We all scream for Ice Cream !

Ice cream is an ancient dish. It goes back hundreds of years and some stories originate from England, some from Rome and even from China. The fact is that ice cream is probably the most loved dessert the world over, loved by young and old alike.

Waffles with Honey and Ice Cream

Waffles with Honey and Ice Cream

Ice cream is believed to be a French chef’s creation for Charles I of England at a state banquet: the new dish was cold and resembled fresh fallen snow but was much creamier and sweeter than any other after-dinner dessert. The guests were delighted, as was the king, who summoned the chef and asked him not to divulge the recipe for his frozen cream. The king wanted the delicacy to be served only at the royal table and offered the cook 500 pounds a year to keep it that way. Sometime later, however, poor Charles fell into disfavour with his people and was beheaded in 1649. But by that time, the secret of the frozen cream remained a secret no more. The cook, named De Mirco, had not kept his promise. This story is just one of many of the fascinating tales which surround the evolution of ice cream. The first improvement in the manufacture of ice cream (from the handmade way in a large bowl) was the invention of the hand-cranked freezer in the 19th century. About 1926 the first commercial successful ‘continuous process’ freezer was perfected. And this has allowed the mass production of ice cream!

Modern commercial ice cream is made from a mixture of ingredients like milk fat, caseins, whey proteins, lactose, sucrose, corn syrup, stabilizers and emulsifiers and surprisingly fifty five to sixty percent of the content is water. Ice cream factories usually make their own ice cream mix by combining milk, cream and sugar in a large vats, with the proportions and mixing controlled by computers.

Ice cream has milk as the major ingredient and similar products like frozen custard, ice milk, sorbets, Gelato, an Italian frozen dessert, and the popsicles (frozen fruit puree, or fruit juice or flavoured sugar water on a stick) and our very own kulfi also comes under the category of ice cream. Some classic ice cream desserts are famous around the world, 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 firm the meringue. The meringue is an effective insulator, and in the short cooking time needed, it prevents the heat 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. The ice cream in India I believe is still largely unexplored, however every now and then I do come across some brilliant flavours and concepts when it comes to this icy delight. One such thing is the chilli ice cream. The unexpected pleasantly surprising spice of green chillies, in the otherwise sweet, creamy icecream is what makes this a stand out. Im going to share this recipe with you so you’ll can try it first hand and experience the fabulousness of it!

Mango Icecream

Mango Icecream

Another favourite pic of the season is a fresh mango ice cream! Watch me whip up the same here.

Don’t forget to visit www.sanjeevkapoor.com for more recipes and do share your ice cream story with us in the comments below and let’s continue to inspire each other to create more magic in the kitchen!

Happy Cooking !

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The great garlic!

It’s raining hard and you are having a freshly made vada pao with its dry red lasun chutney. This dry lasun chutney is the clincher. Remove it and you can actually start feeling bereft of the authentic taste of Mumbai’s soul food.

Lasun, lehsun, lasan, garlic…give it your name and it remains the same, good old herb that has tonnes of health benefits. It is anti-social because it has an odour but it is possible to go out with teeth properly cleansed even if you have just snacked on fried garlic pods.

Homely recipes
Fried garlic pods? Don’t I just love them when done in ghee. In Punjab, when the days are too cold, people still fry whole garlic pods on a tawa with pure ghee…the pods should turn a nice brown and once off the heat, sprinkle with a little salt. Have one with every bit of roti. Okay, have half or a quarter but do have it! It’s a blood warmer, it’s a heart strengthener and it makes brushing necessary! The same way, green garlic stalks are something Gujaratis simply love to use in the undhiyo in the winter season. Can also chop the greens and sauté them lightly in ghee and have as an accompaniment with dal and bajra rotla.

The strength of the clove
I recommend that this cousin of the onion, shallot and leek be treated with a sharp knife and you would know that the finer you chop the clove stronger will be the flavour in the recipe. In fact I love to rub a bowl with garlic and then mix my salad in it. The taste is just perfect: something between there and not there! Believe it or not, one raw garlic clove, finely minced or pressed releases more flavour than a dozen cooked whole cloves.

