Rains, rains and more rains!

The untimely rains are really getting all of us in a surprising way! The continuous rains over the weekend have surely made the atmosphere chilly and lazy…
So, did the same at home as well! Saturday, had to go to the airport to see-off a few friends and as usual got stuck in the Mumbai rain mayhem on the roads! As I reached back home, caught up with two movies ‘Dum Maro Dum‘ and ‘The Back-up Plan’ and ended the day with Thai Curry and Rice for dinner.
Sunday was chilled out at home with the Kriti wanting to have junk food – so decided on to cook up a healthy junk meal for the lunch consisting of Chicken Burger. Rachita has reached Washington in US for the Global Young Leaders Conference, for which she left on Friday night. Later that day had my wife’s sister, Jyotsna and her son, Manit visiting us, so played with the little one and made Kachche Gosht ki Biryani for dinner. All of us enjoyed the dinner and just retired for the day!
Monday morning began with the FoodFood channel meeting in office. Also, starting with the Teen Patti shoot from June 20 onwards…so the team’s busy researching and suggesting me with new recipes for this time. Also, shooting for Hungama Digital Interface is happening today in office, for which, I need to speak on various introductory messages on each genre of videos and voice content that we make for them. This is then uploaded on various mobile platforms including applications.
Besides this, the office has become quite noisy with all the renovation work speeding up, and we have a 16 year old intern with us trying his hands on cooking up a meal – Dal, Chawal, Roti and Puri. While I gear up for the shoots, here’s something to feast on…

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor
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Watch the Racheal Ray segment here!

We have just received the link and I think you will all enjoy this….
Right now in Goa – off site with FoodFood channel team. Work combined with pleasure. Channel taken off well – numbers are good, so thought about taking a break and get rejuvenated for the challenges ahead. Alyona is here with me and will be joined by our elder daughter Rachita and Alyona’s elder sister Vandana and family. We will holiday together for three-four days. Kriti has gone for a trip separately with her friends.
Then I’m off for the first tour to Chandigarh – start of the 6-city Tour to promote the Maha Challenge. April 22 is Alyona’s birthday and a big bash to celebrate FoodFood Channel with business associates and friends from media. Need to do a lot of preparations for that.
One more shooting schedule for Sanjeev Kapoor’s Kitchen begins towards the end of April and hope for many many episodes so that there is enough stock to last for the following four to five weeks as later we might be out for our annual long family holiday….how I love these, a chance for new ‘food adventures’ and a chance to pursue my passion for photography.
Food adventures – reminds me of some foods that could hold a surprise…

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor

You can lower your cholesterol

Greetings from Singapore! I will be back home in a day or two. I am enjoying seafood and so are Alyona and the kids. In fact, fish always gets me thinking about cholesterol and how it is a food that can actually help to lower cholesterol. In case you do not eat fish there are other foods that cleanse the arteries. In fact, by consuming foods that are low in cholesterol, your body has more of a chance to remain ‘heart-attack’ free!

Fish (Omega 3) – Diets high in omega-3 can lower the risk of heart disease and reduce blood pressure, as well as reduce the risk of blood clots. Not only do fish high in omega-3 reduce the risk of heart disease, they also are very important for the development of good eyesight and nervous system function, and can even fight off some forms of cancer.

Nuts – Nuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help eliminate the risk of heart disease. Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds can help lower cholesterol.

Lean Red Meat – Pieces of meat with all of their fat intact, are cholesterol high foods, but take away the fat, and you now have healthy, low cholesterol meals. Lean meat does not raise cholesterol levels, is low in saturated fat, and is a great source of vitamin B12, zinc, iron, and protein.

Reduced-Fat Dairy Products – Foods, such as whole milk, cheese, and eggs contain large amounts of cholesterol. However, there is no need to cut dairy out of your diet. Simply look for reduced-fat or cholesterol free foods. For example, rather than drinking whole milk, opt for skim milk or 2% milk, instead. Eat fat-free or low-fat yogurt with fresh fruits. Choose reduced-fat cheeses, made with skim milk.

Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits, such as apples oranges, and apricots and vegetables, like cabbage and sweet potatoes are not only cholesterol free foods, they are also high in soluble fibre and pectin. Both of these things have been proven to help lower cholesterol levels.

Oats and Grains – A soluble fibre present in oats and grains is crucial in lowering cholesterol. Doctors recommend two to four cups of oat or barley cereal each day to gain the cholesterol-lowering effect of this fibre.

What good is all this if you cannot make something out of them? So here are some recipes that make good use of these foods!


Fish in Foil
Fruity Salad
Oats Pancake with Maple Syrup

Till I write again,
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Wonderful food, great scenery

Being on holiday does gives one permission to binge on food! We had lunch at a fancy restaurant called Can Fabes at Sant Celoni in Catalonia. A good 45- minute drive from our hotel. Grand and lovely seven course lunch (maybe there were more!). Alyona and I could do justice but not the kids. Can Fabes is recipient of 3 Michelin stars. We enjoyed some ravioli and pea soup. Kriti has every reason to burn off all the extra calories with her training that followed in the evening. It was a different venue called Calella (locals call it ‘Caleya’), a seaside town that has an ancient lighthouse overlooking it. Alyona commented she was transported to her Enid Blyton stories looking at the lighthouse!

We were a big bunch of people as there are other kids too training with Kriti and the twelve of us, kids and parents, drove down in a bus. Lovely scenes, lush green, along the way.

Saturday night we finally got the tickets for the famous Spanish Flamenco Show at the Castello Medival. Colourful to say the least…and very energetic dance sequences.
First they had some horse show and fights that were true Hindi movie style, a live band came on to play and last of all the Flamenco Show. As tomorrow Kriti does not have training, so going to Roses ( a place which is about 1 hour from here). We have a hired car and will drive down, lunch at a restaurant and maybe a bit of shopping…

Try some pasta and soup and be with us!

Mushroom and Cheese Ravioli
Minted Green Peas Soup with Corn Pearls
Gazpacho

Sanjeev Kapoor
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ICSE result celebrations here too!

Very proud of Rachita, our elder daughter, for her 93 percent in ICSE 10th board exams. We are in a celebratory mood! It has enhanced our purpose of vacation in Spain.



Started the day with a good breakfast at La Escala, a restaurant in Hotel Empuries. Quite a drive from where we are staying but worth it…a lovely place by the coast and we had the invitation from the chef so got really good treatment.



Kriti, our younger one, is busy with her sports practice, sometimes having morning trainings on the beach that gives us a wonderful excuse to start the day early with a walk along the sea. We are also slipping in some tours of the market while she has her evening practice.

Booked for lunch at a restaurant called Roca, which is Number 3 in the world. Otherwise, we are doing exactly what the kids demand: laze around with them, swim, play cards..be free.



Staff back in office are still in celebration mood. All have planned to go for a newly released movie tomorrow bunking half-day! They are going to make life hell for others sitting in the same theatre. Being in group encourages the devil in you.



I would love to share paella with you. Here goes:



Paella

Egg white omelette

Lemon Pudding



Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor

Mini celebration today, re-instate sherbets

Those who finish their ICSE finals today will be relieved, jubilant, feeling free! Rachita, my older daughter, wants to party but Kriti my younger one is still in the midst of her final exams! Well, Alyona can best handle the situation I feel. Rachita was also telling me about some of the smses that have already started doing the rounds for April Fools Day…I mean, this is misusing technology but I guess it is the order of the day.

Off to Dubai and as I have already told you about the Zee Dubai Mega Mela let me also tell you that the food demos have something in store for you: something new and intriguing and brand new compositions, something I call zara hat ke, that are of course, easy to do at home but with an exotic finish. Now, I am not going to reveal the recipes here, YET. I am going to demonstrate two recipes on each of the three days April 1, 2 and 3.

