Back in New York!

Had an active last week! But first and foremost, missed being home to watch the World Cup victory euphoria! It sure warms the cockles of my heart to bask in the glory that cricket has been bringing to India. Another thing that is beautiful for me is my passion for Indian food! And to promote it big time, here I am, on a tour to US and Canada.

Last Thursday I spent in Philadelphia with the morning being booked for the The 10! Show NBC Philly. I even did recipe demos of Lamb Pulao, Makai Palak and Majjika, three recipes from the book How to Cook Indian. Had tremendous back kitchen support. Early afternoon did an interview with WHYY-NPR and then attended an event at Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Back on the Amtrak around 10ish for a trip to Washington DC.

Friday, April 1 began with a taping at Darshan America in Washington DC. Afternoon went as relaxed and then an interactive and quite lively dinner at Indique Heights which was hosted specially to promote How to Cook Indian.

The following day went in reaching Chicago for an evening event at Gaylord Restaurant. Sunday, took a flight to Toronto and settled down because early morning, i.e., on Monday 4th, had a live demo for the national cooking segment at Canada AM. We made Butter Chicken from the book. It was quite a rush but made it for the 10 o’clock Toronto Star Interview where I did demos of Masaledar Chholay and Punjabi Rajma. This was followed by a quick short Q and A session with the local papers and by 2, was off for the book signing at Costco Canada.

Late evening, was back on the plane headed for New York. Today, have a media meet lined up plus a dinner at Tulsi Restaurant hosted by Chef and co-owner Chef Hemant Mathur.

What’s on the menu? Sharing some similar recipes here!

Cilantro Steamed Fish

Hara Bhara Kabab

Mango Kulfi

Till I write again.

Sanjeev Kapoor

Christmas dinner recipes: A touch of Goa

India is a land of diversity and various religions and cultures have ruled the heart of Indians since time immemorial. So we get a chance to celebrate a lot of festivals too in our way. Christmas is just one of them. And Goa, amongst all the regions in the country, forms the epicenter of the Christmas celebrations in the country. With Christians forming the majority in Goa, every year Christmas is celebrated with great poise and elegance. And of course with celebrations, comes food. Goa has a distinct way of presenting its Christmas cuisines to the world. It’s rich landscape, beautiful beaches and calm atmosphere just adds a new taste to the flavour. The main items consist of puddings, rich meat and tempting fish dishes.
From the fact that all the local bakeries and hotels are jam packed day in and day out during Christmas season it is not hard to predict that how much the world is in love with Goan food during Christmas. The major dishes include:
Sorpatel, one of the oldest curry forms prepared in Goa and an integral part of Christmas cuisine. Made from pork meat and liver, its spicy taste just reflects the richness of the Goan food during festivals.
Pork Vindaloo, a tangy dish which becomes a part of the main course of Christmas cuisine in Goa. The best combination includes this dish with plain, boiled or jeera rice.
Bebinca, a famous desert prepared in Goa. This dish takes ample of time for preparation, but the outcome of patience is amazingly sweet.
Besides these dishes, the other Christmas dinner recipes we can suggest are Chocolate Walnut Fudge, Prawn Balchao, Chicken Cafreal, Fish Xacuti.
So, if you are a foodie and you want to celebrate Christmas and New Year, then you know which the best place to be in is!

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.