Christmas dinner at home – Plan the menus in advance

Christmas is 50 days away and kids are the most excited by the thought of the numerous gifts that they would get or what Santa Claus would get them! For us, who look after the eats and the kitchen at home, it is time to decide on some menus that could work for Christmas dinner and set the spirits for the festivities.

Well, Christmas Dinner Recipes are no longer a challenge to find really. All you have to do is decide what sort of cuisine you would like to focus on. Try a mix. Have some light poultry with a nicely baked potato dish, a cold salad, all finished with creamy hot beverages with cookies or then a luscious decorative dessert! And if it is a snack and dessert party (is fast becoming popular as more and more people are skipping main course), dwell a lot on research of starter recipes. For ideas I am going to suggest some recipes in all categories but today the focus is on starters.
Starters with chicken:

Fried Chicken Wings with Chilli Pineapple Sauce.
Bacon Rolled Mustard Chicken
Keema Samosa
Vegetarian options:

Asparagus Canapes
Cheese and Herb Patti Samosa
The best part of having finger foods is that you can base your whole menu around it. Have at least four or five starters if you are throwing a party. Count at least six-seven pieces per guest and once you know the segregation of vegetarians and non-vegetarians make the appropriate portions or numbers. When you serve them on platters (with toothpicks, dips, chutneys and paper napkins) do ensure that the platter holds a little flag saying the name or whether the dish has vegetarian or non vegetarian contents. It helps tremendously in being a gracious and thoughtful host/hostess. Be ready with a stack of small plates as even if one guest expresses his desire for one, more will quickly follow suit because eating from a plate is more convenient than managing with just toothpicks and napkins!
So as the mood is set to start planning your forthcoming Christmas Dinner or Party, do take some time off the start jotting down important notes!

Back home for celebrations

Feeling jet lagged but happy that I just about made it back home before my birthday ended on April 10. Arrived home late last night and it is wonderful to be back with family. My sister in law, Vandana is here with family from Australia and there is more reason to celebrate a birthday….
My US-Canada trip was a really productive one. I will gradually share the pics but right now have some links which give you an idea of the media coverage in Canada and US. I have come back feeling very elated that Indian food is loved so much in the West and that people find it so intriguing and so interesting…I really think we should not take our lovely food for granted and continue cooking at home with great love and care. People abroad actually struggle to get the right ingredients so that their Indian food comes out perfectly!
I have spoken at length about rajma and chole and kadhis and how they are my comfort foods….and it is only right that I share these today with you…
From my trip:
Toronto Star Amazing 3 page interview
‘India’s Rachael Ray’ has a new cookbook for North Americans
“Kapoor spend a few minutes mildly fretting about a booksigning at Costco…later he texted me the good news: He sold more than 75 books in an hour.”
Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Cool November

Am in Delhi while I write this and it is so much cooler here than in Mumbai…but good weather for us is also around the corner too! I am sure December will be cool in Mumbai, though it is rare to see sweaters come out of the cupboards!
If the weather is to be enjoyed well and truly, then Tawa recipes are the name of the game. The Yellow Chilli at MovieWorld, Ghaziabad, Pacific Mall at Saibabad, and at Greater Noida and Noida will be hosting the Tawa Festival running through 15th to 30th of November. With the sizzle of the food on the tawa and the deep aromas enjoy foods like Tawa Palak Pudina Paratha, Amritsari Tawa Gosht, Tawe Ki Urad Dal and Kalimirch Tawa Chicken.
Some great things have sparked off ever since we had the Innovation Station competition before Diwali. The prize winning Rajgire Chikki with Kesar Sandesh will be dished out for our guests for a lunch tomorrow along with mini batatawadas, Biscuit Corn Sevpuri, Pindi Chole, Chatpati Bhindi and Ajwain Paranthas. As the guests are from out of India this is a good introduction. A few days ago, my team dished out a fantastic Gulab Jamum Thandai Mousse and a Dark Chocolate Mousse with Peanut Chikki. Dream desserts!
The Wonderchef cookery classes and demonstrations are going on in full strength at the Inorbit Malls at Vashi and Malad. Two sessions with Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi are scheduled for the 17th and 18th of November. Be there as the Wonderchef range of cookware and bakeware is really simplifying cooking for their proud owners and it is worthwhile to understand their benefits live!
As I wind up, lets share some tawa food and some dreamy dessert with you!

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor.