Meet the Bakers – Sunitha Raja

Yet another dentist, this bake sale – a dentist who dreams of backpacking around the world some day; Ladies and gentlemen, please meet Sunitha Raja!

Let’s get right on with our chat with the good doctor!

Q: A doctor and a baker – deadly combo 🙂 How did this happen?
A: As a profession, I have always wanted to be a doctor. It was my dream to be a doctor. But my journey into cooking and baking started while I was in the 8th grade. While my mom has been an inspiration to cook, her friend is the one that introduced me to the world of baking. I still remember the look and taste of my very first chocolate cake. And my college friends will vouch for all the cakes I used to bake and take to them. The pure joy when I used to watch people enjoying something that I baked was enough to get me hooked!!

Q:  There was an article in the Indian Express where you’d mentioned about using avocados for butter and chia seeds instead of eggs. Can you tell us more about your quest in search of healthy baking?
A: As a child my staple diet was rice and rasam. My mother could never get me to eat healthy!! However after  getting into college, the need to shed pounds got me into healthy diet choices. I try to incorporate healthy alternatives in everyday cooking so getting into healthy bakes was just matter of time. I’m experimenting with various nut based and grain based flours as an alternative to refined flour and unrefined sugars to replace white sugar. Currently  I’m trying to incorporate soy and whey protein powders to cater to fitness enthusiasts.

Q: What was your childhood like?
A: Childhood always brings back happy memories of my mom, dad, brother, mindless eating (Gold Spot, colorful frozen Pepsi colas, Phantom cigarette candy), summer vacations at my parents’ native village – paddy fields, sugarcane eating, jumping into ponds, and cuddling next to my grandmother and gazing at the moon through the coconut trees listening to her stories. My brother was always a constant fixture and source of support in my life since my dad used to work abroad and mom had to travel quite a bit.

Q: How do you manage being a dentist and being a baker at the same time? What advise do you have for people with a sweet tooth?
A: I love dentistry and enjoy what I do. So my profession doesn’t stress me out. Also I have the freedom to set convenient timings in my profession. Baking is a passion so I manage to find time for it. However I have never advised any of my patients to avoid sweets. My advise is to brush or rinse well after eating sweets and include plenty of fibrous foods and water to keep cavities at bay.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t baking or being a doctor?
A: I’m a huge movie buff. My cousin brother and I have watched 3 back to back movies at the theatre!! So I love watching movies but at the movie theatre. I also love music especially Ilaiyaraaja and reading books.

Meet the pretty dentist at stall # 13. All the best and may all your dreams come true! 
Don’t miss Dr Sunitha’s yummy and healthy creations at the Grand Annual Bake Sale on 24th Jan, at Spaces #1, Elliots Beach Road, Chennai between 4 and 7 pm.
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