Happy Diwali!

I will take this space to wish you all a wonderful festival of Diwali and may this whole week will full of good food, family get together, lights and laughter!
There is a lot waiting for you on www.sanjeevkapoor.com in terms of Diwali snacks and sweets…nothing can beat the taste of nicely made home made stuff with that one extra ingredient which not even the best sweet shop in town can provide…the ingredient of love that goes into the making of special sweets and snacks by you for your loved ones.
We could go on about the benefits of having home made things but that is obvious: they are pure, economical, and hygienic. Secondly, you can plan your cooking in such a way that you could be ready with your home made goodies packed in gift hampers well before the Diwali day. Even though chocolates and dry fruits are considered more contemporary but wouldn’t you be thrilled if your sister or niece or sister in law came up to you with a box of sweets and told you, I made this especially for you! I would be very happy to know that the effort has been for me!
Best wishes from us all at Khana Khazana!
Happy Cooking
Sanjeev Kapoor

Best cookery show – Ten top tips

What can one say about TV programmes? Lots and lots! Some are good and some are not. What concerns us here are the cookery shows and choosing the best cookery show to watch and follow every episode. These days Master Chef (Australia) has caught the eye and coming in a few days would be Master Chef (India) with Akshay Kumar, India’s celebrated actor, as host.

Khana Khazana, on Zee TV, has been adjudged the Best Cookery Show by the Indian Television Academy, consecutively for a number of years. Initially named as Shriman Bawarchi, the name did not strike the right chord, so Sanjeev Kapoor suggested Khana Khazana. This cookery show has a huge platter to offer – from Punjabi food to Continental food, from traditional mithais to low fat cooking, from International cuisines to lesser known foods of India. There are many reasons why this show has been at number one for more than a decade.

1. Consistency of presentation

2. Topical, and seasonal, presentations

3. Recipes, simple and complex, presented in a doable manner

4. Use of ingredients with easy accessibility

5. Excellent and expressive style of Sanjeev Kapoor

6. Fulfilling viewers’s demands

7. Recipe recap

8. Recipes on net (www.sanjeevkapoor.com)

9. Good value for viewing time

10. Repeat telecast

Khana Khazana has evolved over the years, since it started 17 years back. There is a lot of research done that backs every recipe presented. The first few epis

odes were a trial run for Sanjeev Kapoor and he has the knack of developing his recipe on the spot, once he has the ingredients set before him, the ideas just seem to flow out. Shaam Savera, one of his earliest signature dishes, was initially meant to be palak koftas in palak gravy but in that episode history was written. Now Shaam Savera is a palak kofta with paneer stuffing served on a bed of red tangy makhni gravy. A visual treat, indeed.

Coming up – Get set for Diwali Recipes

Proud to be an Indian

Ever wondered what makes Indian food so hot outside the country? And there are so many factors in play.

Take the Indian diaspora. That’s a special lot! Some years ago an Indian would settle abroad occupied as a taxi driver or a gas station attendant. Now we have our people in the IT sector big time, medical research and practicing doctors, there are space scientists too…these people might be residing in distant lands but have succeeded because of their single minded and focused hard work. This enhances the respectability of the country and of course, the awareness about Indian food goes up. As these residents crave for home cooked food specially the popular dishes like Murgh Makhni, Palak Paneer and the ubiquitous Naan there are establishments that provide them and the locals too get interested generally. There is a demand for Indian restaurants and hence they are mushrooming.

Take globalization. MNCs look at India for business. And as they set foot here and make India their base their palates get accustomed to our style of cooking. They appreciate it, in fact it is easy to get addicted to Indian food. I have noticed that among this breed the most sought after dishes are the Tandoori Chicken and Biryani. You just have to see them polishing off these delicacies and you know you have the winners. As a result over the past few years, there has been tremendous global interest in Indian cuisine and eateries.

Take tourism. With the sort of influx of tourists that our country attracts there are open channels for food likings to go out into foreign kitchens too. This is a well-accepted and simple fact that a well-traveled person knows a lot about foreign foods. Well, there are exceptions, but as you will see there is a positive aspect of these exceptions too. When our Gujaratis and Jains travel out of the country they carry their own food like Chhunda, Thepla, Aloo ki Sukhi Sabzi, Murmura Chiwda and being the ever hospitable people that they are offer them to their newly made friends in the foreign lands. Hence they qualify as messengers propagating the cause of Indian cuisine. Their diet choices are looked after by the travel companies and they in turn set up kitchens abroad. So there is a lot of Indian food being cooked out there!

Take the information era. Websites on food thrive. Our www.sanjeevkapoor.com has ninety percent of its subscribers who are not residing in India. Then we have food shows abroad and also well accepted cookery books. All this, in a slow trickle, add to the ocean of the greatness of Indian cuisine.

Take the food exports. Ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat ranges from India, be it simple home recipes of dals and vegetables, be it pickles, chutneys or snacks are in the foreign market. And the demand is growing.

Friends, Indian food abroad is no longer confined to ‘chicken tikka masala and naan’. It would surprise you to know that Indian restaurants abroad are doing spectacular business. Our experiences with Khazana and Options in Dubai are very pleasant.

It is also enlightening to know that some experimental cooking headed by a new generation of Indian Chefs abroad have created new dishes that are so good that they are appearing on menus here at home! The tastes of the customers have changed with more and more people steering away from the korma and masala dishes, eating more savoury dishes like Garlic Chicken or Rogan Josh. Ethnic is exotic, ethnic is in! Indian is hot, Indian is in!

To mark the Independence Day Celebrations we at Khana Khazana are all dressed in traditional white…looks nice and cool…so here’s wishing you a pleasant weekend with lots of good things in store!

Shaam Savera

Sundried Tomato and Spinach Naan

Tiranga Paneer Tikka

Sanjeev Kapoor