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'Masterchef' Shipra feels she has much to stir

For Shipra Khanna, it was a perfect recipe that took her to the top in the world of cooking. But this winner of "MasterChef India" feels she has miles to go.

"It's just one step, I have to go miles still," Shipra, the 29-year-old single mother born and brought up in this Himachal Pradesh capital, told IANS on phone from Mumbai.

Shipra Sunday night walked away with the title of 'MasterChef' in the second season of the cooking reality show. She won a cash prize of Rs.1 crore, a chance to host her own show on Star Plus and a vacation for three nights and four days in London.

She said her mother who was her motivation. "I grew up watching and learning culinary skills from my mother, who is a perfect host. Now, it's my children who brought out the talent in me."

Shipra, who was married in Agra, is living separately from her husband. Her children, Yadavi and Himang, stay with their father.

"My children love to dine out. Several times I tried to replicate recipes, especially the desserts, at home. This greatly helped me in honing my skills," she added.

Her parents - Balween and Radhika Khanna - said it was Shipra's passion for cooking that took her to the top honour.

"She loves to cook for the entire family. Despite estranged relations with her husband, she managed to grab the title," said Balween, who runs Laljee Jewellers in Shimla's Lower Bazaar.

Radhika said Shipra is perfect in making Indian, continental and Italian dishes. "She also loves to bake and make desserts."

Shipra aspires to anchor a food and travel show, and will be here next week.

She beat Joseph Rozario from Siliguri and Salma Shazia Fathima from Bangalore to win the show that started off with 12 contestants.

The grand finale was telecast over Saturday and Sunday with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar once again returning to the show as a guest judge for both the episodes. Joseph Rozario was eliminated in Saturday's episode.

Sunday's final battle saw the last two finalists -- Salma Shazia and Shipra -- preparing dishes for 100 people who through their votes declared Shipra as the winner.

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