Ten top cooking tips from great chefs

Cooking in the home kitchen and cooking in a restaurant kitchen are different experiences. The latter calls for training of the chefs so that the maximum is done keeping the fact that large quantities of food are cooked at one time in mind. There is a lot of co-ordination needed between different teams and efficiency becomes the most important thing.
Saving time and saving effort becomes crucial. Cooking well, knowing the science behind every activity that requires heat, becomes important. Here we have some cooking tips that chefs apply, day in day out, in commercial cooking, which are also suitable for the home cook.
  • Prepare for the cook out! Have everything measured, chopped, sifted. Keep the pans with lids ready. Also the implements needed for economy of movement.
  • Use the sharpest knife.
  • Taste as you cook step by step. It helps to produce the perfect dish.
  • Go easy on the salt in the beginning. You can always add to taste at the last step.
  • Your olfactory senses are a good guide. Learn to practice using them.
  • Cushion the cutting board by using some wet newspapers. If the board stays immobile, the cutting is faster and better.
  • While frying, best not to overcrowd the pan.
  • A recipe calls for butter? Add some oil too so that the butter does not smoke or burn.
  • While baking, use the measuring scale, cups or spoons. Always heat the oven before putting in the cakes. Do it while you are beating up the ingredients. Grease the inside of the tin, as well as the paper lining.
  • Clean up as you go.




Hello from US

Back in New York after attending a friend’s daughters’s wedding in Montreal. It was a bit like Mumbai: partly cloudy and light rains. We had a really enjoyable time. Earlier in the week I had met up with Michael Psaltis. Michael has played an instrumental role in the making of my international recipe book How to Cook Indian, which is great hit in US, UK and Canada. It was lovely to see him again.
Last night took friends out for dinner. It was at the Red Farm restaurant at Hudson Street and it is well known for the using farm fresh ingredients in innovative Chinese preparations. Though the décor is rustic, the chefs gave baskets of dimsums that carry a clean fresh approach.
As planned, did have a get together for my college mates. It was great to see Saket Bimal again! He was in Mumbai early this month and we had a nice chat in my office. Meeting in NY again with Bhupesh Yadav, who came down to NY especially to see us. A bonus! We had a nice Thai lunch followed by a walk around Times Square.
It is going to be a busy time with meetings and other work till we prepare to leave for Singapore on Saturday. Plan to spend at least a day there and then flying back home on the 26th.

Till I write again,
Sanjeev Kapoor. 




How to maintain a check list for effective weight loss

There are those who seem to be able to lose weight as easily as a hot knife cuts through butter. Then there are those who are on weight loss, sincere and dedicated, but the needle on the weighing scale refuses to budge. There is a solution. No, not break the scale but follow some simple checks that can accelerate the loss.
  • Before you start any diet or weight loss program make sure you’ve seen a physician and he’s given you the go ahead.
  • Check your daily routine. Are you active enough? Do you do things like go for a walk or ride a bike for exercise? Anything that’s gets you away from TV or away from the computer screen is a good step!
  • Exercise. While any activity is good you should set aside 30 to 60 minutes at least three days a week for regular exercise. Some prefer aerobic training. If you are lifting weights or doing other exercises to build muscle mass you won’t be losing much weight. Muscle mass is dense and weighs more than fat. Aerobic training can help you cut down on body fat.
  • Measure your portions. Be sure that you are not eating too much. Portion management is one of the key elements of a successful weight loss program. Try to avoid seconds and say no to dessert or a thin slice of cake or pie.
  • Know the difference between right and wrong. Are you eating the right foods? Cutting down of food high in fats and processed carbohydrates will help jump start your weight loss.
  • The ‘five fruits and vegetables a day’ rule has to be followed. When we were told to eat up our vegetables when we were kids, mom probably knew something that we didn’t! That vegetables are healthy stuff and needed for proper functioning of the body.
  • Do not ignore water. Adequate water intake is needed by every body –  irrespective of the fact whether you want to or you don’t want to lose weight. Try to come as close as you can to 8 glasses day.
  • Keep realistic goals. Are you expecting too much too soon? Most health experts feel that half a kilogram to one kilogram a week is a safe goal. Trying to lose too much too quickly can cause serious health problems.