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Seventeen... Going on 18

That’s how old the longest-running cookery show on TV, Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khaana Khazana turns this June.

tv Updated: May 30, 2010 14:56 IST
Rachana Dubey

Come June and Sanjeev Kapoor’s cookery show, Khaana Khazana on Zee TV, turns 17 years old and enters year 18, with over 700 episodes and counting. But the show has barely been promoted in the years that went by. Today, it airs every Sunday between 9.30 am and 10 am. Week on week, Kapoor shares some of his finest seasonal and personal favourite recipes, including some on public demand.

According to Akash Chawla, head of marketing, Zee TV, the channel is extremely happy and plans to continue airing the show for many more years to come because it completes their package that claims to have something for everyone.

Point out the lack of visibility for the show as against their various others, and Chawla says that after running for 17 years, the show doesn’t need the channel to push it anymore. “At this stage, when the show has a very distinct and dedicated following, it doesn’t call for a great marketing investment,” he says.

Chawla explains that Sanjeev Kapoor, as a brand, clicked with the audience and that largely explains why the show has worked for this long. “We also invite various celebrities to join Sanjeev on the show whenever possible. Over the years, we have taken into consideration the feedback that we receive from the audience and given them what they want to see on the show,” he adds.

A few years ago, the number of cookery shows on TV dwindled tremendously, to the point that Kapoor’s show was the only one on air. Chawla feels that that helped Khaana Khazana create a loyal female audience base for the channel.

Zee believes that TV creates its own stars and celebrities out of genuinely likeable and talented people. Sanjeev Kapoor is no exception. So, continue cooking till the show lasts,” Chawla adds.

Sanjeev Kapoor’s tips for rookies
For whipped cream to retain its peak, add a teaspoon of honey before whipping.

If mushrooms are large, the stalks are likely to be tough; discard them.

While making green banana wafers, use a potato peeler to produce the thinnest slices.

To make light and thin pancakes, let the batter stand for at least half-an-hour before cooking as this breaks down the starch, giving thinner, softer pancakes.

While melting chocolate, add a spoonful of butter to chocolate for a smooth consistency and rich flavour.

Puris should be rolled and placed in a damp muslin cloth at least an hour before frying and fry just before you serve.

Whenever adding chopped/whole green chillies to a tempering, hold the chillies down with the back of a spoon to avoid sputtering.

Soak tamarind in warm water for getting maximum extract and a smooth paste.

To give that fresh, crisp, crunchy feel place chopped vegetables in a large bowl of ice-cold water before preparing a salad.

Use, if possible, earthenware vessels to enhance the flavour of Rajasthani curries.

Roast saffron slightly before crushing into milk or water for colour.

To peel garlic, roast the flakes and rub them between the folds of a cloth.

If you have run out of cornflour, add boiled potato puree to thicken a soup.

Choose the smaller, flat, thin-skinned tomatoes for making sauces. The quality and the flavour is better.

Powder citric acid crystals before adding to murabbas. It blends faster.

Bringing eggs to room temperature prior to beating them improves their aeration. Omelettes will turn out much better.

Adding a little oatmeal to your soup will not only thicken it but will also add flavour and richness.

To obtain fluffier idlis: while grinding rice for idlis, add one-fifth the quantity of soaked flaked rice (poha).

To prevent curdling of yogurt while cooking, do not add salt until the yogurt is completely cooked.

Food, glorious food

Other shows on food on air…
Top Chef
Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations
Kylie Kwong’s Simply Magic
Chakh Le India
Zaika India Ka

And some of those that were..
Cook Naa Kaho
Cook It Up With Tarla Dalal
Mirch Masala
Mallika-e-Kitchen

Coming up…
Kitchen Champion starts early next month on Colors. It’s a cookery competition between the leading ladies of daily soaps. Also, Akshay Kumar enters as the host of the desi Top Chef show on Star Plus. Here’s what the host of Kitchen Champions, Ronit Roy, had to say:

One finds it hard to imagine me in the kitchen rustling up a meal. And that’s precisely why I accepted the show. When Ashwini (Yardi, the channel’s programming head) came to me, I didn’t know how to react. I was stumped for a moment. Later, when we discussed the show’s format at length, I found myself fitting in, quite comfortably.

It goes into multiple genres. It’s not a serious cookery show where the chef rustles up one recipe after another.We’ll have leading ladies from most of the shows on Colors exhibiting their cooking prowess. We’ll also have a master chef giving out recipes. There’s an element of both fun and seriousness.

No one outside my social circle has seen me cooking. I’ve never anchored a show in my life. It was a coming together of two different aspects and seemed a lot of fun. I’ve decided that I will pass on some of my culinary tips on the show. Stuff that I learnt during my bachelor days.