Live show in Pink City Jaipur, fulfil your food wishlist

Flying out to Jaipur early tomorrow morning to participate in an event organised by UNESCO in association with NERDT and the Indian Food Ministry. The venue is Entertainment Paradise. Well, at this point I do not have the event timings but I am demonstrating some recipes in a live show for sure. So it’s Jaipur, February 24th, Entertainment Paradise. Let us meet.

I have been asked many times how I am able to maintain my weight loss over the years. I am sorry but one cliché does come to mind! What gets measured gets improved. Try it. Write down all the things you eat in a day. And number them. In the case of someone who wants to lose weight, then a long list is alarming and one gets thinking as to why did I eat those two biscuits just then, why did I drink one more cup of sugary tea just then??? People on a diet are strictly asked to note down their consumption of the day and then it is not the input of calories that matters sometimes, it is the reason for eating that particular food at that particular time. This leads to whole new reflection on emotional eating but more of that later!

So what gets written also gets done! I have this habit of writing my to-do list every single morning. If I have the time, I do it the night before. If there is a long list that seems absolutely undoable (especially travelling in Mumbai from one end to another!) then we look at solutions and get the meetings done at a mutually convenient place or in my office then. The idea of a to-do list is to get the feeling of achievement and also to get the work done! Alyona has a different list: things to buy or shop for that day. My daughter has a different list: portion to cover today for the upcoming board exam. My colleagues and subordinates have another kind of list! And the best part is that all of us have one thing in common always: a wishlist!!

Coming to wishlists, food always looms large. Don’t you say, oh I feel like having a creamy pastry today, or some chaat from the roadside or then something as simple as hot rotis straight off the tawa! All these wishes can be easily fulfilled….keep logged on to and enjoy the recipes and be inspired to cook at home.

As the month seems to be rolling to an end, let us shape up the kitchen for some snacks for Holi. Try out Pichkari Thandai, Chocolate Golgappe, Palak ki Chaat.

Till I write again on my return from the Pink City!

Sanjeev Kapoor.

Fruits and Vegetables- Natural Healer

Monday brings a long to-do list! Trials for the soon-to-be-launched SK magazine are keeping us busy in the kitchen…what’s cooking? Wait a while! The ground work for the food channel is continuing in full force and I can hardly believe that six weeks of the new year have already gone by!

Yesterday was a quiet day at home: the gift of time for the family and my loved ones…nothing better yet! Had gone for a movie premiere with Alyona on Friday so I guess that was our special evening out.

I had a chance to read an article yesterday that suggested that it is easy for the doctors to say ‘put sodium, fat and calories on the moderate mode’ and feel healthy. They also say ‘have no cholesterol, but have more of fibre, vitamins A and C and antioxidants’. It does seem like a tall order but only for a fleeting second. Remember the solution lies in eating the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables everyday! The anxiety is just for this moment because fruits and vegetables are the most wonderful sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

The next time you go shopping, allocate a portion of the budget to red apples, ripe plump bananas, a pineapple, a papaya and even some cucumbers, tomatoes, beetroots, and greens. It is not to say do not buy the potatoes and onions, and peas and cabbage. By all means put all these and more in your bag. Fruits and vegetables contain some hundreds of phytochemicals with tongue twisting names. But these compounds are cancer fighting and well worth all the rupees spent on them. The thing is, no one fruit or vegetable has all the phytochemicals. That is why we need a variety. Tomatoes and watermelons have a particular type of carotenoid that is different from the beta-carotene in carrots and sweet potatoes. Broccoli has anti-cancer compounds and this is different from the cancer fighting sulfurous compounds found in garlic and onions. This clearly means that you just can’t eat tons of one fruit or one vegetable that you like and say you got your five servings! So let’s make a quick shopping list:
· Red fruits (tomatoes, watermelons, guavas)
· Cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli)
· Citrus (oranges, mosambis, lemons)
· Make you cry (onions, garlic)
· Orange veggies (carrots, pumpkins)

As the shopping is done, let us also help you out with some recipes. Like these ?
Cabbage Chana Dal, Surprise Orange, Grilled Pumpkin and Spinach Risotto

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Cook with love and a smile

As 14th Feb is meant for an expression of love, the best would be to put in renewed effort and vigour in everyday cooking! Everyday cooking is the most mundane, most taken for granted but the very best way to keep the whole family healthy…so add just two more things in your masala box: love and a smile! See the difference!

I brought back picture of Manit from his birthday celebrations. They say you should learn unconditional love from a child. It is over a period of growing up and the ‘conditional’ love that we parents give so often that sets off the whole cycle of conditional loving. In fact the easiest love to give is unconditional love to your child.

On the work front, going to Nashik to attend The Food Festival under the aegis of Nashik Festival 2010 at Donagare Vasatigruha Maidan, Nashik. It is being organised by the Bhujbal Foundation and has the Grantha Yatra and Haat Bazaar too. I have been invited as Guest of Honour. It should be a one day trip.

The trial kitchen will soon be permeated with the smell of Kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass and other fragrant herbs as we put together a feature of Thai food made easy for the Indian kitchen. Thai food is extremely healthy too as a lot of vegetables are used. More on as the month turns.

I have been getting a lot of enquiries about non-stick cooking ware that is available in the market. There is some confusion about what is the best way to choose a particular brand. Well, your judgement is the best. I would go for something that is a little heavy in weight, has a smooth even finish with no rough edges, comes with warranty and they are not stingy with giving some wooden tools with it and seem fair-priced. The pans which start to flake from the coating should be discarded. In fact, use only wooden and silicon tools to cook in them.

For the weekend, try these easy chocolate desserts that will be greeted with great joy!
Choco Jamun Fondue, Chocolate Fruit Pizza, Chocolate Truffles.

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Women’s health: Significant for a happy home

There is a flurry of activity with the trials for the upcoming book on kids’ recipes being stepped up. Soon to be followed by the photo shoot. So that would wrap it up. But there is something more brewing on the ‘books’ stove! Something for working women. In this world of equal opportunities, men and women work at the same pace, matching step with step. In the case of women the pressure is a little more what with responsibilities of home and family. Men have taken up this mantle to some extent but to a large extent the home remains the lady’s domain!
And the woman of the house has to put her health as priority – take general good care with a diet with proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, milk… there are some food swaps that can be easily incorporated so as to facilitate healthier eating – choose chaas or lassi over soft drinks otherwise have a bowl of sweetened yogurt. Forget the cookies and munch on cereal health bars or an apple.

Instead of potato wafers have popcorn. Breakfast is a must for good health in the long term. Most popular snacks like samosas and wada paos are good once in a while. It is better to have a brown bread sandwich with salad filling. Learn to appreciate the goodness of steamed snacks like idlis and dhoklas. Similarly choose khichdi over a biryani. Squeeze in some exercise into whatever cracks of time you find during the working day. Yoga and meditation is a good indoor option. It is very essential for all working women to pamper themselves. Remember only work and no play makes Jill a dull girl!

So what’s light ? Both on the cooking time and calories? Check these out!
Jammu ka Aloo Anardana Parantha (yes try it, it’s made without oil!), Steamed Ginger Chicken with Asian Greens, Poached Eggs on Vegetables.
Today is Alyona‘s younger sister’s son Manit’s first birthday, off to Navy Nagar Colaba for the celebrations.
Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Khana Khazana enters 16th year

Had a restful weekend with two days off on Saturday and Sunday. Wound up late on Friday night what with the 15th birthday celebrations of Khana Khazana India Pvt Ltd that carried on well till 1.30 am.

It was a joyous moment to have the presence of all my closest business associates Harsha Bhatkal, Dipen Joshi and Kuntal Mehta at the party. It was a blessing to have my elder brother Rajeev present too. There were some warmth filled moments when the core team was felicitated with certificates and trophies for their long standing support and their vote of thanks gave me more insights into their thought processes. The recipients Rajeev Matta, Harpal Singh Sokhi, Neena Murdeshwar, Chetan Raval, Tripta Bhagattjee and Rohit Mangela have been with us for over nine years!

As the team of KK is a group of dedicated young chefs, we expected them to come up with something different! Well, Swapnil, Dilpreet Singh Kohli, Remya, Kavitha and Jaaie roped in Priyanka and Sitaram from Accounts and all of them put together a superbly choreographed group dance performance and it was an eye opener to see so many twinkle toes! As the fun began so did the DJ get into action and it was a couple of hours of enthusiastic dancing on the floor. It was followed by a grand dinner and finally made it home at 1.30.

So what are the plans for the new year? Loads! I will be revealing them at the opportune time and one thing is for sure…it is the love of my fans, my readers and viewers that has helped us come so far and these feelings will fuel us on for the silver jubilee celebrations one decade down the line!

As celebrations means good food and desserts how about trying these out? Strawberry Panacotta, Tiramisu Icecream Cake, Walnut Chocolate Fudge.

Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor.

Wonderchef initiatives, Kolkata trip, Bengali sweets

Off to Kolkata for a day to attend a students’ event at Subhas Bose Institute of Hotel Management. Will have lunch with my Maasi and Maasaji and then back home tomorrow! Have to be – for Sunday is my Dream Run for the Forum of Autism. Harsha Bhogle, Alyona, and my team are running with me.
I always look forward to Kolkata. If I have time I have to pick up some gundi paan and get them home for Alyona. These are of special melt-in-the-mouth quality. I have spent some summer vacations of my childhood in Kolkata and know what the roadside puchkas, jhaal muri, stuffed mango kulfi, aam papad taste like! In fact all these special tastes are deeply embedded in my memory! I always say if passion has to be given a definition then the world should stop a while in Bengal! Bengalis are known for their deep love for books, music and theatre. What oxygen is to a being, poetry and art is for a Bengali! Though Bengalis are more famous for being fastidious, demanding and far too critical, they are, let me admit, accurate in their culinary judgements!
Yesterday the latter part of the afternoon went in a performance assessment meeting for Wonderchef convened by Nicolas Gras and Ravi Saxena. We had a brain storming session for 2010 and there is likelihood of new launches in the range.
My new book Dakshin Delights is ready – riffled through the advance copy while travelling to the airport – it will open new horizons for those who want to cook new things on a regular basis!
As thoughts of Notun Gurer Payesh and Sandesh enter my mind I also hear my flight being announced!
Bye for now.
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Kriti returns, Meet Waheedaji, Mumbai Marathon

Yes, the new year SMS greetings might have stopped but it is still valid to wish each other in person! Phew, four days gone already! Our weekend was exciting because Kriti came back from Sweden on Saturday night. Or rather Sunday morning. Everything was on schedule but for the fact that Mumbai airport has loads of international air traffic post midnight. So her plane kept circling and then the lack of parking space! We were waiting from 1.45 am to 4.30 am. Early birds? Anyway, welcomed Sunday as early as 5 am when we entered home and then as we slept through breakfast time it was time for brunch! Amma fed us Onion and Capsicum Uttappam with Tomato and Onion Chutney and Alyona quickly made some frothy Strawberry Milkshake.

Replete, just hung around the computer and TV and chatted with Mom. In the evening had a fantastic time with Anil Dharker and Amy Fernandes, had dinner with them at their residence. And met the most graceful of all yesteryear Indian actresses Waheedaji. She is charming and so is her daughter. Also could spend some time with late singer Mukesh’s son Mohnish Mathur who had also come down for the dinner party.

Twelve days from today, time to take part in the Mumbai Marathon! It has grown big and has reached international levels and that is a proud achievement for Mumbaikars. I am running for the Forum of Autism. When the first chapter of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) was announced, I (always have had health as a priority), chose running as the best way to fitness. I then chose a cause: to run for Forum for Autism and to spread the word that autistic children and their families have help on hand, thanks to the concerted efforts of the Forum for Autism to increase the awareness about the genetic disorder. That was the beginning. With every consequent chapter of the SCMM, my association with the Forum for Autism has been deepening, with more celebrities like Harsha Bhogle coming into the fold.

Till I write again.

Sanjeev Kapoor.