The month goes rolling by fast!

Showed today on Aaj Takchannel an intriguing recipe of Rainbow Rice. Had the shoot yesterday in my office studio kitchen and I had a rather rushed day. Came back on late night 21st from Korea, then this shoot the following morning, and straight after rushed to Powai as I had a speaking engagement for IRF Consumer Insights. The topic was “Understanding the Urban Middle Class Indian Housewife.” Soon after, came back to office as there were some meetings and interviews lined up!
Rainbow Rice
After all this, was present at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, today, for the Times Hospitality Expo 2011 to inaugurate the event with other renowned celebrities like Mr. Chaggan Bujbal (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation), Mr. Anil Deshmukh (Food and Civil Minister), Mr. Ajay Chopra (Master Chef, TV Celebrity Chef), Ms. Tarla Dalal (food critic), Abhijeet MukherjeE (VP Taj Luxury Properties, all over India), Mr. Vithal Kamath (Orchid Group/Kamath Group). The star attraction for this show was the demonstration and seminar by WICA association.
At the Times Hospitality Expo 2011 with other delegates
Going to Amritsar on Saturday, the 24th, to attend the two day HRANI Convention where I’ll be joined by some other delegates like Mr. Suresh Kumar (CEO, Fortune Park Hotels, ITC Group), Mr. Patu Keswani (CMD, Lemon Tree Hotels), Mr. Samir Kuckreja (CEO&MD Nirula’s; President, National Restaurant Association of India, NRAI), Mr. Vikram Bakshi (MD, McDonald’s, India) and the likes. For the session “F&B forms an important part of hotel revenue”, some points that I will be speaking about will be:
How to drive profits from F&B?
Should hotels outsource the F&B?
Would it be an advantage for 1-3 star hotels to allow delivery of food to rooms rather than investing in their own kitchen in restaurants?
Again, Day 2 will begin with a heritage walk through the old city of Amritsar visiting the Jalianwala Bagh and Golden Temple followed by the rest of the presentations and finally wrapping up with a cocktail lunch and a tour to Wagah Border. Quite an interesting trip, I must say!
Mid next week is my session in Hyderabad with the Billion Hearts Beating (BHB) Foundation to mark the World Heart Day. On 29th in Chennai for one more event related to the BHB activities.
As this month folds up, we will be planning another shooting schedule for Sanjeev Kapoor’s Kitchen on FoodFood. October is the month of launches: new look and an all new Hindi
Giving you all a taste of authentic Amritsari khana with…

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Biryani – the bountiful rice dish

Biryanis are visual delights: a beautiful array of long-grained rice, tender meat, pungent spices, flavourful nuts and most often, orange strands of exotic saffron.
Originally, biryanis were counted as a north Indian dish (the Mughals based in northern India are the key innovators of this superb preparation) but this fragrant food soon found favour with the Nawabs of Hyderabad and Lucknow. Now, of course, it is a dish prevalent all over the country. Served essentially as a main dish, it is soul satisfying as the quantity of lamb is double that of the rice. And then with a yogurt salad, biryani is undoubtedly lazeez and complete meal.
A good biryani will typically be prepared by a method called ‘dum dena’ : dum literally means breath and the process involves placing the semi cooked ingredients in a pot or deg, sealing the utensil with flour dough and applying very slow charcoal fire from top, by placing some live charcoal on the lid and some below. The magic of dum is the excellent aroma, flavour and texture which results from slow cooking.
Let us take you on a whirlwind tour into the world of biryanis and be prepared to have your mouth watering as you read on.
Chilman biryani: Lamb biryani cooked on low heat with a sprinkling of kewra, this dish is covered with a rich dough of flour, butter and water. This chilman (puff) is unveiled at the time of serving.
Asaf Jahi Degchi Biryani: This creation calls for mutton chops to be smothered in a yogurt based marinade with a lot of garlic, ginger and garam masala. As the rice is done with the flavours of cardamoms, bay leaves and black peppercorns, the final presentation is joyfully covered with halves of boiled eggs, chopped coriander and mint.
Yakhni Pulao: If it’s a Nawab who is judging a biryani competition, Yakhni Pulao would get all the prizes! Biryani is the ‘country-cousin’ of this exalted pulao which is basically an aesthetic blend of rich mutton stock, aromatic spices and rice. Inclusion of mutton pieces is optional as the mutton stock is enough to make a flavourful meal.
Kofta Pulao: Whoever thought of adding koftas to long grain rice and turning this into a biryani, is sure an innovative mind. The Kofta Pulao – white fluffy rice dotted with balls of minced meat in league with rose water, saffron and whole masala is a highlight of many formal dinners.
Mutanjan: A challenging preparation what with the amount of sugar that goes into it. Yes, Mutanjan has equal amounts of rice, mutton and sugar! The masalas: black peppercorns, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, bay leaves, cloves compliment the final flavour whereas the saffron, kewra, rose water and curds give the touch of all that is biryani.
Lucknowi Biryani: This delight from Lucknow has all the basic ingredients of mutton biryani but with a small addition of two to three drops of sweet itter.
Zarda Pulao: Sweet rice with khoya, saffron and kewra, sprinkled lavishly with slivers of almonds, pistachios and covered with silver foil.

Hot Rocks launch in Hyderabad

Mumbai, 7th December, 2009

Back to Mumbai after touring for most part of the weekend. Had a relaxed Sunday evening and after a long time spent qualitative time with my family.

The launch of my new book Marwari Vegetarian Cooking went smoothly in Delhi. From there went to Hyderabad for the launch of the theme based restaurant ‘Hot Rocks’. We had great plans for the launch but due to unforeseen local disturbances could not have the party as planned. We had an official press conference though, followed by a quiet dinner having a variety of starters like Rajma Galouti Kababs, Oriental Fish Skewers, Lemon Coriander Noodle Soup and also a wide range of main courses like Stir fried Exotic Vegetables in Pepper Hoisin Sauce, Chilli Garlic Noodles, Classic Baked Jacket Potato, Subz Biryani, Thai Green Chicken Curry, Murgh Biryani. The live counters had the most crowd for the pastas and Tikki Chole! Breads like Sheermal, Naan and Garlic Bread were definitely a hit. And the desserts – Gulab Jamun, Caramel Custard and Soufflé got their due. I have postponed the formal launch party to a later date. But with this great dinner I will have to work out for an extra hour!

Hot Rocks, the first stone grill restaurant of its kind, has officially opened its doors for the ever discerning foodies of Hyderabad. A buffet with food grilled on stone awaits at Hot Rocks, RS Square Hotels and Resorts Pvt. Ltd., E 3 & 4, 5th Floor, Kimtee Square, Road No 12, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad – 500034.

Cooked some fancy pastas for my daughters for Sunday dinner! And now back to planning out the week and busy time ahead. Time for lunch, time to go.

Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor.