Chicago rocker Anand Bhatt fuses Indian and Latin music and food

Chicago-based Rock Guitarist Anand Bhatt. Photo: courtesy Anand Bhatt

Have you ever tried fruit stuffed crepes for breakfast? If you want Indian touches to that, perhaps you could try ‘Chocolate Dosa’. If you are worried about the calories in heavy-to-digest pizza, you could perhaps try cheese vegetable utappam.

Rock Guitarist Anand Bhatt’s fusion recipes book ‘Rock Star Recipes’ was recently published on Amazon Kindle. Photo: courtesy Anand Bhatt

Fusion seems to be a natural habit for Indians who always want some Indian taste in any food item from any other cuisine. For those who are still struggling to Americanize or Indianize a favorite dish, expert help comes from musician Anand Bhatt.

Bhatt, who hosts ‘Rock Star Recipes’ show on Amazon Prime, has recently published his book ‘Rock Star Recipes’ featuring Latin Indian fusion recipes on Amazon Kindle. ‘Rock Star Recipes’ is perhaps the first book to present fusion of Indian and Latin foods, and includes interesting recipes, such as Pani Puri Nachos, Aloo Mofongo, Vindaloo PorkTacos, Churro Gulab Jamun, Tres Leches Ras Malai, Butter Chicken Enchiladas, Samosa Quesadillas, and more.

Rock Guitarist Anand Bhatt on stage before a music performance. Photo: courtesy Anand Bhatt

The first Indian to walk the Latin Grammy’s red carpet, Bhatt is a Chicagoan. Bhatt’s family includes a mechanical engineer father, a school teacher mother, and an older sibling. Bhatt was attracted to music from childhood, having created and performed an original song which later aired on the Chicago Radio. During his years at the University of Illinois, Chicago, while doing his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Bhatt met with like-minded friends and formed his own heavy rock group, Anand Clique, with which he has also performed solo. Bhatt’s first Grammy nomination as a lead guitarist was playing with the rock group ‘Faith No More’.

Chana Chaat Toastadas, a Latindian dish created by Rock Guitarist Anand Bhatt. Photo: courtesy Anand Bhatt

Bhatt’s involvement with food is a natural blend, according to him. “My music has been in ‘Latindian Style’ for a while, and it was only natural for this fusion to bleed into my cooking,” Bhatt told News India Times in an exclusive interview.

The cooking show ‘Rock Star Recipes’ on Amazon began as a book, Bhatt said. “When I wrote my original book, “Rock Star Recipes,” it was inspired by my experiences as a musician on the road,” he said. The book features entertaining anecdotes about Bhatt’s encounters with colleagues and heroes such as Motley Crue, as well as a wide range of recipes that he used, to stay healthy and keep his taste buds happy while travelling, Bhatt said.

‘Rock Star Recipes’ became a hit and later became a TV show on Amazon in the U.S. and the U.K. Born out of the necessity to find entertainment and creativity during the confinement of the pandemic, the show has a unique concept. Restaurant chefs would send ingredients and instructions for their signature dishes and Bhatt would create the dishes on camera. “My kitchen turned into a two camera studio for months!” Bhatt said.

‘Rock Star Recipes’ features fusion of Latin and Indian food, but Bhatt said he cannot remember when he first had Latin food. “It has always been a part of my life,” he said. Bhatt remembers going to Mexico on vacation as a child several times with his family. “I believe my first taste of Latin food was likely Mexican cuisine,” he said. He said Mexican cuisine has been a part of his life since then.

Experimenting in music or food is part of Bhatt’s creative mindset, he said, adding he often tries new things on the spur of the moment. Bhatt said he finds fusing cuisine creative. The desire to add Indian touches to Latino dishes or adding Latino touches to Indian dishes is ‘incredibly enjoyable’ with countless creative possibilities, he said. “I had a fantastic time creating dishes like Samosa Empanadas and Tres Leches Ras Malai for this most recent cookbook,” he said.

There is also a practical side to creating fusion dishes. Bhatt said he found it difficult to find food to his taste while on music tours. Indian spices and herbs are still not part of everyday cuisine in many parts of the country. Bhatt ended up making his own meals and bringing them along on his tours. Like his music, his food also has taken on the Latindian style, he said.

Bhatt spoke of an opportunity to learn about Latin cuisine in  Jalisco where he found the best authentic Mexican food, especially at the street side restaurants or dhabas and birria. Bhatt said he then began incorporating other Latin flavors in his cooking, having traveled and lived in Nicaragua, The Dominican Republic and Colombia.

