Is it safe to reuse cooking oil

There is a lot written in the media about not to save the oil or ghee that has been used for frying for re-use. As it is, frying once changes the composition of the fat/oil so it seems that twice used fat must be horrible. There is an even greater health risk when you cook with pre-cooked oil/ghee.

Actually, reusing cooking oil has been done for ages. There isn’t really is any problem, if done properly. The greatest hazard is allowing the oil or ghee to become spoiled to the point that it produces undesirable flavours and odours. When oil becomes spoiled, it appears dark and thick. Besides ruining what would have been a perfectly good meal, spoilt oils also contain free radicals that are potentially carcinogenic.

To understand how to best re-use oil, it is important to know about smoke points – the temperatures at which oil begins to decompose. If you heat oil to a temperature that is too high, it produces smoke fumes. Acreolin, a substance that makes your eyes burn, is given off as well. To re-use oil safely, use these tips: strain it through a few layers of muslin cloth to catch any food particles. Be careful with hot oil, though, because you can easily get burned. Shake off excess batter from food before frying it. Turn off the heat after you are done cooking. Also exposing oil to prolonged heat accelerates rancidity. Do not ever mix different types of oil. Store all oils, fresh or used in a cool, dark place. Avoid iron kadais for frying oil that is to be reused. The metal also accelerates rancidity.

The optimal temperature to fry foods at is 190°C At higher temperatures, the food will burn on the outside and at lower temperatures, the food absorbs too much oil and tastes greasy. Different oils have different smoking points. Oils with higher smoking points are better for frying. For example, safflower, sunflower, soyabean. The more popular ones like groundnut oil have a lower smoking point. And olive oil has the lowest. This explains the reason why olive oil is never used for deep frying.

But olive oil, thanks to its goodness, adds more to Indian food! How about some daily recipes that can be cooked with olive oil….

Subzi aur tamatar ka pulao

Paneer keema

Batata nu shaak

Happy Cooking!

Sanjeev Kapoor.

Wonderchef event in Pune

Driving down to Pune today and it will be lovely drive as the rains have washed all the greenery clean to a sparkle!

The Wonderchef event begins at 9.30 am at S.M.Joshi Auditorium, Near Patrakar Bhavan, Ganjve Chowk , Navi Peth, Pune – 411 030. It’s all about healthy cooking using top of the line cookware and bakeware. You can look forward to chocolate cake, dosa, pan pizza and chicken dishes.

Healthy cooking is a real passion with me. I have not only answered numerous queries about how everyday cooking can be made simpler and healthier, but I have also enjoyed compiling recipe books on this topic. There are more on the anvil now and as time goes by, you will have access to newer techniques of simpler cooking.

That is my mantra, really. To make the process of cooking as simple as possible so that when one reads the recipe it motivates the reader to try it out….with confidence and with the feeling that “I can do it”. Every step brings one to success or failure. And success is only another definition of failing but forward every time. If you do not get a good result from the recipe the first time around, try again…and again…till you are satisfied.

I will give you the simplest of the recipes today and the weekend is the best time to try them out.

Steamed Dosa

Mixed Vegetables in Coconut Kadhi

Chocolate Yogurt

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.

Doing things zara hat ke

Came back from Jaipur quite late last night. Had a live demo of recipes like Fruit kebab with teriyaki sauce and Kathal ki Biryani. The event went on well and everyone enjoyed the kebabs and biryani.

So much has been happening in the trial kitchen too. Some exclusive recipes like Tandoori Paneer Tikka Makhni and Three Pepper Chicken Chettinaad have been under evolution. Today have an induction meeting for the upcoming restaurant in Bahrain and the special pot in the kitchen will present a white based Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Garlic Bread, Fish in Thai Green Curry sauce with steamed rice, Paneer Makhni, Three Pepper Rice, Tossed Salad and finish off with straight-from-the-oven Walnut Brownies. Yummy!

Yesterday had time to read the newspaper at length and came across a small boxed item by a student counsellor who writes about exams being a party with the first question being the welcome drink, the second being a starter and the third onwards the main course! I somehow like, rather love, his comparisons. I think a person who can think in terms of food for everything in life is just my sort! Anyway, cooking and food is a passion with me and just as an artist finds a canvas and paints irresistible, for me creating new dishes and doing things zara hat ke for food are irresistible!

As I wind up, some tasty offerings from the special zara hat ke pot: Very Low Fat Brownies, Pudina Paneer, Palak Tikki with Soya Granules.

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

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.

Wonderchef reaches Banglaore, Playing food-food with kids

If you reside in Bangalore then there is a chance of our meeting at the Wonderchef, a business venture of mine where our objective is to empower women and earn money in the process by selling kitchen gadgets and accessories through my recipe shows. To promote this activity and give a stimulus to my people working in Bangalore and neighbouring areas, I myself would be there to interact with you all at Grand Magrath Hotel, Magrath Road, Near Garuda Mall, Bangalore on 19th February, 2010 from 11 a.m. onwards. So if you are looking for an opportunity this well could be your chance to start your own enterprise.

Simplicity sometimes enthrals! Well, in all humility, it enthrals me at all times! Had this rice Amma our cook had made yesterday: Tossed long grain basmati with grated cabbage, grated carrot and thinly sliced capsicum with only salt and pepper. Lovely flavours and very fragrant. I have thanked her for this new recipe! This also is a reminder that our Vegetarian Rice Special Feature is on line on

As the book on Fussy Kids is ready for the printing house I go back to your queries about ‘how should we make our kid eat vegetables’! In every home there would be one story or the other about how kids have an aversion to vegetables! One can well think of peas lined up on the side of the plate or better still finding their way onto the neighbour’s plate. One friend’s dad (in his early 60s) first fishes out the mushrooms from the baked casserole and back it goes into the dish. Then who can blame children!

One has to think smart and then act smart too. Says my friend who is a practising paediatrician, children who eat fruit may be provided with the same minerals and vitamins as vegetables.

Let me tell you that a bit of trickery can always get those vegetables onto the plate. A puree in the ketchup can often go undetected as also grated carrots in dark honey cakes. Often it is felt that the child is not eating enough. Little does it strike us that one child’s serving can be half of an average adult’s. As in most homes, there is one child at least that avoids a meal…for the simple reason that the snacking around the mealtime has ruined the appetite. Here a bit of discipline is required. A few children thrive on fried foods. With potato chips, french fries, burgers and other Indian fast foods like wadas and pav bhaji being favourites, the parent is often worried by the lack of intake of proper nutritious meals. A sensible thing would be to keep fruit handy, all cut up in plate, around the kitchen area if dinner is likely to be delayed. The hungry horde will reach out for the fruit and in the process avoid less healthier in-between snacks. If the general feeling is that fat intake is on the higher side then skimmed milk can be given instead of full cream milk. And, of course, there is this brigade that screws up every little nose at the sight of a glass of milk! Despair not for a slice of cheese or a cup of yogurt supplies the same amount of calcium. Then outsmart them…slip in milk in puddings, soups and cereals.

Another battle front is sweets and chocolates. Ban them and they will eat at the neighbours or friends at the sly. Hence allow a quota and then no more. Kids are copycats…if the elders refrain from sweets the kids will soon follow. In fact this holds true even for the meals and eating habits.

Our kitchen has dished up a lovely lunch for our guests today who are here to take the TV Channel work a little bit further: we are having Pimento and Herb Rice, Grilled Chicken with Two Mushroom Sauce, Vegetable Casserole, Assorted Breads and Fruit Trifle.

Would also like to share these “smartened” recipes that you can serve to your children: Sprout Bhelpuri, Baked Potato Wedges.

Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor.