Hansal Mehta reveals Sanjeev Kapoor’s signature dish ‘Shaam Savera’ on Khana Khazana and changed their lives

Hansal Mehta is a prestigious director, writer, actor and producer, who has been in the entertainment industry for a long time. The director recently recalled his first work as a filmmaker, for the show Khana Khazana, which became the basis of his successful career. In an interview with Mashable, he also talked about how celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor became the face of the show and a household name.

Sanjeev rose to stardom and was the biggest name in the Indian cooking show industry in the 1990s and 2000s. However, not everyone was convinced he could make it work. Hansal said of his first job as a filmmaker: “ZeeTV had just started, so I went there. I wrote a proposal, a flowchart in fact, on what the show will be. I thought I was so cool. Within three weeks, Zee TV gave me a check saying “yes, you do the show”. The start was phenomenal. You almost feel like ‘F*ck, you have arrived.’ I have a show based on food!The two things together.

He shared that he would go to the hotel, looking for chefs who would look presentable. He said it was at Centaur, now Tulip Star Banquet Hall. He asked the manager. The manager introduced his four chefs as if it was Hansal’s swayamvar to choose the one he likes. They all have coffee and another guy in a chef’s coat comes up, who tells them he should let her know if he needs anything, “my name is Sanjeev Kapoor”.

He said he went home and called Sanjeev to ask him to meet. They started filming but Sanjeev was “rejected” by ZeeTV, because they wanted a wife and housewives want someone reliable, a woman who cooks, not a man. Hansal said they struggled for 12 weeks the show didn’t take off with the chef-host. On the 12th episode, the channel gave up and told Hansal they were shutting down the show. For the later episodes, he was allowed to do whatever he wanted.

When the leader they had called refused to show up, Hansal called Sanjeev again. He further shared in the interview, “Sanjeev came over and asked me ‘what am I doing’? I showed him the paneer, spinach, chicken, onion, tomatoes and all that. He said he would think of something. And he came up with this dish called Shaam Savera. Hansal described the dish as dumplings of spinach and paneer in a butter sauce. He added that the dish became ‘iconic’, changing the lives of both of them.He said he received more than a lakh of letters from people praising the dish and ‘Sanjeev Bhaiyaa’.

Sanjeev was part of the show for 22 years. Later he opened his successful chain of restaurants and Hansal went on to make acclaimed films such as Aligarh, Shahid and more.

Read also- Hansal Mehta opens up on the criteria for judging the success of a program or a film