Anand Bhatt’s new book ‘Rock Star Recipes’ is available at


Bhatt shared the recipe of Samosa Empanadas from his book. He said it is one of his favorite recipe. “They are fun to make, and folding the little empanadas into samosa shapes is just challenging enough to make it interesting,” he said.

Musician Anand Bhatt’s Latindian fusion dish Samosa Empanada. Photo: courtesy Anand Bhatt

The crispy and delicious samosa empanadas are a fusion of the spicy and savory Indian and Latin flavors, combining the traditional flavors of Indian samosas with the Latin American pastry.



For the Filling:
2 potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 cup green peas, boiled
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, grated
2 green chilies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil

For the Empanada Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water

• To prepare the filling, heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for a few seconds.
• Add ginger, garlic and green chilies and sauté for a minute.
• Add onions and cook until they turn translucent.
• Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and red chili powder. Sauté for 30 seconds.
• Add mashed potatoes and boiled peas. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
• Add salt and lemon juice. Mix well and let it cool.

  • To prepare the empanada dough, in a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
    • Add shortening and butter and mix well using your fingers until it resembles coarse sand.
    • Add cold water and mix until it forms a smooth dough.
    • Knead the dough for a few minutes and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
    • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
    • Divide the dough into small portions and roll each portion into a small circle.
    • Place a tablespoon of the filling in the center of the circle.
    • Fold the circle in half and seal the edges using a fork.
    • Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling.
    • Place the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    • Brush the empanadas with beaten egg for a golden color.
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown.
    • Serve the hot samosa empanadas with your favorite dipping sauce.

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In his return to Fox News, Trump labels the Manhattan DA’s probe a ‘new way of cheating in elections’

Former President Donald Trump returned to Fox News on Monday night and aired a host of grievances about investigations he’s facing, mail-in voting and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in his first interview with the network since legal filings showed network leaders privately condemning him.

There was no hint of the acrimony detailed in those communications, made public as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network. Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, spoke for nearly an hour with prime-time host Sean Hannity, long one of his most outspoken Fox News backers.

Trump found a welcome environment for his attempt to tie a potential indictment he faces in New York City to the 2020 election-rigging myth that led to his supporters’ attack on the Capitol, defend rioters who were arrested in its aftermath and say he and DeSantis — his chief rival for the GOP presidential nomination — were never friends.

“It’s a new way of cheating in elections,” Trump said when asked about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s hush money probe. “It’s called election interference.”

On March 18, Trump predicted he would be arrested in three days, which turned out to be wrong. But he has shared more heated rhetoric about a potential indictment in recent days, including warning of “potential death and destruction” should he be indicted.

Trump said Monday he was not calling for violence and added that his Truth Social post of an article featuring a split photo of him holding a baseball bat opposite Bragg was done unknowingly.

“We didn’t see pictures. We put up a story that was very exculpatory, very good story from the standpoint of what we’re talking about,” he said.

He expressed relatively little emotion when he was asked about how he was handling the chance of arrest, later shifting in his answer to a riff involving the supposed emptying of South American prisons and “mental institutions.”

“Well, I deal with it,” he said of a possible indictment. “We’re dealing with very dishonest people. We’re dealing with thugs. We’re dealing with people I actually believe that hate our country.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Trump promoted the “Justice for All” song, which features a choir of men incarcerated for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol singing the national anthem, interposed with Trump reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Trump began his rally Saturday in Waco, Texas, by playing a video version of the recording, which also featured images of the insurrection.

“The J6 is beating Taylor Swift,” Trump said, pointing to the song’s success on a variety of music charts. “It’s Donald Trump and the J-Sixers on iTunes and on Amazon and on Billboard, which is the big deal. No. 1, Donald Trump.

“That’s a tribute to the fact that people feel the J6 people have been very unfairly treated,” he added.

Reflecting on some of his personnel decisions during his presidency, Trump said he “may have made a mistake” in choosing FBI Director Christopher Wray and added he “didn’t like” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

But Trump’s saved his harshest criticism for DeSantis.

“Not friends,” Trump said of their relationship before DeSantis became a presidential prospect. “I didn’t know him well.”

Trump described DeSantis as a “desperate” politician who, he claimed, came to him with “tears in his eyes” asking for an endorsement in a 2018 primary race for governor against Adam Putnum, then the Florida agriculture commissioner.

As Trump sees it, DeSantis owes him for his good fortune and shouldn’t run against him in 2024.

“I helped a lot of people get elected,” he said, adding: “But some I got in. Ron, I got in. He was losing. There was no way. It was over. He was dead. He was going to drop out. He was gone.”

