Understanding acidity

Hectic schedules are a part and parcel of life these days, and the thing that gets affected the most is our meals and with irregular eating or eating after large gaps comes acidity!

The stomach normally secretes acid that is essential in the digestive process. This acid helps in breaking down the food during digestion. When there is excess production of acid by the gastric glands of the stomach, it results in the condition known as acidity. However, there are certain types of ulcers where acid secretion is either normal or even low. Acidity is responsible for symptoms like dyspepsia, heartburn and the formation of ulcers (erosion of the lining of the stomach or intestines). Persons who are diabetic often suffer from acidity.


Identifying and avoiding the causative factors are essential in the treatment of acidity. A suitable diet must be strictly followed avoiding spicy, salty and acidic foods. Smoking and alcohol consumption must be stopped. Those with highly nervous and emotional disposition and those involved in high-stress jobs must be encouraged to take lifestyle modifying measures. Antacids provide immediate relief of symptoms by neutralizing the excess acid secreted. Just being aware of what you eat and at what time will guide you to better health. Acidity is a common affliction related to stress in these modern times and we are sure that this list of things will be a helpful guide.

Here is a list of foods that are acid forming and low level acid forming:

Acid forming foods
Low level acid forming foods
Alkaline foods
Low level alkaline foods
Coconut (dried)
Fruits (canned)
Dried fruits
Fresh coconut
Dairy products
Ice cream
Flour products
Homemade Ice-milk
Maple syrup
Seeds and nuts
Organ Meats

Home remedies for acidity relief

  • Take one piece of clove and suck on it slowly. This will give you relief from acidity and also help in reducing the onslaught of diseases arising out of acidity.
  • Eat a cup of vanilla ice cream or drink a glass of cold milk to get heartburn and acidity relief within minutes.
  • Almonds can relieve heartburn. Eat several almonds when heartburn symptoms persist.
  • Lemons can also prevent heartburn. Cut a lemon into thin strips and dip in salt. Eat before meals to prevent heartburn.

We have got thousands of tried and tested recipes on www.sanjeevkapoor.com ! Several that get made in a jiffy – so here’s hoping with all these tips and recipes acidity should never be a pain again!

Happy Eating, Happy Cooking!

Sanjeev Kapoor

Rice to the rescue!

How many times have we thought rice is a blessing? We use it for holy purposes but we also can pressure up a quick pulao or khichdi when hunger pangs are drumming away! Rice has come to my rescue at many occasions and I am totally happy with kadhi chawal or rajma chawal as a main meal.

But I changed a few things some years back. I switched to brown. Now that is something most of you are doing so easily now, thanks to the new awareness about whole food, thanks to the easy availability and thanks to all those wonderful recipes. But when I started cooking it at home, there was big resistance especially from my little kids. I could not blame them because I too found the rice looking different, tasting different.

Brown rice is the least processed form of rice. Kernels of rice from which only the hull has been removed. The light brown colour is caused by the presence of bran layers, which are rich in minerals and vitamins. Cooked brown rice has a slightly chewy texture and a nut-like flavour.

That’s when another twist happened. My in laws came to stay. So here we are at the table and here they are expecting lovely white rice to round off the meal and Alyona brings in a bowl of not so white rice! They did eat it up because I spoke up and defined the healthier possibilities in brown rice but could see the lack of conviction on the faces of my dining companions. So the chef had to get to work again and for the evening meal Alyona and I made them a nice soft khichdi with brown rice and dal. Added a bit of haldi and salt and they loved it! So when the brown rice non-lovers come over, make khichdi!

But things are certainly on track now. The kids expect nothing but brown rice on the table and there is no fuss. And brown rice makes some lovely oil free pulaos and biryanis too…try some boiled grains in a chicken soup to make it heartier, or even try a kheer with brown rice, you cannot go wrong. I have also made pohe using the flattened rice made from brown rice.

So be it basmati, parboiled, glutinous, long grain Patna, pudding, red wild rice, risotto, sushi, Jasmine, or brown – getting to know and use all types of rice has enough material for an encyclopedia.

