Pankaj Bhadouria, the winner of Master Chef India, is back with her own cookery show, India Gate Basmati Rice presents Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka and joining her are few popular celebs from STAR Plus.
The first one to feature on Chef Pankaj's show is the pretty Akshara from Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai.
Dressed in a sea green-blue sari glittering with studded-diamond work, Akshara's slim frame and lovely smile exemplify her beauty. Talking about her experience on the show, Akshara says, "It felt wonderful to be on Chef Pankaj's show. She taught me how to bring zayaka in everyday meals. Food is an essential part of our lives and therefore the food we eat should not only be delicious, but prepared with love and presented in a beautiful manner. These and many other tips are what I learnt from Chef Pankaj."
Was Chef Pankaj anxious about hosting her own show? "Not at all. She was confident and all there. I was amazed by her skill and attitude though this is the first time she would be holding an entire show on her own. Kudos to her for nailing it in the first go," reveals Akshara.
Does she believe that the way to man's heart is through his stomach? With a smile, Akshara replies, "But, of course! What man wouldn't want a woman who can cook well too? Sure there must be other qualities which attract you, but cooking well is an easy way to endear your man to yourself."
What are your favourite dishes and what does Naitik love to eat the most? "Naitik loves Rajasthani food- especially daal baati. I love Rajasthani food as well as Chinese dishes a lot. But with my pregnancy, I find spicy and chatpata dishes more lip-smacking like gol-guppe. I was delighted when Chef Pankaj made Badam-Kesar Ka Shorba, Paneer Lajawab and Dil-E-Bahar Gajar Mousse for me on the show. Imagine Gajar Mouse!! She has to be commended for experimenting and trying to create new dishes. She is superb. I enjoyed eating all of them and the most wonderful part was that she made them on the spot. There were no pre-prepared dishes ready, instead Chef Pankaj cooked everything in a jiffy before me."
As she loves chatpata dishes, Akshara loved one dish in particular. "In the paneer dish, Chef Pankaj used a green leafy vegetable found in the north which looks like Palak and has a sour tinge to it. That changed the dish totally. I loved the fact that Chef Pankaj said we could use Palak if we can't find that vegetable. She gave many such tips and substitutes too which is great. Many women might not find parsley in their local market, so when Chef Pankaj suggested coriander, I thought it was smart of her to do so, and helpful for women watching her show. I made note of the suggestions while cooking, method of preparations and substitutes to use if you don't find an ingredient. I am looking forward to making all the dishes for everyone at home."
She did remember all her goof ups and accomplishments in the kitchen too. "I kept thinking of the kheer I made for my family and when once the salt was too much in the dal, Gayatri ma put rolls of kneaded flour which absorbed the excess salt from the dal. I also told Chef Pankaj about the soup I made for dadaji when he was ill and didn't like the regular fare at home."
Continuing Akshara says, "It is commendable that Chef Pankaj is doing this cookery show which will be an inspiration for all the aspiring cooks out there to go follow their dreams and make them happen for you. I followed her journey in MasterChef India and saw her determination through it. While talking to her, she gave a lot of credit of her success to her mother-in-law, claiming if it weren't for her saasuma, she might not have reached this stage in life. I too know for a fact that a supportive mother-in-law is essential as my Gayatri ma too is very supportive of me."
As Chef Pankaj brings her cooking expertise and kitchen magic right into your homes, do tune into Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka that starts Sept 12, Mon-Fri at 2:30 PM only on STAR Plus.
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