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Gizmos and gadgets for the kitchen

Advances in technology simplify life, save time and energy, but at the same time take something intangible away from the enjoyment of a good life. Mindless application of ‘smart’ gadgets can imperil the art of cooking.

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Just as one trend appears to subside, another surge tempts us with the latest kitchen aids that promise to deliver a wide range of mouth-watering and healthy delicacies in a jiffy.
Just as one trend appears to subside, another surge tempts us with the latest kitchen aids that promise to deliver a wide range of mouth-watering and healthy delicacies in a jiffy.

Ever since our prehistoric ancestors stumbled upon the joys of accidentally cooked food, there has been no let-up in the invention of implements that reduce the drudgery in the kitchen. The art and science of cooking have explored new horizons with gadgets and gizmos that sizzle.

We have come a long way from a pair of palaeolithic knives, a mortar and pestle, a grinding stone, and tongs, to air fryers, smart slow cookers, sophisticated food processors, and even fully automated fulka-making machines.

Just as one trend appears to subside, another surge tempts us with the latest kitchen aids that promise to deliver a wide range of mouth-watering and healthy delicacies in a jiffy. What we are talking about are accessories and gadgets for the home kitchen. Commercial kitchens are a different ballgame. Over the years, an array of kitchen appliances have appeared and disappeared with monotonous regularity. Assorted sandwich makers, battery-operated hand mixers, slow pot cookers, non-aerosol oil sprays, rice cookers, and curd-making machines. Most have passed into oblivion without a trace.

It’s not always a necessity that’s the mother of invention. More often than not, it’s large companies that fuel our greed and create an aspirational need. Celebrity chefs and nutritionists become brand ambassadors to push slicker and smarter stuff. Taking an informed decision is becoming increasingly difficult. To our mind, the most useful gadget in the kitchen, which takes over the dirtiest and most humiliating chore anyone is assigned to do, is the dishwasher.

Surprisingly, they have not made steady inroads and even now are some kind of status symbol, included in the package of an ultra-modern modular kitchen. It is not only the cost, ranging from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 50,000, that works against them; many people feel that the vessels used in Indian cooking—patila, degh, karhai, and metallic thali katora, and tumblers do not lend themselves to proper cleaning in machines. While utensils are used in western-style meals where the main course is a dish served on a plate and the glasses used for wine and water can be given the dishwasher treatment, the Indian housewife or the cook can only be satisfied when the final rinsing is manually done.

The washing machines, when they first appeared, met with similar resistance and we feel that with a little tweaking, the dishwasher too can become indispensable in most urban homes. As for the cost, with the sales increase in volume, the prices are bound to come down. Of course, issues about the regular supply of electricity and running water will keep rising. The item high on the wish list of yuppies is the Air Fryer, which carries price tags in the range of Rs 8,000-25,000. We Indians love our deep-fried stuff, be it samosa, pakode-bhajiye, bade, kofte-kachori. Well, to be honest, the air fryer can’t help us with puri kachori or parantha, but with a little imagination and resilience on the consumer’s part, tasty samosa, pakoda, fried chicken and fish can be enjoyed at home without the hassle of deep-frying.

The first generation of air fryers was rather bulky and deterring. The second generation occupies a little more space than the good old microwave. The trouble here is that those who love samosa pakoda prefer to buy them from the favourite halwai shop next door or round the corner, so addicted are they to the taste of the local tales fix! They choose to forget all about trans fats as they stray from the path of virtue and swallow the piping hot stuff. A few months back, considerable buzz was generated around the launch of a fully automated roti maker for NRIs. Some well-heeled Indians picked one up in Dubai more to show off than to use. All you had to do was measure the flour and water and press the button. The dough was kneaded, divided into patties, and rolled into chapatis, and after 5-7 minutes, you could start collecting fulkas from the outlet. The contraption costs a little over fifty thousand and is yet to be launched in India. Maybe due to the lukewarm response, the launch has been delayed.

Making raw vegetables and fruits safe enough to eat was once entrusted to the ‘pink solution’ made with potassium permanganate.

With the aid of a special gadget, the one thing is to have the bowl of fruits and vegetables infused with ozone. No fruit, we are told, remains forbidden after this. You can play around with an Ozone Vegetable bathtub by shelling out between Rs 2,500 and Rs 8,000.

Since the advent of globalisation, the younger generation has become addicted to foreign snacks like pizza and barbecued meats and vegetables, as well as real coffee as opposed to the instant cup. Tempting them is a whole range of portable barbecues costing Rs 7,500 and above that can be set up even on a small terrace or a cramped balcony. These firing tandoors can be fired with charcoal pellets and satisfy the cravings of those carnivores who yearn for the aromas of the jungle.

Small gas-fired and wood-fired pizza ovens are attracting interested glances from potential buyers. With other ingredients readily available on shelves in food marts, the temptation is almost irresistible to have this tasty treat at home whenever fancy strikes.

