Back with the shoots!

It’s Monday, and after quite an eventful weekend with lots of happenings, starting Friday itself…it’s shooting time again! Beginning with an all new Sanjeev Kapoor’s Kitchen Delmonte series shoot today which will go on till October 14, 2011. The channel sure has made these shoots hectic, but it’s fun working like this with all the fresh aspects added to the shows!
Now for the overview of the last weekend…
Friday had me lunching at DimSum&More, at Versova, with food critic and blogger Rashmi Uday Singh, which was followed by a dinner at home with some eminent personalities like Gurudas Kamat, Baldev Khosa, Siddhartha Khosa amongst the others. The highlight of the dinner was a discussion on ‘Kopi Luwak’ – basically of the Indonesian origin, which is known to be one of the most expensive and low production coffee varieties in the world. I happened to share a story about the same and we all ended with a hearty laugh, a great light-hearted dinner I must say! Also, had meetings with senior Congress leaders after dinner, where I got the privilege to invite Prithviraj Chavan for a dinner at home!
Then came Saturday, where I had some mixed Indian and Chinese food for dinner at Club Millennium with family including my mother and in-laws. Sunday was fun day with a picnic lunch with family, followed by attending a Mata ki Chowki at a friend’s place and dinner to end with! All in all a pretty busy schedule packed with some overdose of jalebis the entire last week. So, I’ve decided that no more of those extra calories for the next few weeks, atleast till Diwali!
But for you all, going with the festive mood around, I’m sharing some recipes which are worth giving a try for…

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Sharing some cake recipes

I am doing a fast forward and sharing one traditional recipe for Christmas cake here. As it is time to start planning the treats and recipes for Christmas cakes and cookies already, why not start browsing and choose what you like best.
Recipe for Christmas cake: Sieve 1½ cups refined flour with 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder and 1½ teaspoons baking powder. Add ¼ teaspoon grated lemon rind to it and mix. Keep it aside. Soak 10-12 chopped blanched almonds, 3 tablespoons chopped tutti frutti, 12-15 chopped glace cherries, ¼ cup chopped walnuts, 4 tablespoons chopped mixed peels, 8-10 chopped cashewnuts, 25-30 raisins and 15-20 currants in ½ cup rum. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a cake tin. Break 6 eggs in a bowl and beat them with a few drops vanilla essence. Cream 1½ cups butter with 1 ¼ cups of soft brown sugar till it is soft and light in colour. Add 1 tablespoon honey and mix. Make caramel with ½ cup brown sugar and a little water. It should be blackish in colour. Mix the beaten eggs with the creamed butter and sugar and mix gently. Add the flour mixture and mix with a light hand. Strain the caramel into the soaked fruits and mix well. Add it to the cake batter and mix gently. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake at 180C for thirty minutes. Reduce the temperature to 160C and bake further for forty-five minutes. When done take it out of the oven and leave it on a rack to cool. Cut into slices and serve.
Another similar version, though a lot simpler and contemporary is a Fruit and Nut Cake without use of rum. For this, preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease an eight-inch cake tin with a little butter. Coat the tin with 1 tablespoon fresh white breadcrumbs, shaking to remove any excess crumbs. Place the 210 grams butter, 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup water in a pan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until melted. Boil for three minutes or until syrupy, then allow to cool. Whisk 3 egg whites until stiff. Sift 2 cups flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1½ ground mixed spice. Add 2 tablespoons chopped mixed peel, ¼ cup chopped glace cherries and ½ cup chopped walnut kernels to the flour mixture and stir well. Add 3 egg yolks and mix. Pour the cooled syrup into the bowl and whisk till cloudy. Gradually fold in the egg whites, using a rubber spatula, until the mixture is evenly blended. Add 2 tablespoons milk and mix. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for fifty to sixty minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed. Turn out and cool on a wire rack. Dust the cake thickly with icing sugar, slice and serve.
Recipes for Christmas cake abound. There is one special recipe in every home that has been passed down from generation to generation. For more variety of cakes, see Farmhouse Fruit Cake, Devil’s food cake, Black Forest Cake.

Be smart, eat light

There are many ways to enjoy some light Indian food. If you have roti and sabzi make sure that the roti is not laden with ghee and the sabzi is smartly made in a non stick pan with use of minimal oil. In fact, go ahead and have a bowl of skim milk yogurt, some dal and a bowl of brown rice. What about the salad – have it with a dash of lemon! So you can judge for yourself that is easy to have a balanced meal of light Indian food.

In case you are looking at skimming off calories through the day here are some tips:
  • Replace one cup of full cream milk with either half a cup or better still replace with same quantity or lesser of low-fat (skimmed) milk.
  • Snack on an orange and a banana instead of something fried
  • Have steamed vegetables once in a while instead of sautéed ones.
  • If you are about to reach for a handful of caramel chocolates, look at dried fruit instead. When making a sandwich, use two slices of whole wheat bread instead of two slices of white bread.
  • The nightcap of whole milk hot chocolate can be replaced with skimmed milk flavoured with a dash of elaichi.
  • Cut back on sampling during cooking. All “tastes” have calories!
  • Snack on a papaya instead of a packet of biscuits.
  • On a hot day, quench your thirst with a glass of ice water with lemon or mint instead of a can of cola.
  • Use one cup of fat-free cottage cheese instead of regular cottage cheese.
  • Have a single scoop of ice cream instead of a double scoop.
  • A good sandwich spread is made with mustard paste or green coriander chutney. So why use mayonnaise or butter?
  • Once in a while one can have fried foods but there are possibilities of creating tastier versions using the grill, microwave or methods of steaming or baking.
  • In case of cutlets and croquettes, which are deep-fried, ensure to drain them well and then keep on absorbent kitchen paper. This helps in removing the top oil.
  • The list of wafers, chocolates, cakes, pastries and biscuits as snacks can be replaced. I suggest that once in a while you also try out fresh fruit, dry fruits, breadsticks or vegetable sticks whenever hunger pangs strike you in between meals.
Here we give you some recipe suggestions that fulfil your light Indian food requirements.