What I also want to do is re-introduce the joys of drinking sherbet at home. This will definitely decrease the ‘need’ for aerated drinks and introduce traditional cooling methods at home. In the earlier times medicinal herbs, vegetable extracts, roots and sandalwood were added to enhance the therapeutic and nutritional properties of sherbets. These were truly healthy! But with time the pure ingredients have slowly made their way out. Sherbets are not just sweet coloured beverages. They are high in vitamin content and are rich sources of natural antioxidants. As most of them are sugar syrup based one should remember that they have calories as well. Sherbets maintain and adjust the body’s water and electrolyte balance, encourage the function of liver and kidneys, check vomiting, diarrhoea and indigestion. The organic types are pure syrups of fruits or floral extracts. You can choose from orange, pineapple, carrot, watermelon, rose, kewra. Synthetic sherbets are made with essences and are not high on my favourite drinks list. Moreover they are slightly acidic too. There is no limit to the types of synthetic sherbets that can be produced!

So what to look out for? Gulab or rose sherbet: Highly held as a blood purifier. If it is made from pure gulab jal that has been distilled from desi gulab petals, then you have something that is anti-acidic, anti-flatulent and rich in antioxidants. Khus sherbet is the pure extract of khus roots. It relieves acidity and purifies blood. The khus extract is obtained through a meticulous process and is blended with herbs to enhance the quality. Intake of khus syrup gives instant relief from heat stroke. It has diuretic properties too. Chandan sherbet is an exotic extract of edible chandan derived through conventional methods. Traditionally it was used as a sedative but it is equally efficient as a cardiac tonic, a stimulant and an antiseptic. It has a soothing effect on skin through its blood purifying properties. It can also be used to alleviate gastric irritability. I could go on about zafrani and badam and faalsa and kokum…..but going to catch a flight now.

And now to give foods a twist and increase the pleasures of April 1.

Cheese Fondue with Pavbhaji Masala

Paan Kulfi

Hariyali Paneer Makhani


Till later then,

Sanjeev Kapoor.

International Women’s Day – my best wishes.

As the year marches ahead, there are some days, some occasions, some festivals that bring colour, good food and also a time to retrospect. I do hope you have had a chance to read Alyona’s first ever article for the website. I can say, very humbly, that a lady who looks after herself, will also be fit to look after the whole family. Alyona is the backbone of my family and I wish her the best in everything she does. My mom, and my little women Rachita and Kriti, I wish the same for you too!
Entire country was watching and waiting to hear the passing of Women’s Reservation Bill in the parliament today, but as has been happening for the last 14 years, today also it met it’s normal opponents and not seen the light of the day. A golden opportunity lost again!
As we prepare to get some food shots done for the book on recipes for fussy kids, let me tell you that the enquiries on how to get the little ones to eat are mind boggling! I am sure this book will be met with open arms…kids love food that looks good and for me presentation is paramount! I always think of the plate as an empty canvas that needs a pictorial representation. Most chefs prefer the classic white or earth tones as these complement all colours of food. Only recently have I started playing with coloured crockery as vivid as turquoise to offset maybe, a rich orange moist prawn preparation. I have also served hot spicy rasam in shot glasses!
It is easy to go overboard in garnishing the food. But the first rule of ‘keep it simple’ helps here. Garnishes are best made with edible items. Recently, we had to garnish a pineapple mousse. It was pale yellow, nearly cream in colour. Cherries are run-of-the-mill so we decided to use caramel art. Well, the sugar syrup went a little ahead than we expected and as the lights were set, the mousse ready to melt, we spun the sugar into wisps of sugar threads. Took a bunch and put it on the mousse. A bit of creativity is very satisfying!
The more popular garnishes like lemon twist or slice, cucumber twist, carrot juliennes, carrot bundle, spring onion whisk, red chilli flower, tomato wings and roses, chocolate and sugar craft can help you create some wonderful looking plates. Play around with two to three colours, never more, for it should be easy on the eye. Sauces also play a key role in dressing up the plate. Sauce can be served around or under the food and if you desire to pour it on top, pipe in thin ribbon form ensuring that the food is not hidden under it.
Presentation is the key to a successful dish. Here are my favourites:

Till I write again,

Sanjeev Kapoor.