A DeSantis spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. DeSantis’ polls far and away as the second-most-favored contender in the GOP’s 2024 field, but amid intense attacks by Trump, some donors and allies have questioned whether he is ready for what would be a bruising primary fight. Trump has increasingly focused on DeSantis since he wrongly predicted his arrest date.

The interview was the first Trump has conducted with a prime-time Fox News anchor since September.

After the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said in emails that the network wanted “to make Trump a nonperson” and was “pivoting as fast as possible,” recent legal filings as part of Dominion’s lawsuit revealed.

But Trump’s team has felt Fox’s coverage of him this year is an improvement over its coverage in 2016, the last time he faced a seriously contested primary.

“They were openly hostile to him in 2016,” an adviser said this month. “They’re not as openly hostile” now.

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Bieber reportedly considering retirement after selling entire music catalogue for $200 mn

Los Angeles, Mar 28 (IANS): Justin Bieber reportedly wants to quit the music industry as according to reports the Canadian pop star is currently considering a retirement after he sold his entire music catalogue for $200 million.

Radar Online reported on Monday, March 27 that the “Sorry” crooner, who revealed last year that he had been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which had partially paralysed his face, wants to focus on his health and his marriage to Hailey Bieber (Hailey Baldwin). “

“Justin hasn’t felt right with the world for some time, and his stardom weighs heavily on him,” an alleged friend revealed to the outlet, reports

The insider went on adding that Justin even spoke about his struggles with professionals. “Even his therapist says if what he’s doing makes him unhappy, he should make the hard decision to set it aside,” the pal explained.

A separate source told the news site, “Justin feels the pressure of the music biz isn’t good for him.” It’s also said that the “Justice” star “just wants to disappear with Hailey and enjoy his money.”

Justin appeared to want to work on his marriage with his potential retirement, with sources claiming that their union is riddled with trust issues. Justin tied the knot with Hailey in 2018 when they were around 24 years old and 21 years old, respectively, but their friendship-turned-romance hasn’t been easy.

“They got married very young and didn’t know what they were getting into, and it’s been up and down ever since,” said another insider earlier this month, “The stressors in their marriage are more than just the fandom surrounding [Justin]’s ex-girlfriend, Selena Gomez.”

The informant went on detailing, “It put more pressure on the relationship. Justin tends to take things out on Hailey. It makes her want to give up.. she doesn’t understand why marriage has to be this hard.”



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Another teacher under investigation at Douglas Anderson

A second teacher “was removed from the classroom and assigned non-teaching duties” and later reassigned to duties off-campus.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A second teacher has been removed from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts for alleged misconduct.

This comes after the arrest last week of longtime Duval County Public Schools music teacher Jeffrey Clayton, who is accused of lewd behavior with a student.

Per DCPS, the second teacher “was removed from the classroom and assigned non-teaching duties on or about March 1. He was reassigned to duties off-campus on March 9. This investigation remains open.”

Chris Moser is familiar with cases like Jeffrey Clayton. Having litigated one in St. Johns County. She said teachers are mandatory reporters and have a responsibility to respond when they hear teacher conduct complaints.

You have a duty to report it to DCF,” Moser said. “DCF comes and they do their own independent investigation, and if it seems as if a crime has been committed, they work hand-in-hand with law enforcement.”

Years ago, Moser represented Jo Ellen Parkey’s family when her child was the victim of grooming by a Murray Middle School teacher. That teacher resigned, and the principal was found negligent for ignoring Parkey’s complaints.

“My point is, and it becomes clear over and over and over again,” Parkey said, “that somebody needs to be worrying about other people’s children because it’s not the people in the building who are worrying about other people’s children.”

Moser said the situation is sad because there are so many great teachers at Douglas Anderson, but some failed to perform the duty they take on by not reporting complaints about Clayton.

“It is a profound breach of trust, not just Mr. Clayton’s actions,” Moser said. “But so many people who thought, ‘Well, if I tell my principal, I’ve done my job.’”

If you suspect your child or one that you know is a victim, you should call the DCF Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873.

Duval School officials told First Coast News they’ll be waiting to comment further until the investigations are complete.

A spokesperson for the district said: “We’ve heard many voices over the last few days, and that has led us to ask the questions that need to be asked. We are doing that now, and it is best for students, parents, school staff and the public for us to reserve specific comments until we have clear answers. The work to get to those answers is in progress.

Students, alumni, or others who might have information useful to the investigation are encouraged to email Dr. Tameiko Grant, head of the district’s professional standard’s office, at”

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Members Of Country Music Community Share Thoughts & Prayers Following Nashville School Shooting

On Monday, March 27, tragedy struck The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville, TN, when a 28-year-old Nashville resident entered through the side of the school and gunned down three adults and three children.

