In the Land of the Rising Sun!

Feels great to be in this country with such a rich cultural heritage – Japan, the land of the rising sun as it is rightly called! Reached here today morning with the arrival at Narita International Airport, Tokyo city. With a short rest at the hotel, I was up and ready for the upcoming hectic schedule with Lunch at 1200 hours followed by meetings with Japan Tourism Agency and Japan National Tourism Organization at 2 pm and Creative Industry Bureau of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry at 4 pm.
Later today, have a study tour at Roppongi Hills to understand the redevelopment of this particular area and attend a reception and seminar at Roppongi Hills Club. Seems really an interesting itinerary before I end the day, retiring at the hotel; just to begin the day tomorrow with a study tour at TEPIA Museum – where I would get to learn about the Japanese high technology.
Back in my country and an insight about the weekend – lazed in the morning and cooked up Thai Curry and Rice for lunch. Then, had some meetings lined up between 4 pm to 7 pm at Club Millennium. And as I returned back home, was welcomed by Alyona’s parents who had come over to spend the weekend. So, prepared both veg and non-veg Pasta for dinner and checked out the movie ‘The Contractor’.
Sunday morning was back at the office, the FoodFood office, where there was a small havan kept, before they moved onto a new floor. Discussions about the Maha Challenge event also took place there. While we discussed things at the office, Alyona’s mom had prepared a great lunch at home – aamras, puri, chapatti, kadhi, aloo ki subzi and green beans. So, got back to home for the awesome and delicious lunch with my wife’s sister, Jyotsna and her son, Manit. Post lunch, played and got entertained by the little one, before I got ready to catch my flight to Japan later that evening!
And as I’m away from India, here’s some more Oriental delicacies to choose from…

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Celebrations today

It’s a nice exciting day lying ahead. Birthdays are like that only – as Alyona and Chef Harpal celebrate their birthdays- and there is an air of bonhomie in the office. Later in the evening we are throwing a party to celebrate the success of Foodfood. Coming to that, the success of Foodfood, there was an interview in The Guardian UK. I am giving the link here in case you want to review it.
I take a few lines from the interview here: of 120 million households with cable or satellite in India, more than half are Hindi speaking (rather than English speaking), and Foodfood channel is being watched by around 12 percent – around 8 million homes.
It is only when you evaluate the data and see results for yourself that you realize where you stand. It is easy in life to assume things and then take spin offs on that but when facts stare at you from paper it is time to shape up. I have never feared evaluations and firmly believe good ones are bound to turn up just as the disappointing ones. The first we celebrate and from the other take heart, tighten up the belts and work at improving the figures.
In any case, food and all things about it bring happiness and nothing else. When we face the downs, remember the exorbitant onion prices of this Jan, we create food for the family without them and when we celebrate it is also about food and good company! Sharing some Foodfood recipes here.

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

My kitchen is busy!

My weekend was brief but had a lovely dinner with Alyona on Saturday night at the launch of good friend Jiggs Kalra’s Punjab Grill in my neighborhood.
Shooting for three days for Sanjeev Kapoor’s Kitchen food shows for my channel FoodFood….a break of one day and then we shoot for something we have brainstormed and put up: a new concept which will cater fun menus for different meals! As it is the most common question that one has in mind is ‘what should we cook today?’ but once it is decided then the actual cooking does not take time at all! So my new show will not only solve the issues of what to make but also guide you on How to make all the delicious foods!
As I am a little pressed for time, I will pen off now but not before sharing a few of favourites for this week : brinjals are in season, shiny and vibrant, cauliflower is at its best, snowy white and buttery, and also let’s celebrate the fact that onion prices are reasonably down!
Get the kadais and knives and let’s make your kitchen busy too!

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Yesterday was probably a day that I will remember for a long long time. The formal launch of The Yellow Chilli in Ahmedabad. It is likely that I underestimated the love for food that Amdavadis nurture! I was overwhelmed by the media’s enthusiasm in covering the Press Conference yesterday afternoon. I was impressed by the way my team had things working like clock work all through the day. I am sure there were many a tense moment behind the scenes, the creases smoothened out by Rajeev Matta (COO), Saurabh Saxena and Jahid Inamdar. Thanks all and kudos to you. I am sure there were around seventy media persons who addressed their queries and answering them took more than a couple of hours! A short rest period and then it was time for the evening party which was graced by eminent personalities of Ahmedabad. I had a chance to have extensive conversations with Mr Vimal Ambani, IG, DGP and Commissioner Police, Mr Chonas of Havmor, representatives from Zydus, and columnist Esther David.
The food? Well, we had the tables really spread out! Most of the menu items were presented and the sweet tooth of Ahmedabad was truly and magnificently pampered with Chocolate cake, Mango cake, Gulab-e- Gulkand, Fruit jelly, Badam Halwa.

As visions of such great desserts come before you, let me share some more desserts here.

Mango souffle, Chocolate Mousse, Very low fat brownies.

Off now for the live demonstrations at The Kitchen Show (I am in Bengaluru!)…

Sanjeev Kapoor.

Make a plan and go for it!

It is a simple principle that always gives me great joy in life. Make a plan and go for it! It could be a planned day or a planned week, month or a year….like yesterday, was a planned Sunday for us. Did the shopping that was planned, cooked a lunch of Thai Green Curry and Jasmine Rice, saw two movies at home back to back, and then again feasted on some marvellous prawn curry sent over by our dear friend Nirmala aunty. Totally relaxed and so did Alyona as she got a good break from cooking!

Leaving for Delhi tomorrow to meet up family and attend a wedding. Then following on to Gurgaon for a Wonderchef show. It could be on the 15th or the 16th.Will post details as soon as I get confirmed info.

Which is the food that is in high demand in this season? Some will say mangoes and some will say ice cream! We now have so many brands to choose from with the Italian gelato also gaining favour. There are some classic ice cream desserts that are famous around the world, but I would like to mention the Arctic Roll which is a British dessert made of ice cream wrapped in sponge cake to form a roll, often with jam between the sponge and the ice cream. Another is Baked Alaska, a dessert made of ice cream straight from the freezer placed in a pie dish lined with slices of sponge cake and topped with meringue. The entire dessert if then placed in an extremely hot oven just long enough to for the meringue to set. The meringue is an effective insulator, and in the short cooking time needed, it prevents the heat from getting through to the ice cream. Ice-creams now come in a mind-boggling variety of flavours. Many people also like ice cream sundaes, with ice cream, hot fudge, nuts, whipped cream, cherries and other toppings of their choice. Here I will help you make ice creams with decidedly different flavours! Enjoy!

Chilli Ice cream

Gulab Jamun Ice cream

Mango and Coconut Ice cream

Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor.

International Women’s Day – my best wishes.

As the year marches ahead, there are some days, some occasions, some festivals that bring colour, good food and also a time to retrospect. I do hope you have had a chance to read Alyona’s first ever article for the website. I can say, very humbly, that a lady who looks after herself, will also be fit to look after the whole family. Alyona is the backbone of my family and I wish her the best in everything she does. My mom, and my little women Rachita and Kriti, I wish the same for you too!
Entire country was watching and waiting to hear the passing of Women’s Reservation Bill in the parliament today, but as has been happening for the last 14 years, today also it met it’s normal opponents and not seen the light of the day. A golden opportunity lost again!
As we prepare to get some food shots done for the book on recipes for fussy kids, let me tell you that the enquiries on how to get the little ones to eat are mind boggling! I am sure this book will be met with open arms…kids love food that looks good and for me presentation is paramount! I always think of the plate as an empty canvas that needs a pictorial representation. Most chefs prefer the classic white or earth tones as these complement all colours of food. Only recently have I started playing with coloured crockery as vivid as turquoise to offset maybe, a rich orange moist prawn preparation. I have also served hot spicy rasam in shot glasses!
It is easy to go overboard in garnishing the food. But the first rule of ‘keep it simple’ helps here. Garnishes are best made with edible items. Recently, we had to garnish a pineapple mousse. It was pale yellow, nearly cream in colour. Cherries are run-of-the-mill so we decided to use caramel art. Well, the sugar syrup went a little ahead than we expected and as the lights were set, the mousse ready to melt, we spun the sugar into wisps of sugar threads. Took a bunch and put it on the mousse. A bit of creativity is very satisfying!
The more popular garnishes like lemon twist or slice, cucumber twist, carrot juliennes, carrot bundle, spring onion whisk, red chilli flower, tomato wings and roses, chocolate and sugar craft can help you create some wonderful looking plates. Play around with two to three colours, never more, for it should be easy on the eye. Sauces also play a key role in dressing up the plate. Sauce can be served around or under the food and if you desire to pour it on top, pipe in thin ribbon form ensuring that the food is not hidden under it.
Presentation is the key to a successful dish. Here are my favourites:

Till I write again,

Sanjeev Kapoor.

Budget Day, Shoot in Ahemdabad, Happy Holi

This week has been a roller coaster , right? First the coverage of the cricket matches. I think the world had stopped for so many when Sachin’s double century was on live TV. Alyona told me that the shopkeepers were not keen to attend to their customers that afternoon! And many offices were too silent, because they were logged onto cricinfo. More constructive happenings today with the Budget being announced. I am so happy for the 60% of tax payers who are relieved with the announce ment of tax rate cuts by Pranab da in the Lok Sabha today. It was a long overdue and will make tax compliance more realistic. You can check with me next year that the tax collection will be much higher than what it is this year.

Today was the last day of induction programme with Mr. Hassan Mechmechani who had come down all the way from Baharain. We gave him a farewell and handed him all the soft and hard copies of the programme. His last visit was to The Yellow Chilli, Powai to understand the working of the buffet menu. He was very impressed with the turn out for the lunch at the restaurant.

Will be in Ahmedabad on Sunday to shoot Matla Undhiyo in traditional style and thought that while I am there why not go to some landmark food places and focus camera in places such as Vishala, Rajwadu, Sarkhej Raza, Bhatiyer Gali, Mehta Chawana Shop, Sabarmati jail….

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a long happy weekend with Holi holiday being the most fulfilling and fun filled with friends and family. Some goodies for you to cook on this festival – feather light Poha Idlis, kid friendly Corn and Cheese Dosa, easy to make Rose Sandesh.

Sanjeev Kapoor.