Sare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara!

Sare jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara keeps resonating in my ears – more so when I step out of the shores of our beloved country. And it is so very true. I have travelled far and wide and believe me there really is no other place quite like our India. During each of my trip abroad, I have always longed to get back no matter how interesting and enjoyable the trip may have been.

And let me refresh everybody’s memory that the most unique thing about India is that we got our freedom without waging a bloody war with those who were ruling us. We are indeed the pioneers in non violence movement and ably led by Mahatma Gandhi we got our freedom without resorting to violence in any form. Of course there was blood shed, we did lose quite a few of our brave men in the process but we did not pick up any weapons in our arms. Our only weapon was our firm resolution to get back what was rightfully ours. And the names of these brave freedom fighters are written in golden words in our history.

Finally on 15th August, 1947 we became rulers of our country from being ruled for almost 200 years – I mean we became a free country. And on 26th January 1950, India became a republic. And since then we celebrate this day each year with much fanfare and patriotic fervor.

Here, I would like to ask how many of us know the actual meaning of republic. Becoming republic means that the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly sovereign state.

When I was schooling in Delhi, Republic day meant getting up at the crack of dawn, getting togged up in warm woolens and going to Rajpath to catch a vantage point to watch the republic day parade which draws people from not only all over our country but also from our neighboring nations. Also, for one more reason that the food available in this area is simply exotic. The marvelous eateries at Pandara Road near India Gate and the ever-so-enthusiastic ice cream vendors at India Gate – I did not miss an opportunity to get my favourite flavour, even if it was winters!

The function starts with the President of India hoisting the Tricolour in the presence of various dignitaries from various countries and of course thousands of Indians who brave the cold winter morning to watch this entire splendor. And then begins the parade which starts from Rajpath and proceeds along Vijaypath where different regiments of Army, Navy and Air force march past in all their finery and decorations. This is followed by NCC cadets from all over the country marching, children from various schools performing, beautifully decorated floats from representing the various states of India – all which showcase the diversity and richness of our culture. And all through this the President stands in attention taking salute and giving salute.

Today, it is not often that I get a chance to watch the Republic day festivities in person but I do try to catch it up on the National television. Thanks to the live telecast, children of today who are not in Delhi, are kept abreast with our history and culture.

Here are the links to some republic day special recipes…

Tricolour Sandwiches

Tiranga Paneer Tikka

Shaam Savera

Maha Challenge wrapped up successfully!

First and foremost, here’s wishing everyone a very Happy Janmashtami!
A month’s already passed by shooting the Maha Challenge episodes, and the final pack up happened on August 19. As always, it was really a great learning experience for me as well as my team. Then, there were some of the lighter and fun moments, all those times when Madhuri had been on the sets. All in all, it was simply superb!
But, for me the hectic schedule just seems unending…just after the wrap up, I had to fly to Delhi, to attend the Indian Restaurant Congress 2011, where I was one of the key speakers.
Back in the office, my team is really tied and super busy with the new Website work. There is a lot which is being done for the revamping of the website… so that when it is launched in its new avatar, there is a lot more for all the food lovers and my fans all over the world. It surely is going to be improved and exciting! So watch out for it…!
For now, let’s just celebrate Janmashtami with some of these recipes…
Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Maha Challenge Roadshow! Maha success! Tomorrow in Mumbai

Even though it is a hectic week, I am determined to travel the way I enjoy best! By rail – in Shatabdi as I write this, on my way to Surat and enjoying the peace! Too much of air travel does get tiring but a train journey still has that bit of excitement attached for me!
Delhi and Noida events on May 6 – done – with a great turn out. Then, I spent Saturday in Kuwait where I launched the Khazana food range at their Lulu supermarket. Again a sea of very enthusiastic food lovers who enjoyed the demos thoroughly. Sunday was at home – time to put the feet up. From today something monumental is starting in my kitchens: trials for the The Yellow Chilli Cookbook that has long been on the anvil! My team of dedicated chefs is preparing the recipes for the home cook with the authentic TYC flavour! I think it is going to be an excellent collection of recipes.
Tomorrow, May 10, is a grand event of FoodFood Maha Challenge in Mumbai at Oberoi Garden City, Off Western Express Highway, Dindoshi, Goregaon (E). I will be demonstrating Fresh Dough Pizza, Egg Balchao Golgappe and Shrikhand with Mango. Be there 2 pm onwards and catch the buzz! I do hope to see a lot of avid cooks there! Registrations are going to happen on the spot.
Before I log off for the moment, let me share some recipes. These are especially for the vacationing kids who want yummy snacks, a different one, everyday!
Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

FoodFood Press Conference in Delhi

Just settling down in Delhi after a short trip to Agra to attend our team member Chef Sauurabbh Saxena’s wedding. Alyona will be flying down shortly and together we will address the Press Conference with Ms Madhuri Dixit Nene at Hotel Imperial in Connaught Place 4 pm onwards.