In the afternoon presser, the Metro Nashville Police confirmed that the shooter is Audrey Elizabeth Hale, who identifies as transgender. While the motive behind the shooter is still being investigated, it is believed that Hale was a former student at the school.

According to NBC News, Police revealed that the first calls regarding the shooter were made at 10:13 a.m. CT. Once on site, shots were heard coming from the second level of the school. Officials also shared that the gunman was armed with at least two assault-style rifles and a handgun

“The police department response was swift,” police spokesperson Don Aaron told reporters. “They heard shots coming from the second level. They immediately went to the gunfire. When the officers got to the second level, they saw a shooter, a female, who was firing. The officers engaged her. She was fatally shot by responding police officers.” 

“By 10:27 the shooter was deceased,” Aaron confirmed.

Nashville PD recently revealed the six victims fatally shot as: Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, Hallie Scruggs, 9, William Kinney, 9, Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.

After the devastating news began to circulate online, many country music artists took to social media to share their thoughts and prayers surrounding the events that took place in the Nashville community on Monday.

“We are praying with our Nashville community for everyone involved in today’s horrific shooting,” Brett Young wrote. 

“As a new resident of Nashville, I’m beyond saddened at the events of today. I pray for all the victims and families involved. Today, it feels as if Nashville lost its innocence,” Kristin Chenoweth also shared.

“I heard the sirens, & didn’t know until the calls started coming in,” Stephanie Quayle revealed. “My heart is in a million pieces for these families who lost their loved ones today in Nashville. 3 children, 3 adults & the female teenage shooter are deceased. So grateful to our first responders.”

Ruston Kelly shared his desperate desire to see change on Twitter as he said, “Nashville I can’t believe this yet it continues to happen. What’s it going to fucking take? Thinking of the families who suffered undue and avoidable grief and loss today is an important sentiment, but it is not enough. Something has to change is it not more obvious than ever?”

Cassadee Pope also shared the magnitude of her anger when she wrote, “I’m sick to my stomach. These were babies. To what extent will we continue to protect our “precious” guns? How is this still happening?”

This news has proven to be especially difficult for those who have children of their own, like Mickey Guyton, Jason Crabb, Sheryl Crow, Maren Morris and her husband, Ryan Hurd, and so many more.

“I try to stay off here for my mental health but for the love of God! As a mother, I’m pissed the fuck off,” Guyton wrote. “Shame on every single politician ok with doing nothing as CHILDREN are getting assassinated on an everyday basis in a place that is supposed to be their safe haven.”

Crabb said, “As a father, I can’t imagine the pain of those affected today. We send our kids to school thinking that everything is going to be ok, never expecting something like this. Father God, we need you. Please pray for all those affected by this horrendous tragedy at Covenant School.”

“No words… The Covenant School. Our children deserve better. Praying for all affected. Tragic America,” Crow added on Twitter.

With their son, Hayes, in mind, Morris shared Hurd’s post as it held an incredible amount of grief and disappointment.

He wrote, “I don’t even know what to say. I have been in tears all day. This is our back yard. I don’t know if I know these people but I know they are at the very least friends of friends without even knowing their names. For 6 families, ‘Could have been worse’ is just not true. We are heartbroken. I just want to hug these families. Cry with them. I pray and mourn with them. I am just so sad. I feel helpless. I hold them up in love and also rage. There are kids who will never come home and I cannot handle that. Beautiful, sweet babies who are learning cursive and playing soccer on the weekends. I am so sorry and so sad. I don’t know how to wrap this up because there is no wrapping it up. Love to each and every one of you. May you know what it means to be loved and to be safe. I love you.”

Jessie James Decker, mom of three young kids, felt especially shaken up from what unfolded at the school, seeing as it took place only two miles from her Tennessee home. She took to her Instagram stories to share a tearful response with her followers.

“A lot of you are messaging and it’s not my kid’s school, but it’s only two miles up the road. It’s in our town, it’s in our community, and it’s just awful. I’m just heartbroken for these families,” she said. “Please pray so hard for these families and this community. This just should not be happening. I went and picked the kids up immediately and they’re home safe…what is happening in the world?”

“God Bless all the parents of children at The Covenant School. Horrific and sickening,” shared Randy Houser.

“I am so saddened to learn of the senseless and tragic school shooting in Nashville today. My heart and my prayers go out to all those suffering,” said Ty Herndon.

