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