Zee TV Little Champs; New Book – Flavours of the Orient

After a long time I can say that I had a nice eased out weekend. Friday night I attended the Zee TV Little Champs Finale at Andheri Sports Complex. If I were to write about the traffic jams, I could fill up this space! But no complaints, because the programme and talented kids were worth all the effort.

Tried a flavourful mushroom and chicken biryani on Sunday and as it was created as I chopped and cleaned, I have yet to document the recipe! Talking of documentation, my latest book Flavours of the Orient is ready for its launch in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Going to these places end of this month.

My new book is all about Pan-Asian cuisine being a delicious fusion of flavours from all over Asia including Thai, Japanese, Malaysian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian dishes. It is not for nothing that these countries are collectively nicknamed the Exotic East. All spices and indigenous ingredients come together in woks and pans to create unique dishes that have no match in any other cuisine. Here I would like to mention that I have not included Indian dishes under the pan Asian realm. Though it is correct to say that India is to be counted as a part of pan-Asian but the contents of these pages emphasise on countries that are our neighbours as I have written numerous special books on Indian cuisine.

Well, there is more in store for you! Catch you later.

Sanjeev Kapoor

Post Diwali Happenings

This morning came on bright and shining but with the dark cloud of four kilos weight gain! So it was 90 minutes of brisk walking at Juhu beach for me. I think Diwali has taken its toll.

As I am writing this, it suddenly hit me that this has been a week of shoots with Zee! Not my own cookery show but other programmes like a Quiz programme Dadagiri with its host Saurav Ganguly for Zee Bangla. Good fun! And yesterday, for the game show Ghar Ghar Mein telecast on Zee TV. Watch it on November 9 at 7 pm.

What did we do? Well, best left as suspense but it was a lot of fun packed into three four hours. Our daughters and friends had joined in and we had a good time with lots of laughter. Rejuvenating!

My trial kitchen is abuzz with lots of activity as we are compiling the recipes that my mother makes! Alyona is busy with them as she has learnt mom’s style of cooking too. I sure am looking forward to the first printed issue that I will hand over to my mother. I think she is going to love it! The book is not a surprise for her as we had to cajole all the recipes and secrets from her.

Till I get back to the keyboard, Happy Cooking!

Sanjeev Kapoor

Diwali Weekend

Back from a totally friends-n-food oriented weekend! Diwali evening was quietly spent at home with family but on Sunday, did what I enjoy the most…cooking, to my heart’s content! First went shopping for some good rawas and mutton as I had long promised my good friend Roopkumar (Rathod) that I would make him a good mutton biryani and he was our special guest for dinner with Sonali and some other friends on Sunday night.

So, we started off with Prawn Golgappe with Solkadi, Paneer Shaslik, Chicken Shaslik for starters and then the main course of rawas fish curry, chicken curry and of course, the mutton biryani! For those who wanted vegetarian I made soya nugget biryani and Alyona said it was the best I have ever made!! Then as we had two exalted singers amongst us, a little cajoling and the singing started. We brought down our harmonium and then Roop and Sonali are very sporting…sang well into the night, fulfilling everyone’s request.

And yes, I even made a huge vegetable lasagne for the Bhai Dooj lunch at home yesterday.

With all this, travel beckons again..this time to Kolkata.

More later.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Happy Diwali

First and foremost, a very Happy Diwali to you all! 

May the coming year be full of days of Happy Cooking, Eating Right and Prosperity!

Doha was an excellent learning experience in Qatari cuisine. Raring to go out and create some new dishes for my Khazana restaurant there. Did I tell you? Alyona finally could join me there for a day!

October 16 was World Food Day and I was in Delhi to address the Food Safety Run & Walkathon Programme organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry. It was a cheery show with Ma’am Sheila Dikshit, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Govt. of NCT of Delhi inaugurating the oath taking ceremony on “Food Safety & Quality for All” and later on, flagging off the Walkathon. This event was a part of the World Food Day Celebrations as India prepares for Commonwealth Games 2010.

What is food safety and quality all about? It is a practice that one and all must follow beginning from the home kitchen. Be it food processing and serving establishments, schools, colleges….all should strive to position India as a safe food destination in our preparation for the Commonwealth Games 2010. It is as simple as washing our hands before we start cooking, after we finish cooking, washing our vegetables and cutting boards well, and also taking our meals with clean hands. Also ensure that we use clean water for cooking.