Oh for the love of it!
Talk about garlic and the word breath follows! What can be done for garlic breath? Some say chew parsley, some say stick around with people who eat garlic! In fact, I read somewhere that even today no one in the British Royal Family eats garlic (so as not to have breath that might offend), and as a result no one who works for them is a garlic-eater either. And in the other extreme there is a Stinking Rose Restaurant in San Francisco that serves only garlic dishes. Garlic Ice cream included. The proportion is three cups milk to quarter teaspoon crushed garlic and a lot of cream and sugar and egg yolks. But garlic flavour gets to it for sure! There is a restaurant older than this in Helsinki. This restaurant serves garlic cheesecake and garlic everything, even garlic beer. The restaurant was founded in 1987 and has been open every single day since then – they do not close even for Christmas Eve, which is most unusual in Finland!

The right choice
Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian. Wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian and lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese and garlic makes all food good! It’s hard to cook with garlic without getting some on your hands. After exposure, scrub your hands with salt and lemon juice, using cold water. Then rinse off with soapy warm water. And while shopping, choose garlic heads that are firm to the touch, with no nicks or soft cloves. If you notice dark, powdery patches under the skin, pass it up because this is an indication of a common mould, which will eventually spoil the flesh.

As garlic ages, it will begin to produce green sprouts in the centre of each clove. These infant green sprouts can be bitter, so discard them before chopping the garlic for your recipe. However, if you plant the cloves and let them sprout to a height of about six inches, you can use the greens in other recipes.

I have seen some people take garlic oil rather casually. If you have to store garlic cloves in oil do so under refrigeration to avoid potentially-deadly botulism bacteria growth. This garlic flavoured oil can be used as and when you need it. Other ready forms available are garlic salt and garlic paste. This saves you from peeling and preparing the cloves but if you have a good garlic press, you don’t even need to peel garlic cloves before pressing. Just place the unpeeled clove in the tool cavity, press and discard the skins left in the cavity.

Cook for health
Indian medicine has been using garlic as a remedy for many ills for more than 2000 years. Modern science also recognizes these qualities and garlic is suggested as an antioxidant. For the cook, garlic has many journeys to embark upon. A burnt garlic and mint chutney can make a kabab more heavenly just the same way garlic bread with lasagna is a veritable feast. And what about the teekhi teekhi red lasun chutney that puts life into the vada pao? Khao to jaano! Meanwhile try out these gorgeous recipes with the robustness of garlic!

 Chilli Garlic Fish Rice
Chilli Garlic Fish Rice

Lehsuni Paneer Tikka

Red Chilli and Garlic Chutney

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Ever ready for guests – paneer comes in handy

Guests are of two types, expected and unexpected! If sufficient notice has been given, a lot of ideas can be worked upon and the goodies can be prepared in advance. If someone unexpected drops in then the main task of the host would be to supply eats that are filling and also keep in mind the hospitality factor. We have found that paneer is one ingredient that can make a simple meal look grand!

One quick recipe of the ever popular Matar Paneer follows: Boil 4 cups milk twice on high heat and add juice of one lemon. The whey will separate from paneer. Drain the whey, tie up paneer in a muslin cloth and hang it up to allow excess water to drain away. Place the muslin with the paneer under a heavy weight to ensure that all the moisture is squeezed out. This will flatten the paneer into a flat round cake when removed from the muslin. Cut the paneer into strips or cubes. Heat sufficient ghee in a kadai and deep-fry till light brown. Drain onto an absorbent paper. Chop 2 large onions and 1 inch ginger finely. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pan and add chopped onions and ginger. Sauté till lightly browned. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, salt and 400 grams peas and cook, adding a little water, till the peas are tender and a little gravy remains. Add the fried paneer, 1 teaspoon garam masala powder and boil for 5 minutes. Serve hot with chappatis.

