Plan ahead for your festival

Diwali sweet recipes need to be listed now as then you can swap them with your friends and decide what to make finally! Diwali means sweet with the savoury and as we did start off giving you some savoury suggestions how about some lists of sweet things to serve.
Use sugar or sugar substitute- mithai and desserts are the heart and soul of any Indian festival. Traditional sweets made with lots of fat and sugar are exciting to make at home especially if they are Diwali sweets. You could get hold of your mother’s diary or grandma’s diary and get going! When you cook at home, these Diwali sweets are not only of better quality than the commercial ones but are more hygienic and better accepted by your friends and dear ones as your personal touch is there in every gift.
So what should you start zeroing on? Prepare attractive gift boxes and fill them up with a variety of laddoos placed in colourful paper cupcake holders. You could make Choco Coconut Laddoos, Dry Fruit and Khajur Laddoos, Rawa Laddoo, Badami Besan ke Laddoo, and the good old Boondi Laddoo! Something like boondi laddoo might be a laborious procedure but when the glistening little balls finally come up before you will feel immensely proud that you could do this at home.
Another way to use up the sweet boondi is in this special Diwali sweet recipe of Boondi and Rabdi Stuffed Pancakes. Preheat oven to 180 ºC. Sift 1½ cups refined flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon soda bicarbonate into a bowl. Add ¾ cup buttermilk and whisk to make a smooth batter. Add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and mix. Heat a non-stick pan. Pour a ladleful of batter and spread it around. Cook till the underside is lightly browned. Flip and cook till the other side is cooked similarly. Transfer onto a plate and set aside. Cook other pancakes in the same way. Take boondi equivalent of 6 medium boondi laddoos ( or use up readymade laddoos!) in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon raisins and three to four tablespoons of rabdi and mix. Take a spring-form cake tin (loose-bottomed tin). Trim the pancakes to fit into the tin. Keep one pancake at the base of the tin. Spread some of the boondi stuffing over it. Cover with another pancake and spread some more of the stuffing. Keep another pancake and spread some more of the stuffing. Keep the tin in the preheated oven and bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and unmould. Cut into wedges and serve with rabdi.
Some more suggestions for Diwali sweets coming up soon!

Big month August!

With Madhuri Dixit at the Press Conference

Maha Challenge is just round the corner! There is super excitement all around, in my office and the channel office and we are definitely gearing up for a hectic few weeks ahead…
Yesterday addressed a press conference regarding the new show on FoodFood, Maha Challenge at Taj Land’s End in Bandra with Madhuri Dixit, where I presented the format of the show. More than hundred journalists from print, electronic and online media were there to cover it. It will have thirteen episodes, telecast beginning from September 1, 2011. Contestants from all over India have been chosen through auditions and roadshows held across many major cities in the country. I’m sure you all must’ve been following my past blogs where I’ve been writing a lot about this entire event. Coming back to the format of the show, two teams, each with eight individuals and their mentors will be competing every week. There will be a panel of judges as well as jury who’ll be deciding on the winners from the final competitions. The jury will consist of star chefs and celebrities from various fields.
Apart from this, the Press Conference had a fun filled session where there was a roti rolling competition between Madhuri and me. This became a photo opportunity for most of the journalists. All this was followed by high-tea and the event successfully got over by the evening.
By the time the event got over, I had to rush back to office to finish a portion of the shoot for Secret Recipes, and managed to catch a good night’s sleep just to return back to office today morning for a workshop on ‘Reputation Management and Branding through Social Media’ by social media expert Shashi Bellamkonda. Shashi, settled now in the US, is a very good friend and as he is holidaying in Mumbai just now he graciously accepted my invitation to address my team. The workshop was attended by all my staff alongwith Alyona and the representatives from the rest of our business partners like Popular Prakashan, Wonderchef, Indian Cookery Private Limited, and FoodFood. Thanks Shashi for the information imparted, it will definitely help us as an organisation to reach out to wider audiences. We wound up with some snacks and coffee and that I will share here!
Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Diwali recipes – get your thinking caps on

Festival time begins with August just around the corner. As you browse the website for recipes for Rakshabandhan recipes or Ganesh Chaturthi recipes, there will be a desire to check out on Diwali recipes too. Well, we do not want to disappoint you so let us look at some snacks that will be perfect for Diwali snacking. Yes, of course, sweets and desserts are included too.
To begin with a taste of the crunchy and crisp when you have a Diwali get together have some Mini Chinese Samosa or Crispy Spinach Parcels lined up. Something like Golden Bags and Mozzarella Pops will also satisfy those who love fried foods. If you like to put assembled dishes together, then Bhakarwadi Chaat or Chole Canapes are perfect party snacks. Why wait for Diwali, you could probably serve these at your next party!
With so many savouries being discussed how about some unique desserts this Diwali? Rose Ice cream and creamy Rasgulla Phirni are perfect. Bring out your best china to serve these. For those who like traditional sweets Lavang Latika is ideal – resembles little firecrackers that are synonymous with the festival of lights. Watch out this space as we give you more and more ideas on how to list down your Diwali recipes.