Breland shared, “Seeing news of this school shooting in Nashville…I’m heartbroken. No family should have to deal with this. How can we ensure these atrocities don’t happen?? 💔”

“Pray for Nashville. A shooting at a school has occurred. Three children dead. Praying for these babies & their families. Absolutely devastating 💔,” said Carly Pearce.

“May the Lord bless these heroes and may he provide comfort and strength to those affected and those tragically lost. It’s time to come together Nashville,” the duo Southerland said in response to the actions by the Metro Nashville PD officers.

“My heart is broken and prayers for all involved in todays horrible school shooting in Nashville,” said Chris Janson.

Priscilla Block said, “I have no words right now. My prayers are with my Nashville community and everything family affected by today’s tragedy. Something HAS to change. Schools should be a safe place for our teachers and children. This world is getting scary. Hug your people a little tighter and a little longer. Gosh, my heart hearts.

Priscilla Block - Instagram Stories
Priscilla Block – Instagram Stories

“Praying for the families impacted by the shooting in our own damn backyard today,” wrote Ashley Cooke.

“💔 Thankful to the police who acted quickly and stopped the shooter, but I would love a similarly swift response from legislators on gun control..but we’ve been here before,” Maggie Rose shared alongside a video response, which also noted the efforts of the recent new legislation signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee regarding the banning of drag performances.

She added, “To ALL the children in TN and America, you are loved and I’m sorry we keep failing you.”

The Covenant School on Burton Hills Boulevard provides education for students in preschool through sixth grade. These students were bussed to a safe location, just two miles away, where they were reunited with their parents.

The Tennessean reported that this most recent mass shooting “is believed to be the fifth in the Nashville area since 2011, and first since 2018.”

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Get ready for a new Kelsea Ballerini music video


Kelsea Ballerini is set to drop the music video for her single “IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)” on Tuesday, March 28.

The country-pop star shared the news on social media on Sunday, March 26. “hot girl summer? no, hot girl homicide begins tuesday at 10pm,” Kelsea wrote on Instagram. 

This announcement was accompanied by a cinematic movie poster hinting at the potential drama that ensues.

“IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)” is featured on Kelsea’s latest album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, which arrived last year. The 15-track record includes its lead single, “HEARTFIRST,” and the Kelly Clarkson– and Carly Pearce-assisted collaboration, “YOU’RE DRUNK, GO HOME.”

Earlier in February, Kelsea dropped her surprise six-song EP, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat

“IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)” is currently approaching top 40 on the country charts.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Treefort Music Fest impacts local economy

With more than 500 bands, many people spent not only their time in downtown Boise but also their money.

BOISE, Idaho — For five days in March, it’s hard to wander through downtown Boise without hearing some music — all thanks to Treefort Music Fest.

It’s a massive music festival that grows every year. This year, festival director Eric Gilbert said more than 500 artists performed at 60 different stages scattered throughout the city. All of those performances drew a lot of people and a lot of business.

“It’s a big influx of folks, and they’re eating at all the downtown restaurants, and all of our venues are downtown,” Gilbert said. “A lot of downtown Boise is benefitting during this week.”

Carrie Westgard, Visit Boise executive director, said they estimate Treefort brought in nearly $8 million in travel spending. That money goes toward various stores, attractions and restaurants.

Treefort also helps expand Boise’s appeal to out-of-towners. Gilbert said last year, more than 50% of music fest pass holders were not from Idaho.

“It’s such a great opportunity for us to show the outside world why we all love Boise and the opportunities that are here,” he said.

Gilbert said more and more local companies and Idahoans recognize just how much Treefort impacts the community. He believes a thriving arts community benefits many other industries.

“There’s a lot of people that are trying to attract people for their company to work here or hold them here,” he said, “and if we have a strong cultural scene, that really helps them retain their talent because really strong talent wants to also live in a place that they’re excited to be.”

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean agrees. She said the festival has lasting economic impacts on the community since many Boise business owners look forward to Treefort each year. The more people walking around, the greater chance for sales.

Of course, she said money isn’t everything.

“There’s both the dollars economic impact of the weekend over 10 years but impacts that goes so much deeper in terms of creating a community that welcomes everyone, that gives everybody an opportunity and then celebrates it one weekend a year,” McLean said. 

Gilbert said Treefort builds up Idaho’s musicians and helps put the Gem State on the map for up-and-coming artists. Treefort also just opened its year-round Treefort Music Hall, which bolsters the music scene.

“It has become a really strong anchor point for the creative economy here and for young people, artists and folks that want to make a living doing these kinds of things,” he said. 

See the latest news from around the Treasure Valley and the Gem State in our YouTube playlist:

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