Kiddie Treats

Last Saturday was a kid’s class at SK Culinary Studio! Kids’ alongwith the culinary team enjoyed churning out some yummy yet healthy dishes including nachos, mac n cheese, cookies, chocolate ice cream and the likes. I was wondering, children’s stomachs have a limited capacity, but at the same time their energy demands are high. Moreover, I had read somewhere that children are a pain in the neck when around and a pain in the heart when not! Both ways loss is ours! Now that the summer vacations have already begun, kids demand tasty foods after playing for long hours in a sun-baked playground. To keep up their energies high, it becomes essential that children are fed every three to four hours.

It is the responsibility of parents to develop healthy food habits in their growing children and these have to be inculcated in the early years of life. However, treating kids with their favorite food items twice a week should be included alongwith nutritious meal. Besides, the age of two is a good time for your child to start eating meals with you at the table. Preschoolers these days are smarter than we think. No amount of convincing them that ‘drink milk and you will become big’ or words to this effect can make them drink up the milk. They have to be served everything that is tasty and if the environment around them is non-fussy about food, the child too will respond positively. Moreover, as the child grows up his/her tastes change. It would do the child good to have everything that is cooked for the family. There is no reason to cook differently. The trick to win over the palate of the young ones is to present novel foods that are nutritious too.

Get creative with staple dishes! Some of the recipes I suggest to get creative with are:

Dal Puri
It is a common thing in a Punjabi home to take last night’s moong dal and knead a dough for paranthas in it! That’s a nourishing breakfast ready in a jiffy. The same idea has been used here except that the dal is freshly made and I made puris as they are more kid-friendly breads.

Dal Puri

One pot pasta
Call it a boon, especially on a lazy day! My kids love all types of pasta and they are not finicky about it being al dente! This recipe is handy for Alyona when she gets the request for something fast, yummy and nice (read junk food!) but she knows pasta is a welcome treat always!

Apple Crumble
This is one of the easiest and tastiest desserts ever and children are simply going to lap it up. You can give this conventional dish a little twist by adding a little oats to the crumble mix to give it an interesting texture and at the same time making it more nutritious. My elder daughter Rachita likes a sprinkling of powdered peanut chikki on the top.

Apple Crumble
Apple Crumble

Who doesn’t love mangoes? Mostly all kids love chilled stuff much to our chagrin! This smoothie is thick n sweet, I have replaced ice with frozen mango so it’s as good as it’s yum!Mango Smoothie

Try it out today and let me know they turn out!

Happy Cooking!

Happy Summers.

Beat the Summer Heat!

Feeling the heat? Well, we all are in the same boat, sorry, same sweaty boat! The only solution to keep away from the heat is to remain confined indoors and if possible in the lap of air- conditioned luxury. But life has to go on and there is work to do. We have to brave the elements, right? In the following few paragraphs we have a list of things to do to beat the heat. The principles are simple: dress simply and wear light coloured cottons, exercise early in the morning or in late evenings, drink a lot of water and fluids and shower more than once a day. Spray on the deodorant lavishly and get that hair cut short. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses and hat and never venture out without them. As far as food intake is concerned indulge in light meals and cold soups and crisp salads. Burgers and fries are best left for those days when the temperatures are not soaring. Do your body a favour by making the best of the summer vegetables and fruits.

Well here goes:

1. Beginning your day with a brisk walk or light exercise as the sun rises not only gives you the much needed extra doses of fresh air laden with clean oxygen but also removes the stiffness from your muscles so that your stamina is on the increase with each passing day. For those who just cannot see the sunrise, schedule the exercise around sunset. The clime is certainly not as fresh as early morning what with the day’s pollution having done the atmosphere in, but the temperatures are down so that exercise is not so much of a chore. In any case avoid the midday sun for all reasons.

2. Summer holidays means there is bound to be a lot of outings. Foods for the picnic should be cooled before packing. The heat can deteriorate the food. It is practical to pack liquid beverages separately. Ice them in about an hour before packing and do so in an icebox.

3. Look at salads and chilled soups very seriously. Tomatoes, lettuces and lemons are at their best. Make a big bowl of salad and let the cucumbers do their two bits in keeping your body cool. Make yourself a big Caesar salad, which will be a meal by itself.

4. Replace oil dressings with low fat or yogurt-based dressings in salads. Yogurt has a lot of digestive and cooling properties and it is a confirmed summer food! Make a tall glass of sweet lassi or a salty chaas with roasted cumin powder. They not only act as fillers but also cool your body down tremendously.

5. Smoothies made with yogurt and fresh fruits are also nourishing beverages in summers. Some summer fruits like melons are best had raw and in handsome quantities.

6. There is one Ayurvedic preparation called Gulkand (candied rose petals) that is an effective cooling agent. Made of rose petals at their peak condition, Gulkand contains other rejuvenating herbs blended in just the right proportions. It is sweet cooling tonic, rich in calcium and anti oxidants, that helps to combat fatigue, lethargy, muscular aches and heat related conditions. Have a teaspoon of it at midday.

7. Keep the air filters in the air conditioners clean and dust free. They are more effective. Also keep the curtains drawn during the day to keep the sun out.

8. Fill up the hot water bottle with chilled water. Wipe dry and let it cool your bed before you retire. Ensure that there are no leaks!

9. Needless to say drink eight to ten glasses of water. If you think beer is cooling, think again because it is dehydrating. Favour other fruit based drinks.

10. Swimming is a good summer exercise and also keeps you cool and hydrated. Put the sunscreen lavishly.

11. Indulge in homemade ice creams. Mix and match fruity flavours and enjoy.

12. When the afternoon bears down heavily, luxuriate in a cool movie hall and relax with your favourite stars entertaining you.

It will be fitting to give you two recipes of crunchy salads that keep the blustering summer heat away. Watch Alyona make a great Slimmers salad with no oil dressing on Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana on Youtube and this great recipe for a summer tomato pasta salad.




Summer tomato pasta salad

For more fabulous recipes don’t forget to visit

Keep sharing your comments, thoughts, tips and ideas so everyone has a happy summer!

Sanjeev Kapoor


A trip to remember

After spending more than two weeks at Australia, I am here to share my experience. Well, after successfully completing Season 1 ‘Out of Africa’ with an adventure-filled food safari through Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania on FoodFood, I was ready to embark upon yet another culinary expedition. Australia’s picturesque landscape, natural beauty, pristine beaches, the koala, kangaroo experience, its world renowned coral reef, ever popular wine and cheese, and wide-ranging assortment of cuisines, the didgeridoo and boomerang lessons, the adventure sports of surfing, hot air ballooning, sailing and above all its all-embracing culture code. To sum it up – I enjoyed this journey thoroughly.

At Kangaroo Island                                              Sydney Opera house in the backdrop

My food and adventure trail took me to various places in Australia. Alongwith my wife Alyona and the crew, we started from Brisbane Gold Coast (Queensland), Sydney, Blue Mountains (New South Wales), Melbourne, Great Ocean Road (Victoria) and Adelaide and ended at Kangaroo Island. Well, I gave too much information on my itinerary! Let’s talk about the fusion dish of India-Australia.

During our filming schedule at Kangaroo Island at Kate’s kitchen Source, we put the taste buds of our crew to the test: Indian palate or Australian? What championed as a ‘fusion dish’ was the Halumi Aubergine Zucchini Salad. Halumi tastes like our Indian paneer or chhena and the roasted, mashed aubergine has the texture of the traditional Indian baingan bharta albeit with a dash of spices to add zing. It certainly was a treat to try out this Halumi Paneer Baingan Bharta Zucchini Salad.

The new season of Out of the Word – Australia series is yet to go on air. Meanwhile, keep watching FoodFood channel for the new bunch of recipes. Enjoy!

Baingan and Potato Payda

Baingan Bharta Rolls
Happy Cooking! 

Kachchi Kairi ki Khaasiyat!

Ever had bhel puri with little pieces of raw mango in it? Try it. We did last week at the office – had a bhel wala come in and give us all freshly tossed bhel, salted and ‘chillied’ according to every individual’s taste. Enjoyed it and got inspired by raw mango, kachchi kairi, whatever you may want to call it.

Cool and chilled
Green mango has its many uses and it is a boon for those who cannot bear the heat. At home we have a tradition to have kairi panna in the fridge, ready and bottled, every day of the week. It’s cooling, it’s nutritious and it’s tasty! We add a generous pinch of green cardamom and some people prefer to add kesar too. You choose. So bhel and panna aside, green mango is lovely as a snack – cut up in thin slices and lightly salted. Yes, the pickle industry thrives on this mango and I do so look forward to the gunda kairi that my mother in law makes for us every year.

Think out of the box
You can think out of the box while green mango is in season. Add some chunks to the dal, add some grated bits to thepla dough, make a nice chutney with grated onion, or make an instant pachadi with jaggery or use green mango chhunda to stuff mutton kababs or toss with peanuts and mustard seeds to temper rice. Grind two tablespoons of grated raw mango with a tablespoon of roasted peanuts, three tablespoons scraped coconut, a few red chillies and turmeric powder to a coarse paste. Add this to rice tempered with mustard, cumin, curry leaves and asafoetida. I love to add some whole roasted peanuts and sprinkle some grated green mango and grated coconut. Serve it hot drizzled with a little bit of ghee. Uses leftover rice very smartly!

Pickle that is healthy
Those who are hesitant to make pickles simply because they think they might not get it right, let me encourage you to do this simple one. It is best kept under refrigeration in Mumbai. Let’s start with half kilo of raw mango, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes. Keep 100 grams of salt in a bowl. Take ¼ inch asafoetida cube in a mortar and add 1 ½ tablespoons of red chilli powder and a little salt. Pound with pestle into a fine powder. Mix with the mango pieces and add about three more tablespoons of red chilli powder and the remaining salt. Mix really well and transfer into a sterilized jar. Keep in the fridge. If you like it, make some more batches.

Ingredient of importance
As an ingredient in main course dishes, green mango adds the perfect astringent note. Mutton, fish and chicken all take to green mango very well. Surmai likes sour things like tamarind and lemon juice and when green mango is in season add that too. Cooked with sweet coconut milk, this curry is simple and simply lovely with steamed rice.

Fish and Green Mango Curry

  • Marinate 8 thick slices of surmai in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and salt with half a teaspoon of turmeric powder for about fifteen minutes.
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a non stick pan and shallow fry till half done.  Drain and set aside.
  • Soak one cup of scraped coconut in one cup of warm water for three to four minutes. Grind and squeeze to extract milk.
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in another non-stick pan. Add 1 medium chopped onion and sauté till soft. Add quarter teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 ½ teaspoons red chilli powder, two tablespoons of scraped coconut and salt and sauté for two to three minutes.  Add two cups of water and let the curry simmer for five minutes.
  • Add a little more oil to the oil in which the fish pieces were fried.  Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, 4 slit green chillies, 1 tablespoon coriander powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of   red chillli powder, 10-12 curry leaves, quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder, and slices of 2 raw mangoes and sauté.
  • Strain the onion curry into this tempering, pressing well to extract all the flavours.
  • Add the fried fish. Mix 1 ½ tablespoons of rice flour with quarter cup of water to make a smooth paste and add it to the curry. Cook, stirring continuously, till the curry thickens.
  • Add extracted coconut milk and stir. Add 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp and let the gravy come to a boil.
  • Switch off the heat and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice.
  • While you await the season of ripe sweet juicy mangoes, make full use of the tangy green ones with these great recipes and also don’t forget to share your food experiences with us!


Kairi Poha – The zing from raw mango in a more or less usual poha will definitely pleasantly surprise your taste buds!
Kairi Poha
Aam ka Panna – it is supremely refreshing and very easy and plus it is my moms recipe – so this one is very difficult to go wrong
Aam ka Panna


Happy Eating.Happy Cooking!
Sanjeev Kapoor