It’s a golden jubilee for IHM, PUSA!

In New Delhi, for celebrating my Alma Mater at IHM, PUSA that has completed 50 glorious years of imparting hotel education. It’s a proud feeling to be a part of the grand celebrations that began yesterday and will go on till today, to mark this half century! A get-together and gala dinner is awaited tonight at one of the most posh hotels in New Delhi. Pretty thrilled and nostalgic with the entire happenings going in here. It’s always a great feeling to come back to the place and meet with people who have, in some or the other way, inspired and motivated me to become what I am today and reach to this pinnacle. I would really like to thank all of them from the bottom of my heart!
While in office – it was Innovation Station – Season 5 yesterday with a surprise and twist this time! It was just another usual day when all the chefs had come to work without knowing what was there in store for them. Finally, they were given the sweet shock – it was competition time where the team of chefs were given surprise ingredients with which they had to cook one dish. The ingredients were ranging anything from fruits to vegetables to poultry and others.
Two chefs individually were given fifty minutes each, in which they had to dish out one recipe, as innovatively and as quickly as possible but with finesse. Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi did the honours of tasting and declaring the winners. He gave some insights as also his ideas of what he would have done with the ingredients given to the contestants. He suggested that before starting to cook with any surprise ingredients, the first ten fifteen minutes should be used to write down the combinations, the possibilities, the mix and match of flavours and then to also draw out the presentation of the dish. Quite exciting an event, I must say and I’m sure all of them brought that extra edge and zeal out and put their best foot forward!
Here are the winners with their dishes:
First came Chef Saurabh with his dish Jau Jhinga Bhavnagari which he prepared with the main ingredients Bhavnagri chillies, prawns, barley, mushrooms and curry leaves which were given to him, and
Runner-Up was Chef Jaaie with her dish Quinoa and Asparagus Soup with Floating Islands with the main ingredients quinoa, asparagus, eggs, basil leaves and shallots.
Congratulations to both of you!
Events like these make the workplace more and more interesting and fun and I really feel that such things are great morale boosters and make each individual confident about themselves. Besides this, we all got some exciting new dishes – what’s better than that!
Enjoy the visuals and the recipes shall soon be uploaded on the website.
Till then
Sanjeev Kapoor.




Ganesh Chaturthi – eco friendly way

Everybody eagerly waits for decorating the Ganesha idol and celebrating the festival every year with great enthusiasm. But, what we all mostly forget every time, amidst the festivities is that there is a serious impact of this festival on the environment due to immersion of idols and other related things.
Chemically made idols cause water pollution, killing marine flora and fauna, which indirectly reaches to us, through various mediums. The use of thermocol and plastic in pandals as well as for garlands and other decorations increases non biodegradable waste.
So, here’s some tips and tricks to celebrate this holy time of the year without harming the environment but with the same zeal and excitement:
  • Say no to idols that are made of chemicals, plaster of paris, clay, plastic, thermocol, etc. Instead, go the green way with natural options like idols made of biodegradable materials, unbaked clay, coconut, paint with natural colours, etc.
  • See that the size and number of the Ganesha idols are limited in your community. Limiting the size to 5 feet is the best that you can do, as bigger idols consume more making materials, are difficult to immerse in water and also cause traffic congestion and difficulty in transportation.
  • Save energy and electricity by replacing traditional bulbs with CFL’s and other energy-efficient lights. Also, make sure that the decorative lights are switched on only when required, for instance, at the time of aarti, puja or in the evenings.
  • Use natural and biodegradable colours, such as turmeric powder, henna (mehendi), rice powder, gulal, etc. for putting up rangolis. These are eco friendly as well as unique. Also, making natural decoration from cloth, wood, paper, etc. is advisable than using non-biodegradable materials like thermocol.
  • Use cloth bags, paper bags and banana leaves instead of plastic bags and plastic sheets for offerings, prasad, fruits, etc. These are not only comfortable to carry and biodegradable but can also be reused later.
  • Set a proper time in which speakers and microphones should be played, that is, between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and make sure that people abide by the rules. This will help tackle the issues of noise pollution. Also, avoid playing loud music on loudspeakers and bursting of firecrackers.
  • Limiting the number of public pandals is a great thing to do as it will not only bring the entire community under one place to celebrate the festival, but also avoid the unnecessary noise, land and water pollution that arises due to celebrating the same festival at different places.
  • A compost pit can be made for the organic material like offerings of flowers and garlands and other such materials. The compost material acts as a great fertilizer that can be used in your gardens. Dried flowers can be used to make natural colours or decorative paper for gifts.

As you learn how to go about the ‘Green Ganesha’, satisfy your palates with some scrumptious dishes like

Rishi Panchami Bhaji
Varan Bhaat

Ganesh Chaturthi – life of Lord Ganesha

It so happened that Kuber, the wealthiest among the residents of Paradise, hosted a feast in honour of Lord Ganesh. It was a joyful moment for gourmand Lord Ganesh who feasted to an extreme so much that he felt his stomach would burst! Smartly, he tied a snake around his stomach and went to pay obeisance to his parents.  With his tiny stature and rotund belly, he was unable to prostrate before his parents. When he tried to bend, he turned turtle.  Watching the scene from the sky was the moon, who burst out laughing at the sight. Goddess Parvati became livid at this ridicule of her beloved son, and cursed the moon that whoever saw him on Vinayak Chaturthi will be accused of a wrongdoing.
Another version of this story narrates that Lord Ganesh fell down from his vahan (the mouse) much to the amusement of the moon, who burst out laughing inviting Goddess Parvati’s wrath and her curse.
Goddess Parvati’s curse is so powerful that it did not spare even Lord Krishna.  A story has it that he was accused of stealing a very precious gem called Samantak Mani. The possessor of this stone is said to acquire tremendous prosperity and it belonged to Satrajit. Lord Krishna, who was born and brought up as a cowherd, while milking his cow on the Bhadrapad Chaturthi day, accidentally saw the reflection of the moon in the milk. As he wondered what disaster awaited him, he was accused of stealing Samantak Mani. In reality Jambavant, a bear, had found it in the forest and thinking that the shining gem would please his little daughter Jambavanti, had hung it over her cradle.  It was only after Lord Krishna traced the gem to the forest and brought it back after a battle with Jambavant that he could prove his innocence. From then on, to avoid the evil effects of the curse, Goddess Parvati declared that those who worshipped Lord Ganesh, especially on the Bhadrapad Chaturthi day and listened to this story would not be affected by the curse.
Please the God and savour these delicious mithais on this day.

Coconut Burfi 
Dry Fruits and Khajoor Laddoo