The same venue will be the location for a dinner party at 8 pm.

Will write again once back in Mumbai.

Sanjeev Kapoor

Joy of Halwa

As a North Indian, I can say I have grown up eating halwapuri halwa is a special breakfast combination in Punjab and Delhi! The Golden Temple in Amritsar has the Kadaprasad which is a rich version of halwa…then of course we have the suji halwa which takes the name of sheera in some states. But what I was totally thrilled with is the Lakshwadeep Halwa I picked up in Kottayam this weekend. I have tasted Kerala’s most famous traditional banana halwa – firm, nutty and quite dark in colour (frankly, its black!) but is appetising in looks! I picked up not only banana halwa for family, friends and colleagues but also the more contemporary pineapple halwa and my discovery Lakshwadeep Halwa. It comes in little banana leaf parcels all tied up with twine.

First you have to untie the twine. And yes, the more interested ones had a good whiff of the parcel before opening it…the contents are soft and dark and in a ball shape…the first bite says coconut, coconut all the way and the second bite gives signals of something sweet (maybe jaggery or dates, dates it is ) and then the third bite onwards you get the ginger taste. By this time, the taste buds are completely satiated with the fruity flavours and one starts to fill up on it. Lovely but best to have only one half of it!

My chat here is slowly going to take you to the fact that one should really try out new things and also to savour the taste and then come to a conclusion about your liking or dislike for it. In fact, I love to create new recipes and this is what most of us crave for all the time…something new to keep the taste buds revved up. If one enjoys new flavours then life will take you onto a fast track of gastronomic discoveries.

So lets give you something new to start the week…no more Monday blues!

Soya Granule Lasagne
Chicken and Spinach Pizza
Corn and Coriander Rice

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Of Pav Wadas and Pav Bhaji and all things yummy

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May 1 – Maharashtra Day, Labour Day (wonder why a holiday if it is “labour’day!) and also a day off. Needed this time off to keep my feet up for a while as next week is choc a bloc with travel plans – Delhi, Bahrain and then a holiday in Spain.

The show at Bangalore (Bengaluru) was a success: I made something new using prawns marinated in Thai Red Curry wrapped up in tender chicken slices. Turned out well and hope to put the recipe on site for you. I think all those who love to cook need to keep their creative juices flowing otherwise life becomes bland. The other day I was riffling through a magazine and came across a pic of bite sized pav wadas served skewered with a toothpick. Well, it is amazing what a little change in presentation can do. I liked the idea. That reminds me, pav wada is ‘the’ food of Mumbai and as a tribute to Maharashtra Day today I am going to share my favourite Maharashtrian dishes with you.

My association with Maharashtra is since childhood, Bombay being my f

ather’s hometown. At least every four year (hometown LTC) we used to come to Mumbai and get a taste of Bombay. (It wasn’t Mumbai then.) From a very early age my taste buds got accustomed to the tastes of urban Maharashtra, from Batata Vadas to Bhakarwadi, from Pav Bhaji to Poha, from Misal to Modak. Now as even my mouth begins to water let me share some recipes with


Missal Pav, Pav Wada, Pav Bhaji.

Gorge on these and enjoy a good weekend.

Sanjeev Kapoor.

Wonderchef show in Gurgaon on April 15

Am in Delhi today and tomorrow at Gurgaon – for a Wonderchef Demo. The time is 11.30 am and venue: Vipul Green Club, Sohna Road, Opp South City 2, Gurgaon.

What will be I demonstrating? Some chicken, some dessert, some pizza…I will let the suspense remain! Right now, feeling that the moist air of so-hot Mumbai is better than the dry atmosphere of Delhi! Delhi thrives in a little world of its own. When it comes to food, the cuisine is fit for royalty as delicacies are served to prime ministers, presidents and dignitaries. Drop in at any Indian restaurant and a mind boggling array of Mughlai rich sauces, butter-based curries, ginger-flavoured succulently roasted meats will be available. Not to forgo is the rose petal strewn kulfi, which is creamy and melt-in-the-mouth. Old Delhi is a wandering gourmet’s delight as snacks like chana bhatura, stuffed kulchas and fruit chaats not only tingle the palate but also satisfy hunger pangs admirably well.

I do not know if I will have the time to go and have these in this trip but as the mouth waters thinking about the Dilli delights I will share some recipes with the same flavour.

Dilli Aloo Chaat, Chole ,Baked Bhature .

Meantime, I have to get back to the wedding functions that we are here to attend.

Happy Cooking
Sanjeev Kapoor