Everyone loves to holiday!

Who would not want to go for a holiday? Family holidays are an intrinsic part of my life and we love it when the summer break comes and we take off for some exciting destination. I am attending the launch of the Kuoni Hoilday Report 2011 at Taj President this afternoon. It will be over only in the evening. But I could tell you that eating and drinking is an intrinsic part of any good holiday. Food in India is synonymous with luxury and leisure. This report will be sharing distinct and unique behaviour about Indians relating themselves to food during their holiday. Enjoying and experimenting with a variety of delicacies is the most noticed attitude of the Indian traveller.
I am sure food, leisure and luxury holidays are going to go places in India in the near future.
And as I get back from the holiday mode, I’ve to gear up for a shoot planned for tomorrow for an all new series of Sanjeev Kapoor’s Kitchen. FoodFood is really keeping all of us, including Alyona and me, on our toes!
Adding more to the FoodFood front is a new reality show titled ‘Maha Challenge’, the registrations for which will be held pan India. I will be travelling to Ahmedabad for the first registrations which are scheduled on March 2, 2011. The registrations will be conducted in the form of road shows, where the contestants will have to register themselves on the same day. The show will feature a challenge between girls and boys, where the teams will be lead by Ms. Madhuri Dixit Nene and me, respectively. All in all, there will be a lot of travelling happening in the coming months.
Looking forward to these fun-filled and adventurous, but hectic trips!
Till I write again.

Sanjeev Kapoor

My kitchen is busy!

My weekend was brief but had a lovely dinner with Alyona on Saturday night at the launch of good friend Jiggs Kalra’s Punjab Grill in my neighborhood.
Shooting for three days for Sanjeev Kapoor’s Kitchen food shows for my channel FoodFood….a break of one day and then we shoot for something we have brainstormed and put up: a new concept which will cater fun menus for different meals! As it is the most common question that one has in mind is ‘what should we cook today?’ but once it is decided then the actual cooking does not take time at all! So my new show will not only solve the issues of what to make but also guide you on How to make all the delicious foods!
As I am a little pressed for time, I will pen off now but not before sharing a few of favourites for this week : brinjals are in season, shiny and vibrant, cauliflower is at its best, snowy white and buttery, and also let’s celebrate the fact that onion prices are reasonably down!
Get the kadais and knives and let’s make your kitchen busy too!

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Healthy balanced diet – understanding the ‘fat’ factor

People are facing a lot of health problems these days and unfortunately one gets to hear of high cholesterol levels even in teenagers. This is a direct consequence of having too many processed foods that are so tempting for the new generation. Fruits or wholesome homemade food have taken a backseat. But the time has come now to tighten our belts and get back into shape. It would also be perfectly correct to say that high cholesterol levels are also a fall out of lack of exercise. When one can walk, one prefers to take transport, be it private or public. Most of the evening hours are spent sitting in front of the television and that too with the dinner plate in hand!

Low fat options

We should now incorporate healthy eating habits into our daily plan. We can substitute high fat foods with low fat food, which is made without the addition of visible oil or with very little of it. One can always question the pros and cons of an oil-free diet. The main thing is that we cannot do without oil. But we can certainly do with less oil in our food. And the sooner we adopt this mode of cooking the better for our health in the long run. One samosa adds 369 calories to your day’s intake, a small 105 grams pack of French fries add 320 calories. Instead, why not have two idlis which are just as filling but allow only 60 calories? Some more ideas: switch over from buffalo milk to cow’s milk – will save you up to 50 calories and 2.4 grams of fat per 100 grams. The yogurt you make will have less fat and so will the paneer.

All foods have fat

It is also necessary to understand that even if no visible oil has been used in the cooking process, all foods do contain some trace of oil/fat. Seeds like poppy seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, peppercorns, sesame seeds and turmeric powder do have some fat content. No food is ‘fat free’, it can only be labeled as ‘low fat’ and there are no great health hazards in having ‘low fat’ foods. Even a basic arhar/toovar dal preparation has a fat content that one can talk about – 100 grams has 1.5 grams as compared to 3.7 grams in a moong dal preparation. Dals are not eaten raw and once they are cooked they do have additions of seeds and spices.

Why do we need oil

Our bodily functions do need oil to operate at the optimum as they need to be lubricated well and for this all naturally present oils are good. All are aware that oil not only enhances the taste but also makes the cooked food look good. Yes, even some salads taste better with a dash of salad oil or olive oil. Oil is an integral part of most recipes because it removes the unpalatability of the dish, it adds the needed softness as also flavour and nutrients. We have seen that we do need fat for lubrication, the fat-soluble precious vitamins and for energy.

To sum up, it is recommended to follow a diet that is low in fat but healthy in essential proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. A good diet is primarily what we should be looking at. And also eating sensibly, exercising regularly will ensure a long and healthy life to all! For some ideas refer to Khumb Hara Pyaaz.