Season for festivals

The days seem to fly by rapidly! We have been getting requests for recipes for Christmas cakes and somehow it seems that the time is just right! Those who want to soak the fruits in spirit would be planning their shopping list already, as well as their gifting list.
In fact, it is not so easy to change your traditional recipe for Christmas cake or Christmas Pudding so easily. Every home has its own recipe and it is passed down as legacy. But it never hurts to ask around and search for some more variations. For this, reading up good cookery books is essential as well the net has a plethora of offerings. As for now you could also read up on Christmas Cookies, Christmas Punch and Christmas Special Masala Biscuits.
There are many traditions that weave their special magic for building up the Christmas spirit and excitement. The Christmas fir tree is one for sure. Be it holly, mistletoe or fir trees, green is the colour of Christmas festivities. A wreath with holly, red berries and other decorations began from at least the 17th century. Holly, with its sharply pointed leaves, symbolised the thorns in Christ’s crown-of-thorns. Red berries symbolised the drops of Christ’s blood. A wreath at Christmas signified a home that celebrated the birth of Christ.
Well, it is easy to get carried away when it is the season of festivals – the feeling of bonhomie and all is well is just great. To make sure your recipe for Christmas cake is safe and intact, why not preserve it as an important document and keep for the next generation?

Lord Ganesh is on His way!

Rain or floods, Lord Ganesha is coming to town and just two three days from now, Mumbai will be resonating with music and fanfare and lots of fervour! With this festival comes the joyous cooking of treats for the God who loves His food! I suggest you see our list of suggestions visible on for ideas. It also makes sense to decide now what you want to cook and purchase all the dry ingredients at least so that there is not much of shopping to do on the last day. Pick up your fresh fruits and vegetables on THE day.
Things are also looking up regarding the new website to be launched. Anything new is bound to have loads of excitement attached to it! A makeover was long overdue and as life as it is on the fast lane for everybody, we too have taken the step and are making the website smarter and faster. I do hope you all are looking forward to it as much as we are! Next week, some shooting schedules for Turban Tadka and Teen Patti are on the anvil.
When the days are so wet and damp, let’s not dampen our spirit of cooking! So treat your family to some nice warm food every evening. For some starters and soups, click on the following:

Wishing you all a delightful festive season ahead!

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Baingan Bharta – A recipe perfect for all seasons

I see some lovely large and glossy brinjals are in season and when you go shopping select brinjals that are light in weight in proportion to their size. Chances are they would be without seeds or if any, very tender and not so annoying!
To make Baingan Bharta for four portions, you should buy atleast one kilo of brinjal. Prick the brinjals and roast them over open flame or in a tandoor/preheated oven until the skin scorches and starts peeling off and the brinjals start to shrink. Let them cool. You can cool them by dipping them in water. Remove skin and mash the pulp completely. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a kadai. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Cook for half a minute and add 3 medium chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Add 1½ inch chopped ginger and 2 chopped green chillies and cook for a minute. Add 2 teaspoons red chilli powder and mashed brinjals. Cook for seven to eight minutes over medium heat, stirring continuously. Add salt to taste. Add 4 large chopped tomatoes and cook on medium heat for seven to eight minutes or till the oil separates. Garnish with chopped the coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis. Remember, it is easy to remove skin of a roasted brinjal if it dipped in water just after roasting
Whenever you feel you are running out of ideas to cook, but want a change from Baingan Bharta, try a different bharta : Aloo Bharta, Pyaaz ka Bharta, Shalgam Bharta, Garlic and Chilli Bharta and Spicy Prawn Bharta.
You can use the humble drumstick to make something novel. Boil 4 drumsticks, remove pulp. Sauté 2 chopped onions in 2 tablespoons oil till soft. Add 2 chopped tomatoes, sauté till soft. Add 6 chopped garlic cloves, ½ inch chopped ginger, sauté till fragrant. Add 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, salt, 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add drumstick pulp, cook for 1 minute. Serve hot.
Another good recipe uses corn. Boil whole corn, remove the niblets and grind it coarsely in a blender. Chop some onions and tomatoes, green chillies and coriander leaves. Heat oil in a kadai, add cumin seeds and sauté till they change colour. Add chopped onions and sauté till light brown. Add chopped green chillies and cook for half a minute. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt. Cook for few seconds and add chopped tomatoes. When tomatoes are cooked add corn, salt and little water. Cook for another five minutes. Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander. Makes a nice Sunday dish doesn’t it and a change from the conventional Baingan Bharta?