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Posted: 2011-09-09T10:04:30Z
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Edited by gaurav_fan - 2011-09-09T10:06:20Z
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Posted: 2011-09-09T11:30:35Z
Akshara cooks it up with Chef Pankaj

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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Posted: 2011-09-10T02:44:50Z

Jay Soni to toss a meal in Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka

Jay Soni to toss a meal in Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka

The Sasural Genda Phool star is all set to make an appearance as a special Celebrity Guest on the upcoming cookery show

Chef Pankaj Bhadouria who faced severe competition and emerged as a winner on Star Plus' reality show Master Chef India Season 1 is all set to debut on the channel with her cookery show 'Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka.' Starting on September 12th, the show will be showcased everyday at 2:30 pm for an hour.

The audience will not only get to learn some mouth watering delicacies from Chef Pankaj but also see their favorite television stars stirring up a meal or two. For one such episode, the channel has invited Jay Soni, popularly known as Ishaan of Sasural Genda Phool to be a part of an episode.

"It was amazing to be on the show. Personally I am a big foodie and love cooking so it was great fun being on the set. I could not taste the food as I was fasting but it was looking absolutely yummy," exclaimed Jay Soni who will be seen sharing his tips and ideas on cooking.

With food and celebrities coming together, it is surely a double whammy for the viewers…

Reporter: Ranjini Nair
Author: Megha Bissa 
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Posted: 2011-09-18T02:24:18Z

A teacher from Lucknow, Pankaj tearfully recalls how the principal of the school where she taught asked her to make a choice between her profession and the show - MasterChef India. Her passion for cooking eventually took the lead when she decided to quit her job of 16 years to be a part of the MasterChef Kitchen.

   "It was very difficult to take the decision of leaving my 16 year old job of a teacher because I was emotionally attached with it but when I got this opportunity of fulfilling my dream I did not give a second thought, says Pankaj."Pankaj has picked up the elementary art of cooking from both her parents. She has never had any formal training nor did she ever join any course for it. A true believer in hard work, Pankaj says quitting the job provided her with the determination to perform.  "Opportunities knock on your door only once and I grabbed the one that came my way or else I would have lived with regret all my life," she said.

From merely a hobby picked up since the age of 11 or 12 to mastering the skills and passion to experiment in the kitchen, Pankaj cleared one challenge after another. At 38, Pankaj's culinary expertise has made her into a celebrity overnight. Known for her confidence and up-to-date cooking styles, she was also the only contestant to have gotten a direct entry into the finale. On being on the show, Pankay said, "I have spent some beautiful moments here. Some full of pressure while others delighting. The most special moment was of course when I won the title."A head strong lady with remarkable culinary skills, Pankaj is a fighter and she fights only to win. Her victory on the show is proof enough of her deep self-belief and also that of her family's. It was my family's faith that made me win this competition. Whenever my daughter used to talk to me the only thing she used to say was "Mama, if you have gone, there you have to succeed!" Therefore, all that matters is the belief."Admitting that the feeling of success has yet to sink in, Pankaj said that life for her and her family has taken a 180 degree turn. "Though I have always been a working housewife, managing the job and home simultaneously but from hereon it would be a phase of readjustment with commitments for a show and bringing out a cookery book for which I would have to travel," she said.

Pankaj Bhadouria visits Cambridge University - She was invited to Cambridge University to demonstarte her skills and break the myth that Indian food is oily and unhealthy! Pankaj doled out steamy hot chicken no butter masala for the audience. "It is a myth that healthy food has to be bland. There is a lot you can do to make your boring meal luscious. She chose Indian dishes like chicken no butter masala, gatte ki subzi, fish in coconut sauce, vegetables in poppy seed paste and berry sandesh and mango sandesh for desserts. But the response she got for her chicken no butter masala was overwhelming. Pankaj has always believed that it is 99 per cent hard work and one per cent luck which matters and for her that one per cent of luck came with Masterchef which completed the 100 percent that was required for her success.

Pankaj's aspirational journey from an ordinary school teacher to the country's top Zaykebaaz serves as an inspiration to many women. Pankaj has proven that she is the quintessential risk taker who dared to dream big, went all out for it and hit the jackpot.

So now here she is with India Gate Basmati Rice presents Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka, her very own cookery show. A show where she brings in the best of the culinary world into viewers homes!

She 's a warm interactive host who makes cooking not only fun but also easy for everyone.

A food problem solver for celebrities & the aam junta

A trendsetter with her unique style of teaching & experimenting in the kitchen

A connoisseur of great food whose reviews matter to all the gastronomical junkies out there!

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Posted: 2011-09-18T02:25:19Z

Ishaan, aka Jay Soni from Sasural Genda Phool, will be the next celebrity guest on India Gate Basmati Rice presents Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka. Ishaan admits to being a complete foodie and was delighted to learn to prepare new dishes on the show, since it will help him to impress his darling wife Suhana.

Sharing his experience with Chef Pankaj, Ishaan says, "It was good. I have to confess that I am a big foodie. Thanks to the show, I got to learn about a lot of new dishes and cuisines. I learnt that cooking is not as tough as it seems and I also learnt the importance of presentation from Chef Pankaj. Besides, being a good chef, Pankaj is also a good teacher. She guided me very well when I was preparing the dishes on the show. One thing that I noticed about her is that she is very particular about cleanliness. Even if a little food gets spilled by mistake, she immediately wipes it because she wants her kitchen to be neat and clean. I admire this habit of hers because even I feel that cleanliness is of utmost importance."

Speaking about cooking, Ishaan recalls a funny incident, "I can never forget the time that Suhana had tried to cook for me. She spent the whole day in the kitchen and ended up making two rotis for me, that too in some funny shapes. I ate them happily because she had prepared it with so much love."


Which dish taught by Chef Pankaj does Ishaan plan to prepare for Suhana? "The first dish that I will prepare is Suhana Shorba as whenever Suhana is angry with me, I hope that Suhana Shorba will do the trick and she will forgive me. I will tell her that I learnt the dish, especially for her since it has her name in it."

Ishaan also has a valuable tip to offer to husbands. "I will advise all husbands to learn cooking as it is the most cost effective way of impressing your wife. Gifting her jewelry or clothes are expensive options," he laughs.

Ishaan is known for his cooking skills among his co-stars from Sasural Genda Phool. Is that true? "I like to cook and do it whenever I find the time. I also try to prepare dishes from different cuisines every time. People say that I make good salads and that is because I normally eat only salads for dinner as it is healthy. So yes, I do carry salads to the sets of Sasural Genda Phool too and co-stars who have tasted it have praised my cooking skills."

Speaking about his favourite food, Ishaan states, "Ghar ka khana is my favourite. I enjoy dal-chapatti the most, there is nothing better than yummy homemade food. As I have said before, I am a complete foodie. I will eat anything that is given to me except Karela. However, one cuisine that I dislike is Chinese, which must be surprising as most people love it."

Don't forget to watch Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka at 2.30pm Mon- Fri only on STAR Plus.

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