You can use readymade paneer and have a stock of frozen peas that always comes in handy. Here are some other suggestions that can help you feel in control when guests drop in!

Munchies in a jiffy

· Mix finely chopped potatoes, onions and green chillies. Add gram flour and mix with water to get a batter of dropping consistency. Deep fry as small bhajiyas and serve with ketchup.

· To a cup of finely chopped onions and tomatoes, add two to three finely chopped green chillies. Add a tablespoon or two of cream (malai) and salt to taste. Place between slices of bread and toast in sandwich toaster. Serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

· Deep fry small squares of bread. Top with baked beans, chopped onions and capsicums. One version is Baked Beans on Toast.

· Something like puri and Sukhe Aloo can be prepared within thirty to forty minutes. For an instant dessert, whip cream into some shrikhand and add some chopped fruits. You can even serve Small Rasgulla with Fresh Fruit Rabdi.

· One favourite is chocolate samosa. Samosa patties wrapped up around a piece of chocolate and deep fried to a crisp. Serve decked up on a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s quite different than serving ice cream with hot gulab jamuns that most of us do.

When guests are expected it’s a different story. You have the time to plan the menu or shop for food as you wish or according to the guests’ preferences. But a cook’s creativity and prowess comes to the fore, when a time of testing comes.

Recipes for Christmas – A beverage bonanza

A cold Christmas is ideal for enjoying some excellent spirits. Not only champagne, but beer too is a welcome drink on Christmas Eve in many parts of the world. Special beers for Christmas are made by brewers all around the world. Surprisingly, they have different tastes and strengths and are made suitable for drinking during extreme cold weather conditions. Wine forms a popular drink in the Middle of Europe.
Christmas drinks are meant to warm the cockles of the heart, should be nutritious, fun and memorable. The drinks should highlight the holiday theme and flavour including the garnishes and decorated glassware. These add a festive touch as well as a dash of glamour to any gathering. In order to make a Christmas cocktail or mocktail, be innovative. Catch the eye of the drinker and also satisfy the taste buds. It should not be rich or creamy or sweet because it can spoil the appetite for Christmas dinner.
The presentation techniques play a great role. In this case, make sure to enhance the appearance by garnishing a drink. This can be easily done with ingredients such as sprigs of mint or rosemary, basil leaves, stalks of lemongrass, olives, cinnamon sticks, carrot, celery sticks or cucumber sticks, strawberries, cherries or pineapple wedges. Another interesting way of adding visual appeal to beverage recipes for Christmas is by frosting. Frosting means rimming a cocktail or other glass with sugar or salt. One can use pretty plastic straws, swizzle sticks or any other such decorative item to give a colourful and creative look to the drink. Enjoy these samples: Orange Beer, Cranberry Twister.

Some garnishes
  • To make an orange screw, with a zester scrape a thin strip, starting at the tip of the orange on side and going round the orange to end at the tip again. Similarly remove more strips leaving a strip of the peel between each. Then slice the orange horizontally to give screw shaped slices. Give a small slit at one end of the slice and slip it onto the rim of the glass.
  • To make a pineapple stick, cut pineapple into small cubes. Take small skewers and string one cube followed by two pineapple leaves held at a cross and end with another pineapple slice. Press them gently and place it over the rim of the glass.
  • To make flavoured ice cubes, add a little water to pineapple, orange, khus and raspberry syrups. Pour them into separate ice trays and keep them in the freezer to set. Serve with soda.

Diwali sweet recipes – Ah, the sweet tooth is waiting patiently!

