Off to Singapore!

Just as I’m about to board the flight to Singapore, I thought I’ll just log onto the world wide web and give the readers an insight of what’s about to come! So, here I am, in the Heathrow Airport blogging about my trip and other events. Will be reaching Singapore tomorrow, to be with family for three days, before I return back to India. Family time is always great and relaxing amidst the hectic schedules!
Besides this, while I’m away, there’s going to be some fun and masti in office tomorrow, with a total alive and kicking Box Cricket session. We definitely believe in mixing work with pleasure which gives the motivation to excel in whatever we do! More on the FoodFood Maha Challenge front, I’m looking forward to the road show with the food fanatics of Kolkata, which is scheduled at the Forum Mall at Elgin Road on June 6, 2011. Will be cooking up Fresh Dough Pizza, Prawn Balchao Golgappa and Mango Stewed Srikhand for the crowd there…
Then, there’s something to read on and watch from some of the events that have been happening in London during my stay over here….Check out the links:
And amongst all this, the heat is just scorching day by day. So, check out some of these foodstuffs and chill yourself in this hot summer.

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

In London: My schedule of events

Flew down here last night after a short, two-day stopover with family in Singapore. Alyona and kids are enjoying in Singapore. I will spend this week in UK and Bath for the promotion of How to Cook Indian and then join them.
First things first.
May 23 – This morning meeting in Abrams & Chronicle Books office to streamline the whole week’s events. Then a late afternoon interview with Food Writers Guild. Rest of the day, probably catch up with my favourite places in London!
May 24 – BBC Radio 4 Stations interview followed by a live telephonic interview for Talk Radio Europe, Spain. Then a late afternoon train ride to Bath where I have a cooking demo in Topping & Co. bookshop from 7.45 pm to 9 pm.
Be back in London on Wednesday – May 25 – afternoon and meet up with sales and marketing team in London.
May 26 – Thursday is packed. First, meeting with ‘Saturday Kitchen’ TV Show followed with a demo at the Selfridges Food Hall, Oxford Street. In this Selfridges Ocean Campaign, all the chefs are going to use only fish (approved by the Marine Conservation Society) and this event too has been created by Abrams and Chronicle Books. I have 40 minutes scheduled (1.50 pm to 2.30 pm) to demonstrate Mackerel Curry.
May 27 – Radio interview with BBC Asian Network and later an interview with Foodepedia.co.uk.
May 29 – Sunday. Event is at Hampton Court Foodies Festival in Surrey and my demo recipe is Kerala Fish Moilee.
Fish, to think of it, is being chosen for the demos because it is quick to cook and healthy. How about some recipes for you then?
Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Top 5 Indian no oil recipes

No oil cooking is beneficial to health in the long run. By no means should all the meals in a day be oil free but some dishes, in some meals, on some days should be oil free. The art of cooking in minimal oil is to be mastered. So how about some food that has all the traces of visible oil removed? Yes it is possible and the sumptuous results are visible in Sanjeev Kapoor’s No Oil Cooking.
All Indian food can be cooked minus oil. If you follow the recipes you will see that whether it is Garlic Flavoured Rasam or Sandwich Dhokla, whether it is Chicken Stew or Methi Murgh, it is a dish worth trying out. Different rice dishes have been worked upon as also desserts which are cooked without any ghee or oil.
Zero oil cooking is getting popular in India now because people are intelligent and they know the problem is stress and they will look toward solutions! Everyone wants to be healthy and live a good long life. And the solution lies in healthy eating with wholesome, low calorie and low cholesterol foods. Indians are very conscious now what with obesity and diabetes attaining epidemic proportions. No oil cooking is hence catching on.
Zero oil cooking, as one may prefer to call it, is cooking without visible fat. All foods contain some percentage of fat. Be it wheat, pulses, vegetables, fruits, skimmed milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, cloves, cinnamon, sesame seeds or mustard seeds. When we eat a healthy balanced diet, in a variety of menus, all invisible fat included in this way is just perfect for a healthy diet. The recipes in No Oil Cooking do not present food that is totally free of lipid content.
There is a down side of going completely fat free. Fat is a concentrated source of energy and is essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. It helps in growth and development. Also it acts as lubricant for our bone joints. A totally fat-free diet deprives the body of Essential Fatty Acids and it could lead to growth retardation, skin lesions and liver degeneration.
It is better to follow a diet that is low in fat but healthy in essential proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. No Oil Cooking can help you maintain optimum health. If you have binged one day, the following day or two try making use of the recipes in the book.
Try the Matar Paneer, Khumb Hara Pyaaz, Dhania Pudina Parantha for a complete meal.

