are you doing these days?’ to which I retorted ‘Nothing much’. He asked ‘Why don’t you start doing something from the house itself?’ and I grabbed this opportunity as hard as I could and started my journey by opening the first cooking classes in Nagpur, ‘RUCHIRA’ in 1975. I just had 6 students for my first batch, and last year in 2018 when I decided to finally end my journey of Ruchira I had already trained 1,00,000+ students! The proudest moment for me was when I was called ‘Ruchira Aunty’. I was successful in creating a brand. It took hard work, consistency, and dedication from every moment of my life. Today when I look back I see a scholar, employee of a five star hotel, a teacher, a housewife, and an entrepreneur and most importantly a satisfied and happy human being who has lived her life to the fullest and if you think this is the end of my career, you are wrong. I have just begun my journey as an adviser. So all the women out there, there is nothing such as happy ending to your fairytale as you are your fairy who can write her own tales!”

Kudos to her journey as a loving mom, an exceptional chef, and a successful entrepreneur

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Garlic: The Wonder Herb

“Garlic is a complete pharmacopeia in itself.”

Happy Garlic Day to all our esteemed readers.Did you know that those small bulbs of garlic conceal a host of highly healing and medicinal properties? Garlic is one of the most ancient medicine that has heralded the dawn of medicine, not only in India but all over the world. Let us probe further and get to the bottom of the matter:


The Mesopotamians:

They ate garlic and drank it with wine as a tonic to ward off disease.

The Egyptians:

They  formulated ancient papyrus document called “Ebers Codex” written in 1550 BC which gives twenty two uses of garlic including treatment for heart problems, tumours, headaches, worms and bites.

Ancient Greek:

Here, garlic was given to athletes before Olympics, soldiers before battles as per Homers Odyssey published in 1000 bBC. Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medicine” called it a wonder herb, recommending it for infections, wounds, cancer, leprosy and digestive problems. Dioscorides known as the “ Father of Pharmacy” ,prescribed it in Material Medica for snake bites, dog bites, toxic poisoning due to the sting of bees and scorpions. Roman gladiators chewed garlic before combats. Pling, the Elder called it as an antidote for any type of poisoning.

Chinese medicine:

It is the most developed herbal medicine in the world. It consists of classic formulas more than hundreds of thousands years old. Garlic called “da suan” in the Chinese jargon, has a special mention in “Collection of Commentaires on the Classic of Material Medica” published in 500 AD and “Vegetables as Medicine”. Here, it is prescribed for common cold, whooping cough, dysentery and boils.


According to this school of medicine, garlic effects each of the constitutional types, namely Pitta, Vata and Kalpha. It increases the fiery nature of Pitta, spacy, spasmodic  and airy nature of Vata,cleans mucous and opens up obstructed channels of Kalpha.

Unani Tibb:

It is the branch of medicine from the Muslim world. Hakim Ibn Sina is the father of this medicine and in Canon of Medicine published in 900 BC, garlic is recommended for intestinal problems, food poisoning, dysentery, asthma and whooping cough.

European Herbalism:

Garlic has been touted as the cradle of civilization and extensive research has been conducted on garlic in German Phytotherapy(Plant Medicine), spearheaded by Hildegard von Bingen. It is used in the preparation of “Four Thieves Vinegar” and “Galen’s wine” which are used as poultice for wounds and injuries during the medieval period.


These can be elucidated as follows:

Anti asthmatic: Eases constricted breathing.

Anti inflammatory and blood thinning properties.

Anti epileptic: Reduces severity of convulsions.

Antiseptic: Fights infections in digestive and respiratory tracts.

Antispasmodic: Combats cramping and pains.

Anthelmintic: Kills germs and intestinal worms.

Carminative: Expels gas

Diaphoretic: Promotes sweating and circulation.

Diuretic: Promotes urination.

Emmenagogue: Promotes menstruation.

Expectorant: Promotes flow of mucus.

Rubefacient: Fight skin irritation.

Tonic: Boosts immunity and overall health.


The following are the side effects that might result if the usage is not within the limits of  discretion :

  1. Bloating and gas.
  2. Feelings of heat
  3. Digestive irritation
  4. Heaviness in head
  5. Aggravation of pain
  6. Increase in urine(diuretic)
  7. Dull eyesight
  8. Headache
  9. Nausea
  10. Flushed face
  11. Garlic breath and excessive sweating.


Capsules and tablets, oils(steam distilled and macerated), chest rub and plaster, compress(hot and cold), cooked garlic, raw garlic, decoction, douche, enema, poultice, infusion in wine and vinegar, juice, nose drops, poultices and tinctures.

We can thus conclude that the appeal of garlic is universal and its versatility needs no further attestation. It displays the broadest spectrum of medicinal properties and is like a medicine chest all by itself. So don’t wait, grab this ambrosia right away!