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Mascot of Indian cuisine takes the spice route

(07/22/2013)

It’s the longest standing TV show in Asia – Khana Khazana — with over 500 million viewers, his amiable, encouraging face making every new housewife feel she can aspire to be a domestic goddess were she only to follow his instructions. His show is broadcast in 120 countries. He has his own food channel, ‘Food Food’, his own chain of restaurants, and is the judge of the famous Indian cook-off entertainment show, Master Chef ke Kitchen Superstar. Sanjeev Kapoor, who has helped change the Indian culinary industry, visited Coimbatore for a live show, this time to teach people how to create their own dishes.

His other connection with the city is that Yellow Chili, the chain of restaurants under his banner, is all set to open in Coimbatore, which may make his visits more frequent. “I have visited the city a couple of times, mostly a day trip, but this time I hosted a live cooking show. I hope the city spices up my visit because I’m looking to hunt down some unique south Indian flavours,” he says.

Kapoor has, over the years, built a major fan following besides forging a rapport with the creme de la creme of the country and becoming a culinary media moghul of sorts. “I have a lot to owe the digital media for making culinary entertainment shows a smash hit with a substantial, almost cult following. I have seen such a revolutionary change in the outlook people have towards food, cooking. When I see the mature home chef giving it their best on the Masterchef show I think of how far the culinary art has grown, for we are so much more open-minded about food and the whole experience of consuming it.”

He lets us in on a secret: if you’re looking to make it on the show ensure you keep a track of the idea, the presentation and the taste, he says, somewhat cryptically. He’s not being terribly helpful, but it’s a tip from the judge no less.

Kapoor’s own tastes in food are wide-ranging. If there’s one dish of late that haunts his palate it’s tuna. “I was in Vancouver last week, where I visited a famous chef, David Hoffner, who dished out the most succulent dish made from tuna that I’ve ever tasted,” he says, ruminatively.

When he is home, cooking for his children, he makes a risotto, or Laksa, an Indonesian soup which they love. “As for me, I love eating and experimenting with new foods every day,” he says.

How far did he think interest in fine dining had come in India? “It’s evolving rapidly. Thanks to entertainment shows on food, while Indian cuisine is still the most opted for, Italian cuisine is definitely becoming popular here. And as for organic food, it isn’t growing as much as I’d hope. Natural and wholesome food is the need of the hour.”

His cookbook writing commitments continue apace. He recently published a recipe book for those suffering from hypertension. He is next looking to set down another book on everyday cooking and one on chocolate. “I have always been an ardent mascot of Indian cuisine and I want to see it grow even more popular abroad,” says Kapoor, perhaps the most popular, affable face we know on Indian television.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.