However, these are exorbitantly priced and are not likely to enter Indian homes. For the real coffee lover, nothing matches the high provided by real espresso. Nescafe has come up with a machine that replicates the espresso made by Italian baristas very closely.

Here again, the cost of consumables makes the total cost of ownership quite steep at present. Most people opt for the French press, the filter-percolator, or the South Indian coffee decoction maker. Advances in technology simplify life, save time and energy, but at the same time take something intangible away from the enjoyment of a good life.

Science and technology in the kitchen are akin to using software to create graphics, as opposed to painting, to make ‘cut and paste music’. While this may allow more people to indulge in the culinary arena, mindless application of “smart” gadgets can imperil the art of cooking.

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Archana Pooran Singh desires to follow Neena Gupta’s plea for work.

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Archana Pooran Singh desires to follow Neena Gupt's footsteps

Actor Archana Pooran Singh who is currently seen in The Kapil Sharma show has revealed that she is ‘dying to perform’. She expressed her frustration at people knowing only one aspect of her craft.
Popularly, she is known for her comic role in the classic movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, in which she performed the role of Professor Ms Briganza. She developed such a strong comedic reputation, thanks to the role that even 20 years later, she hasn’t been offered a serious role.
The actor added that she can do so much more in acting than comic roles, she can cry and make people cry too. She said the side of her is yet to be explored and this will happen someday.
Archana said, “That chhaap (image) is so solid. Also, a lot of people feel that what they should offer me after Ms Briganza. It’s been almost 25 years since Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was released. And the character is still following me. People also feel that I am best suited only for comedy. As an actor, I feel deprived, cheated and I have been left yearning for good roles.”


She stated that she is considering approaching filmmakers for work in the same way that actress Neena Gupta did. Neena, once posted on her Instagram asking the filmmakers for work as she wasn’t offered any roles in a long time and was sitting at home. After this, she got great opportunities and delivered a blockbuster film, ‘Badhai Ho.’


Archana made her film debut with Abhishek and then featured in Jalwa opposite Naseeruddin Shah. She was also part of several films such as Agneepath (1990), Saudagar (1991), Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Aashiq Awara (1993), and Raja Hindustani (1996). Fans saw her in comedy roles such as Love Story 2050, Mohabbatein, Krrish, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Masti, De Dana Dan and Bol Bachchan.

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Malayalam filmmaker Ashokan dies at 60

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Raman Ashok Kumar, also known as Malayalam filmmaker Ashokan died on Sunday (Sep 25). He was 60. Recently returned from Singapore, he passed away while receiving medical care in Kochi, Kerala, at a private hospital.

Ashokan, a Varkala native, began his career in film as filmmaker Sasi Kumar’s assistant. After roughly 25 years of working as an assistant director, Ashokan released his first picture, “Varnam,” in 1989. The ensemble cast of the critically acclaimed movie “Varnam” included Jayaram, Suresh Gopi, Ranjini, Thilakan, Meena, Jagathy Sreekumar, Parvathy, and Mukesh. He collaborated with director Thaha to co-direct the Suresh Gopi and Parvathy-starring film “Saandaram” a year later, in 1990.

He teamed up once more with Thaha in 1991 to co-direct the slapstick comedy “Mookkilla Rajyathu,” which starred Mukesh, Thilakan, Jagathy Sreekumar, Siddique, and Vinaya Prasad. The movie “Mookkilla Rajyathu” earned positive reviews and became hit. After that, Ashokan directed “Aacharyan” in 1993, starring Thilakan, Suresh Gopi, and Sreenivasan, and the movie also succeeded in attracting viewers. After that, according to reports, Ashokan relocated to Singapore and concentrated on business, but he never lost his love for movies. The telefilm he later directed, “Kaanappurangal,” earned him the Kerala State Award for best telefilm.

The filmmaker’s funeral will take place on Tuesday at his Varkala home. Ashokan is survived by his wife Seetha and their daughter Abhirami.

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Jacqueline Fernandez granted bail in 200 crore extortion case

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Jacqueline Fernandez granted bail

In the 200 crore extortion case, Jacqueline Fernandez received a momentary reprieve when she was given an interim release. The primary defendant in the case is imprisoned conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar.

The Patiala court in Delhi has granted interim bail to the actor for a bond of ₹50,000. The subsequent hearing in the case would be held on October 22. Jacqueline was interrogated for over 7 hours by the Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing.

The con man is said to have been friends with the 37-year-old Sri Lankan actress, who received many expensive gifts from him including luxury bags, clothes, jewellery, etc. worth Rs. 5.72 crores. The actor also told the ED that Sukesh had hired private jets as well as booked helicopter rides for her.

Earlier, the actress denied her friendship with the con man but after the intimate pictures of the actress with Sukesh surfaced on the internet she accepted dating him. The alleged pictures were taken in April-June of 2022.