Safety is also a primarily important when we celebrate Diwali with firecrackers. Take good care, especially of over enthusiastic kids, who in their excitement sometimes do foolish things.

Have a great love-filled, food-filled and fun-filled festive week end!

Sanjeev Kapoor

In Qatar – Searching for fresh milk from Cow,

Time here has been actively and creatively used. I had written about the group of  German ladies who were keenly interested in the equipment that makes an Indian kitchen. By the way, they are fluent in English and I could explain to them very well how the  tandoor works. It was a sort of excursion in the kitchens of Khazana! The band, Arrows, played their ethnic Malayalam music for the diners at Khazana last night.

My day has also gone in some research for the chef brigade of Khazana: they wanted to know the A-Z of rasgulla making and hence the A of it  – that is fresh cow’s milk- had to be sourced in Doha. I have been moving around in the city with a view to discover the insides of Qatari cuisine. And I hope to use my creativity and dish up some new ideas for Qatari food.  Also been looking at sites for more restaurants.

Before I log off let me tell you how is the special fish available here. Called  hammour –  and this tender baby fish when cooked in the tandoor is simply melt in the mouth!

Ready to pack up and get back home to Mumbai!

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

From Doha, Elections in Mumbai

While I can gaze at the lovely view from my hotel window in Doha, Qatar. I can also get connected to you all via my blog! Yesterday was action packed with a live demonstration of a group of German ladies. They were absolutely and totally enthusiastic about Indian food, I say! Later, went on to inaugurate the first performance of a live band and as music is my passion, I had an enthralling evening and kept thinking if only Alyona could have made it too. We had initially planned it as a work-cum-holiday trip but it seems the plan is going kaput! Well, not giving up as she is still trying to get her visa and she tries daily as I am here only for the weekend. Even if she could make it for a day. Well, such are the realities of life and as is my nature I accept facts and move on without cribbing. Alyona, is not unhappy, though. She is quite happy to be at home as she could attend the girls’ sports meet and open house meet. And as Diwali is so close, she is more than happy to stay back and finish her shopping and other preparations. Actually, who needs holidays as Indian festivals (there are so many!) are holidays only!

Have to be back on or before Tuesday the 13th to exercise my fundamental right to vote and this is my sincere appeal to all Indians that they should vote wherever their elections are happening for Assembly or By-elections. This is the least that one can do in supporting democracy and be a part of governance.

And do not forget Friday 16th this month. It is World Food Day. Contemplating to be a part of the Marathon being held in Delhi by C I I to mark this day.

And my parallel thought process goes on – which particular sweet or savoury – is going to come out of my armoury this Diwali? Keep your fingers crossed!

Catch you later.

Sanjeev Kapoor

Havan @ Wedding Ann; to Doha

After a long time we had a havan at home yesterday. Alyona and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in a quiet traditional way with the whole family spending the day with us. It was nice and memorable. Today am going to be busy after a short while shooting for Times Now Foodie with Kunal Vijaykar. I am going to be cooking up some Diwali specials along side some strong references to my new book Tandoori Cooking @ Home.

For most of us tandoori has always been equated to restaurant food, isn’t that true? My new book with recipes like Bhutta Seekh Kabab and Kasoori Jhinga not only remove the need for a hot tandoor/ bhatti at home but also show, step by step, how to duplicate the exact restaurant style at home, using the electric oven and the everyday tawa! Some fiery peppercorns can spice up paneer tikka and all you need are some skewers and a hot grill. Keep some onion rings and Mint chutney ready. Similarly, the layered Amritsari Aloo Kulcha which would traditionally be cooked – patted and stuck to the inside of a mitti tandoor, can be easily done using the inner walls of a pressure cooker! What I have attempted to do is to open new vistas for the enthusiastic cook who had always held restaurant food in awe and always wondered if the same results can be possible in the home kitchen. Well, yes, they are! With the personalised touch of cooking with love and affection…

The latter half of this week will be in Doha, Qatar to promote my restaurant Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khazana. It is fast becoming a destination point for expats and locals alike. I am attending the Seafood festival and knowing the quality of the seafood in Doha I am sure it would be a visually appealing see food festival too!