India launches three new cooking channels

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Indian viewers will have a choice between three new food and cooking channels by early 2011.


Zee Entertainment's Khana Khazana is slated for a December 8 launch, followed by 24-hour channel Food Food in early 2011 and Alva Brothers Entertainment's Food First channel, around the same time.

International partnerships are behind all three channels - Zee Entertainment's Hindi content can be watched in 167 countries - from the US to New Zealand, and Food Food will be launched in collaboration with Malaysia's Astro All Asia Networks. Food First is the product of a joint venture with US-based Turner Broadcasting's Hong Kong leg and will be broadcast in English.

Food Food, which will be launched in partnership with celebrity Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's television company Turmeric Vision, will feature a program dedicated to international cooking and cuisine in Hindi, called Firangi Tadka.

"In India, international cuisine is cooked in a very unique way to suit the Indian palette. This is what Firangi Tadka is about. We will cook all types of cuisines, but in an Indianized manner," Kapoor told the Indian Express in an interview published on December 6.

Kapoor will host his own show, entitled Sanjeev Kapoor's Kitchen, on the channel, which will also carry at least two other cooking shows - Sirf 30 Minute and Ready Steady Cook.

An Indian version of the hit British and Australian cooking reality show MasterChef is currently shown on the STARPlus channel on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 p.m. I.S.T. The show is hosted by Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar in English.

Prior to these recent announcements, there were few cooking-related entertainment options available on Indian TV. The crop of new channels and presence of high-profile Bollywood actors indicate a growing Indian interest in the culinary arts and in international and non-traditional foods and cuisines.