Brown versus white rice
Brown rice takes longer to cook than regular white rice (about forty five minutes versus fifteen to twenty minutes) because of the structure of the brown rice grain. Brown rice has far more nutrients as vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folacin, potassium, magnesium, iron and over dozen other nutrients. Added to that, the dietary fibre contained in white rice is around a quarter of brown rice. Brown rice may help reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, and may even contribute towards maintaining a healthy weight.

Health points in rice
The Vitamin B is important. Rice gruel is considered easy food for the stomach especially for the ailing. Compared to wheat, rice has lower gluten content so more easily digestible.

Flour, crispies, noodles, paper, flakes….rice comes in many forms. Around the world the snack industry is doing wonders. Look at our bhel puri…puffed rice is the basic ingredient. And crispies make breakfast cereal. Glazed with gur, puffed rice becomes a chikki or enters bars of chocolates.

New frontiers
Sushi with sticky rice is something I am going to be working on in my kitchen…rice has always presented challenges and I simply love overcoming them!

As for now some simple rice recipes to get you going!

Brown Rice Biryani with Chutney Chicken
Herbed Rice with Mushrooms
Kurmura Tadka
Brown Rice Payasam


Happy Cooking, Happy Eating!
Sanjeev Kapoor

Control the cravings


Firstly I want to start by saying that I am really glad that all you readers are finding the posts helpful and so I decided to quickly share my thoughts on food cravings – as this is something that happens to everyone, right from a fitness freak to obviously a complete ‘I eat anything’ food junkie! A craving for some sort of food ever hit you at an odd time of the day? It is a normal feeling because it just reflects that your blood sugar is acting up. If you want to be careful about keeping the blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day that means even your eating patterns will have to be consistent. But when you starve yourself for hours, cravings come calling…and believe me, all of us bow down to them!

In fact, our blood sugar can fall too low after just four hours of not eating. So you search the fridge, hop along to the nearest food court, or reach out for the nearest food which will provide a quick boost. Along with this will come the vicious circle of more cravings for more sugar and starch after some time.

The most effective way to keep blood sugar in check is to avoid foods that are made with added sugar like aerated drinks, some fruit juices and baked goods. You can eliminate those entirely. Foods that contain high amounts of starch like pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, or any other flour-based food have the small advantage of being delicious, vitamin and fibre rich. To keep things in order stick to small portions like thirty to forty grams of carbohydrates for the main meals and ten to twenty grams of carbohydrates at snack time.

But how we make food choices is sometimes too complex to understand. Food has a basic function – to satisfy hunger. And the taste, texture, colour, aroma and temperature of the food plays an important part in satiating us. If foods with pleasurable tastes and textures are used as a reward or to provide comfort (a practice commonly begun in childhood and continued throughout life) then the craving for these foods becomes psychologically stronger. Considering this we look at particular foods in terms of the emotions they evoke – hence the reaching out to ‘comfort foods’ that clearly lean towards the sugary, the starchy and fatty types. So cookies and ice cream rank high as ‘comfort foods’ that are easily defined as ‘foods eaten in an attempt to soothe away troubles’. The desire for such items may reach stronger proportions during stressful times which I think is okay at times but otherwise here are some

Simple rules to keep cravings in control

  • Eat as often as you can with approximately three-hour gap. This allows you to eat smaller meals without becoming hungry.

  • Have protein and fat (meat, cheese, nuts, or eggs contain both) at every meal. This slows the digestion of carbohydrates, which helps prevent ups and downs in blood sugar levels.
  • Go for whole grains. Make sure any bread, pasta, or rice that you eat is 100 percent whole grain. Because whole grains contain fibre, their effect on your blood sugar is reduced.
  • The deprivation of dieting also is believed to cause cravings for certain foods. While following diets that prohibit rich, high-calorie, often-favourite foods, dieters frequently report overwhelming desires for these foods. Unable to resist, they usually give in to their cravings. And once they give in, they frequently overindulge. Research shows that people tend to binge if they have been restricted. Do not try to totally avoid certain foods. Experts predict moderation will prove to be the best strategy for managing food cravings.

For recipes that will help you satisfy you food craving when you have any you can visit www.sanjeevkapoor.com. We have a whole team of chef working to keep your kitchen always alive and bustling with some lip smacking recipes!

Happy Cooking, Happy Eating!
Sanjeev Kapoor

Rajma: It’s been my favourite

Today is Mexican Day at SK Culinary Studio! While the culinary team is busy whipping up some delicious Mexican treats at the studio, the smell of refried beans makes me write about my favourite food combination rajma chawal. People from the North will identify with this meal instantly and totally! There is something about the texture of rajma in gravy with the fluffy steamed rice that makes it so endearing. There are not only childhood memories attached, there are also moments of comfort that tag along.

Good old home recipes
There are many variations of rajma that one can make…but they all begin with one most essential step: planning – that is soaking the beans overnight! There is no way one can fulfill the demand of rajma at a moment’s notice so better not to throw a tantrum…next best is to order from the neighbourhood restaurant but I doubt if they will have it on the menu…dal makhni yes, but rajma still has to take a noticeable slot!

So, it goes without saying rajma is a product of authentic home cooking. I normally make it very simple – with some onions, tomatoes, bay leaves, ginger-garlic, red chilli, coriander, turmeric, cumin, garam masala and lots of fresh coriander.

Dabba delights
A favourite dabba dish is a little spicy parantha made with mashed rajma. Alyona actually manages to roll them out thinly! Some mashed rajma, atta, two tablespoons of soy flour, red chilli, finely chopped green chilies, powdered anardana, some chopped fresh mint, and a tablespoon or two of tomato puree (gives a good colour). Another tip: rajma pulao! All you need are some well boiled rajma that you cook with Basmati and some onions, tomatoes and masalas

Boiled rajma makes a handsome salad with blanched tender French beans and boiled moong and white cowpeas (chawli). All this mix needs is fresh coriander, fresh mint, green chillies, salt, dash of lemon and chaat masala. Talk about proteins, fibre and iron here!

Rajma treats
Hummus too can take a new avatar with mashed rajma instead of chickpeas. The colour would be a little on the dark side but the change for the palate is welcome. Garnish with black olives and serve with crisp garlic bread!

As I always end with something new and delicious, this time here are some palate tickling rajma recipes

Rajma Galouti
  • Soak 1 cup rajma in five cups of water preferably overnight. Boil in sufficient quantity of water until soft. Drain and set aside.
  • Dry roast 8 cashewnuts, 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds and ¾ tablespoon poppy seeds. Grind to a fine paste using a little water.
  • Dry roast ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, 4 green and 2 black cardamoms, 2 cloves and 1 inch cinnamon. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Soak a generous pinch of saffron in quarter teaspoon kewra water.
  • Heat two tablespoons of pure ghee in a pan, add ½ inch finely chopped ginger and five cloves finely chopped garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Add 3 chopped green chillies and sauté for one minute.
  • Add rajma and cook for three to four minutes.
  • Add cashewnut paste and stir-fry for four to five minutes.
  • Add 2 tablespoons grated khoya, ½ teaspoon white pepper powder and salt to taste, stir-fry for four to five minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Cool and mash rajma to a smooth paste. (In case rajma paste is not firm, then cook paste further with addition of ghee till firm.)
  • Sprinkle powdered spices and soaked saffron. Adjust salt.
  • Add ½ tablespoon lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Divide mixture into equal sized portions and press them lightly.
  • Heat sufficient ghee in a frying pan and shallow fry tikkis until lightly coloured on both sides. Garnish with mint leaves and onion rings. Serve with chutney of your choice.

You can watch Alyona make a Rajma Salad here 



and also try out this recipe of my favourite Punjabi Rajma Chawal 

Punjabi Rajma Chawal

Happy Cooking,Happy Eating!

Sanjeev Kapoor