A fun weekend with food and movies! Next week UK tour begins

Another Monday with a FoodFood meeting in office! The channel is really keeping me busy with various activities, I must say. And before I leave for my trip to UK to promote the new book How to Cook Indian I have to complete important things, both related to the channel and others. The office renovations are also still going on – I would not say that at a snail’s pace, but there’s definitely a scope to pace up!
As for the weekend, it was quite a relaxing one! Worked through a greater part of the Saturday in office, and then a sumptuous lunch at Goa Portuguese Restaurant with Alyona. Evening time was movie time at home – trust me it was really great watching a good movie after a long long time! Then again, it was a lazy Sunday at home. Made dosas for breakfast and a chicken with vegetables pulao for dinner. And in between slipped in yet another movie!
Hoping that Alyona and kids can join me for some time in UK as the kids are on vacation. As the event calendar for the book promotion is finalized I will be updating you with all the events planned in London and Bath. I will be in UK for a week beginning next Monday.
As for this week, how about relishing mangoes in different avatars?
Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Top 5 Indian recipes – dals rock and rule!

One very important part played in Indian diets is by the dried version of peas and beans called pulses. Pulses as well as lentils, legumes, beans and peas have been part of daily diet for times immemorial. The traditional Indian diet is healthy and nutritious and revolves around dal, bhaat (rice), sabzi (vegetables) and chapati. Moong ki Dal and Kali Dal are popular fare in homes in North India.

Pulses, as we all know, are the edible seeds of the legume family. Pulses include peas, beans and lentils. Some, as green French beans, papdi, green peas and broad beans are eaten fresh. Others, like moong, urad, chana and masoor are eaten dried or sprouted. Regardless of their place of origin, most of the pulses are available world-wide and have become widely naturalized outside their native regions. But greens combined with dal are also healthy preparations. Something like Methiwali Dal.

Beans are dried as quickly as possible after picking to preserve their flavour and texture. There used to be a time when most of the pulses were sundried, but now in the present days of automation, most of it is artificially dried. Most pulses are widely available and the lesser known can usually be found in specialized stores in wholesale grain market. Pulses keep well and are easily reconstituted but should be stored in a cool and dry place. The normal shelf life of dried beans and pulses is six to nine months, then they begin to harden and shrivel.

All types of beans and lentils are high in protein and 30 per cent more is released if they are eaten with a cereal. That is why, in India, dal is eaten mostly with rice or roti. Most pulses need soaking and cooking, the exact time depends on the particular type and quality of the bean. Beans and lentils should be picked over before washing and soaking to remove any stones or pieces of grit.

In the Indian kitchen, dal is ubiquitous. Egyptian lentils called masoor, black eyed peas called lobia and mung beans called moong are worth mentioning. Dishes like Sambhar and Rasam use split pigeon peas, Dhansak uses meat and lentils. Dosas also have rice and lentils like black gram or urad. Up north, urad is a favourite as is rajma and chana.

Top 5 Indian Veg dishes – all about making vegetarian cooking fun!

When it comes to roots and tubers, the mind instantly goes to the potato! But on the whole, when roots and tubers are discussed, their role is seemingly similar to the greens in providing roughage to the diet. But one thing is surely different in this category: the most tolerated of all vegetables – the afore mentioned humble potato. It is starchy and unhealthy only if you fry it! So let’s veer away from chips and fries and look at some home recipes like Jeera Aloo, Aloo Matar, etc. All in all, potatoes in most homes are a necessary evil!

One undermined tuber is the carrot. They are exceptional for they have large amounts of vitamin A in the form of carotene. The star player in many a mixed salad, carrots should certainly not be given impartial treatment. Being rich in sugar content, carrots joins hands with beetroot and onions on this account. The tart flavour of radish and turnip sees their name in the list of selectives. But when it comes to cooked food, recipes like Palak aur Gajar Pulao is a perfect choice.

If there is one vegetable that invites feelings of extreme, that is peas! Either you love them or you don’t! These can be compared with the greens only as far as the content of vitamins and minerals salts is concerned. What broad beans and peas have in more quantities than most of the other vegetables is sugar and second class protein. There is a lot what one can do with peas – make Khoya Matar, Matar Mushroom

Next we will look at dals and how they make Indian food so healthy.

Secrets soon to be revealed!

From L-R: Chef Jaaie, Chef Aesha, Chef Sheetal, Chef Rohit, Chef Dilpreet, Chef Saurabh Saxena, Chef Anupa Das, Chef Kiranpreet
FoodFood Maha Challenge event at Goregaon yesterday was great fun! Did things a little differently this time and instead of cooking myself I invited the guests on stage and gave them a chance to cook for us! It was worth – the look of pure joy and pleasure that they wore while cooking in front of such a large audience. We got some excellent egg lachcha and pizzas on stage as a result! Massive turnout and I also used this opportunity to introduce all the chefs on my FoodFood team to the Mumbai crowd: Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi who does Turban Tadka, Chef Anupa Das of Sirf 30 and Chef Rakesh Sethi of Chai Nashta.
Okay, I have announced ‘secrets soon to be revealed’. The best of the best of my restaurant recipes are being worked upon under the able guidance of Chef Saurabh Saxena who has been on my The Yellow Chilli team for some time now. He has been instrumental in opening many restaurants with his expertise. As you can see in the pic, the team is excited about the new experience, their uniforms and of course, the whole atmosphere where they are learning with every chop, crackle and hiss! The recipes are being reworked with the view that a cook at home can replicate the restaurant recipe with ease at home: all flavours are authentic and all the secrets will be revealed to you. In fact, this is one book that will be a must on every book shelf.
For sharing some flavours try…
Have fun!
Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor