Launching Lounge bar Sura Vie

Back from a business trip to US and UK in connection with my TV channel. Will settle down today, and tomorrow am shooting with the Master Chef team. Later in the week, will be travelling to Delhi for two purposes: launch of my first Lounge Bar Sura Vie and to shoot Part III of my series with CNN. Part I was done in Mumbai, Part II with Chef Rene at his Noma restaurant at Copenhagen. I intend to visit a farm before the shoot, pick up some fresh produce and cook at Sura Vie.
The weather is changing for the better, read cooler, in Mumbai. I did realize that the morning is pleasant when I landed. Well, it is not that winter is actually upon us, but definitely a pleasant change from last month’s heat. Some offices have already put up their Christmas trees as an early welcome to the festival. We are arranging a Cake Competition just before Christmas where all the chefs in my team are going to fight it out! Looking forward to some really creative cakes, some baked goodies with a difference!
December is also going to give you some chocolate stories that can be written in your kitchen and then presented to your loved ones – cakes, desserts, puddings and what not. All recipes are on Also relish some easy to do snacks that do not require much effort or time to prepare. Every body’s new favourite food, pasta, is also being brought you in all its variations this month, so look out!
As the week begins, try some nourishing and comforting recipes for a light dinner.
Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

From Denmark to USA

Flew down from Copenhagen to Houston and onto San Francisco to attend the soiree set by Chef Ranjan Dey in this famed New Delhi Restaurant on Ellis street. Recipes from my book How to Cook Indian were served as a part of the dinner menu and the book itself was launched as a fund raising event for the Compassionate Chefs Café (CCC), a no profit organization, founded by Dey in San Francisco. CCC works with the Tenderloin After School Program (TASP) and the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad to provide them with important resources to become members of a global village. New Delhi Restaurant, set up way back in 1988, is impressive. Named one of the finest Indian restaurants in the US by New York Times and it also features on the Galloping Gourmet TV Show. New Delhi has been decorated like a maharaja’s private banquet room and the restaurant serves cuisine made from recipes culled from the royal Indian menus dating back 300 to 400 years using the freshest local ingredients. Ranjan Dey is chef and owner, as also star of PBS show ‘My India’. He creates daily specials with his six gourmet spice blends that are marketed under the name of New World Spices. Dey is the caretaker of Indian culture and cuisine in the west, definitely!

Off to New York for a couple of days and some more events. Then back home.
As the flavour of my trip is to promote Indian cuisine, I will encourage you to get going with some wholesome recipes at home, starting with dinner tonight!

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor.

The world of biryanis

In the world of biryani chicken biryani is probably the one that is cooked more often in most homes. If your rice is of good quality, and your spice rack is well stocked, then there is nothing that can stop you from dishing up a fragrant chicken biryani. Chicken is a good quality protein and when combined with rice, herbs, spices and yogurt, it makes a healthy and filling one dish meal. You could of course serve it with kachumber and raita on the side. Only for thing is essential. For a good biryani, chicken or meat or egg or vegetables, time it in such a way that it is served piping hot, fresh from the stove!
To make a biryani follow these steps:
  • Boil sufficient water in a deep pan, add three green cardamoms, four cloves, one stick of cinnamon, bay leaves and salt to taste. Boil1½ cups soaked Basmati rice in this till three fourth done. Drain and set aside. Chop 2 pieces of one inch ginger and cut 2 pieces of same size into thin strips.
  • Mix 1 cup yogurt, salt, 5 chopped garlic cloves, 1 ½ teaspoons red chilli powder, and half the chopped ginger and marinate 600 grams chicken pieces in this mixture for about an hour preferably in the refrigerator.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep fry 2 large sliced onions till golden. Drain on absorbent paper and set aside.
  • Heat three tablespoons oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add three green cardamoms, 4 cloves and one stick of cinnamon and sauté till fragrant. Add 2 large sliced onions and sauté till light golden. Add the remaining chopped ginger, 5 chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon coriander powder, 2 teaspoons turmeric powder, 1 ½ teaspoons red chilli powder, one teaspoon garam masala powder and 4 chopped tomatoes. Sauté for about five minutes.
  • Add the marinated chicken and cook on high heat for five minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes or till the chicken is tender. Add fresh coriander and mix well.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Dissolve a generous pinch of saffron in warm milk.
  • Arrange in alternate layers the cooked chicken and rice. Sprinkle saffron milk, some garam masala powder, ginger strips, fresh mint, fried onions and 3 tablespoons butter in between the layers and on the top. Make sure that you end with the rice layer topped with saffron and spices.
  • Cover and seal with aluminium foil or roti dough. Cook in the preheated oven for ten to twelve minutes. Alternatively you can keep the pan on a hot tawa and cook on low heat for ten to twelve minutes.
  • Serve hot with raita.
In case you are looking for more recipes of biryani, try Biryani with Chutney chicken, kachche Murgh Ki Biryani or something lighter like Egg Biryani.