Greenwich teenager learns to cook and sells creations to help Ukrainian children

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GREENWICH — Khushi Choudhary was months away from seventh grade when she had to throw herself back into virtual school after being diagnosed with an immunosuppressive illness.

But for the 13-year-old, her time at home is anything but idle. After finishing her classes, Choudhary embarks on the job of a baker.

She has been selling pastries since early April through her business, called Baked by Khushi, and has donated 80% of the proceeds from her sales to charity. So far, she has sold $1,800 worth of products, generating $1,440 in donations.

The majority of the sales came from a two-day ride on April 11 and 12, during which she sold $1,100 worth of tasty treats. She spent three or four 12-hour days cooking to have enough sweets to sell, her mother Ruchita Chhajed said.

Explaining why she’s not keeping her profits, Choudhary said, “Other people need the money more.”

“I don’t need that much money. If I need something, I have the money to get it, but a lot of people can’t,” she said.

Her family members joked after seeing the sales pour in, asking, “Can I be your next charity?” said Chhajed.

Choudhary plans to choose a new charity each month to benefit from her baking. April’s nonprofit is Fairfield-based Save the Children, which supports young people in war-torn Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia in February.

“This month, I chose Ukraine because I felt it really needed help. I read a lot about what is happening there, at school too,” she said.

Chhajed said she wanted her daughter to learn how to help others from an early age.

“We all grew up with this belief that we have to give more than we receive,” Chhajed said. “That’s how we end up getting a lot more.”

Despite this karmic belief, Chhajed said she didn’t expect her daughter’s kind actions to be so successful.

“Honestly, we didn’t anticipate what she could do – she also didn’t think you knew she could raise this much money. But now that she has, she wants to do more and then raise more,” she said.

Chhajed said she was not a successful baker, often unhappy even with the outcome of the cookies she makes from canned mixes. Her daughter, on the other hand, makes macaroons, choux pastry, buttercream ice cream cakes and experiments with unique flavors.

“Most of the time I make my own recipes and flavor combinations,” Choudhary said.

She credited her cooking skills to the time she spends watching baking TV shows and studying recipes in books and on YouTube.

Initially, Choudhary gifted his baked creations to his family members and does not hesitate to make special birthday cakes for his friends. Now she is open to a future full-time career in baking.

Choudhary’s website at bakebykhushi.wixsite.com lists his flavors: sweet and savory cookies, chocolate and orange macaroons, blueberry and lemon éclairs, Neapolitan cupcakes, and more.

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