Her friendship with Chandrashekhar – accused in more than 10 cases – started on WhatsApp in January 2021, and she had secretly met the conman on several occasions at a well-known hotel in Chennai and other places, she had told the officers, the report further highlighted.

The actor had admitted before the officers that the jailed conman had paid a huge amount of money to fashion designer Leepakshi, for designing exclusive costumes for her. The ED will now interrogate her designer as well.

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Teaser for Ram Setu: Archaeologist Akshay delves deep into National Treasure style

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Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar has finally released the teaser for Ram Setu, his fifth film of 2022, which will be released around Diwali on October 25. The actor takes on the role of an archaeologist on a mission to save the Ram Setu. The teaser shows him putting on a special suit that looks like a space suit and diving underwater by himself to see the limestone Ram Setu underwater.

The teaser doesn’t reveal much about the film’s plot, but Akshay does give a hint when he declares that they only have three days to save the Ram Setu. The teaser includes brief glimpses of Nassar as a powerful personality in a black suit, as well as Nushratt Bharuccha, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Satyadev Kancharana. The other three can be seen in action scenes as they race against the clock to complete the mission. The video draws attention to scenic locations, underwater scenes, and Akshay’s new bespectacled appearance.

The film was shot in and around Ooty, Daman and Diu, and Mumbai. Ram Sethu is a chain of limestone shoals located between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the southern coast of Tamil Nadu, and Mannar Island, off the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. It is a bridge built by Lord Ram’s army to reach Lanka and rescue his wife Sita, according to the Ramayana.

Abhishek Sharma directed Ram Setu, which was co-produced by his company Cape of Good Films, Amazon Prime Video, Abundantia Entertainment, and Lyca Productions. The film has been in the works for a long time. Akshay released its first posters around Diwali in 2020, with the words, “let us endeavour to keep Ram’s ideals alive in the consciousness of Indians.”

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Dev Anand said of his first love, Suraiya, “Had I gone to her, my life would have been different.”

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Dev Anand

On the occasion of late superstar Dev Anand’s 99th birthday, we recall the times when the actor discussed his first love, Suraiya. They had collaborated on several films, including Vidya (1948), Jeet (1949), Shair (1949), Afsar (1950), Nili (1950), Do Sitare (1951), and Sanam (1951). (1951). Vidya, they fell in love while working on their first film together.

Suraiya gave in to family pressure and ended up having a filmy love story with her. She was unmarried until she died at the age of 74.

Dev Anand opened up about their love story in his autobiography, Romancing with Life. While talking about the book, he had said, “It was destined that way. Had I gone to her, my life would have been different. Had I married her, life at her end would have taken me to a different course. Then may be I would not have been the Dev Anand I am today.”

Dev Anand and Suraiya fell in love after he saved her from drowning during the film Vidya’s shoot for the song Kinare Kinare Chale Jayen Ge. Dev jumped into the lake to save her after she slipped from the boat. Suraiya had previously stated in interviews that she would not have survived if he had not saved her. This drew her to Dev Anand.

Despite opposition from Suraiya’s grandmother, they met, and the actor eventually relented. Suraiya is said to have planned to elope with Dev Anand, but her grandmother found out and ruined her plans. She was opposed to their interfaith romance.

Dev Anand accepted his destiny and said, “I fell in love for the first time. We all know what first love does to a human being. Then the agony of not getting it. Suddenly hope was aroused after being encouraged, but again disillusionment crept in when nothing happened.”

In 1954, Dev Anand married Kalpana Kartik. They had two children: Suneil Anand, a son, and Devina, a daughter.

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Falguni Pathak remarks ‘Wish I could take action’ over Neha Kakkar’s ‘Maine Payal Hai’ remake

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The renowned singer Falguni Pathak is not happy with Neha Kakkar’s recreation of her iconic song ‘Maine Payal Hai Chhankai’. She said in a recent interview that neither the producers nor Neha made an effort to get in touch with her prior to or following the release of the new song, ‘O Sajna’. The veteran singer also said that she wished to take action against the Neha Kakkar song but was unable to do so since she did not have the song rights.

Neha has come under fire from several fans for ‘ruining’ the original. The original singer of the 1990s hit song, Falguni, reshared fan posts on Instagram Story, subtly criticising Neha’s rendition of the song titled “O Sajna.”

“How long you can go Neha Kakkar? Stop ruining our old classics for us. Falguni Pathak is the OG. Stop with it already,” one of the posts on Falguni’s Instagram Story read.

The actors Vivan Bhatena and Nikhila Palat were featured in the original song, which was launched in 1999. At a college festival, the song was performed as a puppet show. The song was a resounding hit. Recently, the updated version was unveiled.

The music video for “O Sajna” features Dhanashree Verma and Priyank Sharma. “O Sajna” was written by Tanishk Bagchi, who is renowned for reinventing classic Hindi melodies.

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