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Kashmiri techie Sandeep Pandit creates waves in ‘MasterChef Australia’

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Melbourne, June 8 : Sandeep Pandit left Kashmir with his family when he was all of 8. Now he is exploring the culinary heritage of his roots as a contestant on “MasterChef Australia”, leaving judges of the international reality TV show impressed.

A Kashmiri Pandit, Sandeep has been preparing Rogan Josh, Yakhni, Muji Chetin, Dhungar, Kahwa, Kabargah and Tehr, on the show judged by Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston.

According to Sandeep’s contestant profile on the show’s website, he was born in Kashmir in the early 1980s and spent eight years there with his family before militancy forced them south, leaving all their possessions and migrating to Bengaluru in 1990. It was here that Sandeep’s passion for cooking grew.

 

The family didn’t have a fridge, so his mother taught him how to cook ‘dal’ without having it stick to the hotplate, and how to boil food to prevent it spoiling.

It is these learnings that helped Sandeep, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration, develop a taste for cooking.

His presence on “MasterChef Australia” had even caught the attention of Jammu and Kashmir’s former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

“We have a Kashmir connection in this season of ‘Masterchef Australia’. Rooting for Sandeep Pandit. Already we’ve seen his Rogan Josh and he wowed the judges with his Kashmiri Yakhni. Can’t wait to see how far he goes,” Abdullah tweeted last month.

Sandeep had thanked him, and said: “I will try my best to make India proud.”

In the latest episode, Sandeep even got the perfect score.

His skills have been praised by social media users across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

One social media user tweeted: “Hey Sandeep. I’m from South India. I’m watching ‘MasterChef’ only because of you. You made us proud with that lemon rice and chicken.

“I love the way you are treating food, and I love the way you are working with Indian cuisine. You are doing great. All the best.”

Another person tweeted: “Hey Sandeep! We Indians are so proud to see you on ‘Masterchef’. Your dishes speak to us”, and another commented: “Make India proud”.

It was in 2016 that Sandeep had made the move to Australia for work.

His dream is to open a food stall selling Indian BBQ meat cooked over coals and biryani dishes. And through his blog, he also hopes to preserve the ancient recipes from his Kashmiri culture and showcase other cultures.


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Eight civilians injured in Pulwama grenade blast

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Srinagar, June 18 : Eight civilians were injured after suspected militants lobbed a grenade towards police station Pulwama in south Kashmir on Tuesday.

A police officer told GNS that the suspected militants hurled a grenade towards police station Pulwama which exploded on the roadside.

In the explosion, eight pedestrians were injured and were immediately evacuated to a nearby hospital for treatment. Among the injured, four seriously wounded were referred to Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment.

 

Following the blast, the government forces launched a hunt to nab the attackers.

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Two dead, 8 others injured as boat capsizes in River Lidder

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Srinagar, June 18 : An employee of the tourism department and a participant of championship named after brave heart, Rouf Ahmad Dar were killed and eight others were injured after a boat capsized in a river Lidder at Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday evening.

Reports reaching GNS said that the boat carrying the employee namely Rinku Raja and the female participant namely Sanjna from Jammu along with eight others, capsized in fast-flowing Lidder near Pahalgam.

Soon after the incident, a joint team of SDRF, police and local volunteers managed to rescue all of them and have been shifted to a nearby hospital where doctors declared Rinku and Sanjna as brought dead.

 

BMO Sallar Dr Shakeel Ahmad confirmed to GNS that both the persons were brought dead while eight others are injured. While five have been admitted one seriously injured person was referred to Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment.

Talking to GNS, Commissioner Secretary Tourism, Rigzin Samphel said that boat capsized in river Lidder and injured were shifted to hospital. He said that a three-day championship in honour of brave heart Rouf Ahmad Dar has been organized by the department and it started yesterday.

He said that after the conclusion of today’s rafting, the employee and the participant left for rafting during which the incident took place.

On May 31, last month, Rouf Dar saved five tourists, two of them foreigners, after their boat capsized in fast flowing river Lidder near Mawoora area of Pahalgam.

Unfortunately, Dar lost his life in an act of bravery which is being hailed by people and the administration

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‘The Real Kashmir’ film gets shortlisted in PR Lions at Cannes Lions 2019

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Indian agencies received 23 shortlists on day two of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Dentsu Webchutney received the majority of them with 10 shortlists.

Creative Data Lions 

 

 Mindshare got both of India’s shortlists in this category for ‘The Infection Alert System’ for Lifebuoy.  Creative effectiveness  

Creative Strategy Lions  

Lowe Lintas’ ‘#HelpAChildReach5’ for Lifebuoy made the cut in this category.    

Publicis Singapore’s ‘Touch of care India’ for P&G also received two shortlists in this category.   

Direct Lions   

Dentsu Webchutney’s ‘Voice of Hunger’ for Swiggy earned four shortlists in the ‘Direct’ category.  Leo Burnett ‘#StopMithani’ for HDFC Bank is also in the running for a metal.

Media Lions   

Grey India’s ‘Breast Buffer’ for ALTBalaji and Mindshare’s ‘The Infection alert system’ earned two shortlists each.    Dentsu Webchutney’s ‘Hagglebot’ for Flipkart also earned a shortlist.  

 PR Lions   

Six Indian entries made the cut in this category.   Cheil has two of them – ‘Bixby Voice Forever’ (Samsung) and ‘The Real Kashmir’ (Adidas).   

Dentsu Webchutney has a nomination in this category too. This shortlist comes for ‘URI: The Surgical Strike’.   Leo Burnett (#StopMithani – HDFC Bank), Lowe Lintas (Stories from the station – Google) and Ogilvy (The Shower – HUL) are also in the running.  

 Social and Influencer Lions

   Dentsu Webchutney’s ‘Voice of Hunger’ for Swiggy has four shortlists in this category too.  

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