Diwali means mithai, meetha, and more! Actually serving the sweets part is simpler than the savoury salty part. Our ideas what you could develop further: make Chilli Icecream and expect raised eyebrows at the name but pleased grins at the tasting! The mithai part can be continued in a Mithai Sundae with vanilla and butterscotch ice creams layered with crushed chikki, mini gulab jamuns, jam and cake! Cake is also superb paired with gajar halwa but sizzle it with rabdi and wow the guests with this ‘active’ dessert. Perfect fireworks on the table! For those who prefer dairy, dish up Apple Rabdi. It will score high on the novelty chart. Well, all is not done yet.
For an offering of Diwali sweet recipes with a difference make Beancurd Peda. Grate 100 grams of beancurd and place in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of grated khoya and mix. Add sufficient sweetened condensed milk to mix the above mixture into a soft dough. Divide into marble sized portions and shape into balls. Flatten the balls lightly and serve. Or you could impress your relatives with a Colourful Lassi. Blend hung yogurt with sugar to make thick lassi. Divide the lassi into four portions. Mix two tablespoons of strawberry puree with one portion, two tablespoons of kiwi puree with second portion and saffron with third portion. Let the fourth portion remain white. Take a tall glass and first pour the saffron lassi. Place two slices of kiwifruit over it and then pour a little of the kiwi lassi. Place three slices of strawberry over it. Now pour the strawberry lassi and place a few strawberry slices over this too. Finally pour the white lassi over it and place some more strawberry slices over it and serve immediately. If there is a rush, serve Vanilla Ice cream with Cookie Crumble. Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a long stemmed glass; sprinkle four crushed chocolate chip cookies and drizzle chocolate sauce as required and serve.
As you read through the Diwali sweet recipes, look out in this space for some low-cal Diwali snacks.

Dine not on these

What are the foods that make good morning snacks or lunches and are not wanted for dinner? There are certain foods that take a long time to be digested properly. It is best recommended that such foods be taken only when you are sure you have enough time for them to be digested before you retire for sleep. Late night dinners cause problems for some. Even if you do have a good digestion power, heavy dinners are not recommended for long-term healthy living.
Fried chips, burgers, tikkis, batter-fried nuggets etc are a strict no-no. These foods are high in fat, are greasy and pose tough problems for the digestive juices. If you must have them, have them early in the day …or then go for baked alternatives.
Orange, grapefruit, lemon juice all have acidic bases. And can possibly harm the lining of the stomach when the stomach’s own juices are lethargic at night. An empty stomach in the morning has a strong acidic medium because no food has been put in it. Those who have orange juice on an empty stomach are adding acid to acid and this can create a stomach ache or later acid reflux problems. Have a glass of fresh juice at midday as a snack. Synthetic juices are avoidable because of the high sugar content.
Ice cream makes the quickest dessert after a nice dinner, right? It is also the slowest of all the foods to be digested because the fat takes the longest to break down! Ice creams with their high fat content can cause bloating, cramping and gas if had late at night. We certainly do not recommend that you have it for breakfast but as a snack, and if your daily calorie count allows, ice cream is fun.
Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are a nutritious lot and loved in salads. Being rich in fibre they are healthy but for one reason are dismissed from many plates: they cause gas build-up in the gut when had raw. The solution is simple, lightly blanch them and add to salads. Cooking deactivates the sulphur compounds that cause gas.
If you have stopped having beans because they give you gas trouble, I suggest you keep trying them till your stomach produces enough enzymes to be able to digest them. The enzyme needed to break down beans is found only in our stomach bacteria. And if you don’t routinely eat beans, you might not have enough of this enzyme to comfortably digest them. The result, of course, is that once in while helping of beans gives you gas and bloating. Beans are the healthiest thing around so be open to having them regularly.
Believe it or not chocolate! You must be sorely disappointed to read this, but yes, chocolate can cause distress. But only if you overeat it! Forewarned is forearmed so one occasional treat of a brownie or milk chocolate is recommended but not a big feast of it. But anyone who suffers from gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can experience problems from even a small portion of chocolate. That’s because chocolate causes the lower oesophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acid to come back up.
Food with the kick of peppers is fun to have but can also irritate the lining of the oesophagus on the way down. The result: an unpleasant heartburn-like feeling after you eat. So rather than trying to mask spice with high-fat cream, opt for milder versions if you routinely suffer side effects.
So what is a good dinner dish? Try these suggestions!



Till I write again
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.