This is how I unwind ….

This is how I unwind ….

After back to back meetings in office and outdoor shoots, I ensure to make time for my hobbies. I de-stress with MUSIC! Not just listening to different types of music, I simply love playing percussions especially the drums. I have drum sets in office, which I mostly play after a long meeting. Photography and reading are my other favorite pastimes.

Most of us don’t realize that hobbies can strike a perfect balance between professional and personal life. A hobby has an inherent quality to keep our minds relaxed and entertained as well.

Like food, I respect every genre of music. When I am cooking or trying out recipes, I listen to almost every type of song. I strongly believe that music and food work hand in glove. They both complement each other so much so that they tap into something, which is beyond – conscious thoughts. Especially, listening to music while cooking work wonders for me. It helps me to be at my creative best. I feel both the activities are active types of meditations, which eases stress and gives the wings of creativity. A good dish is a master piece that is created with a lot of love, interest, patience and of course haathon ka jaadu. Same applies to create any music as well. Moreover, your interest in learning any music is no doubt, important, being patient can work wonders for you.

One of my passions is obviously my profession! Thus, I am never stressed churning out recipes for my viewers. If you make your passion your profession, you will never be stressed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for everyone. However, do try and give time to your hobbies, they mould your minds. My passion for music is eclectic. One of my favourite musical genres classic rock acts and I also love classical Hindi movie songs.

Food and music is something I live for. I let things flow for both- although I don’t try to connect music with the food I cook I simply let them flow.

Let us all pledge to devote time to do things we like. In the world of stress and tight schedules, stop your minds getting into the hives of worry and tension, which is no good food for a healthy lifestyle. Treat yourselves and mind by engaging in hobby that relieves your stress at the same time alleviates your mood. If you haven’t developed any hobby as yet, it’s not late. Start today. As they say, better late than never. Cultivate any hobby today and live for it!

Stop surviving, start living!
Worry less, live more!

Understanding acidity

Hectic schedules are a part and parcel of life these days, and the thing that gets affected the most is our meals and with irregular eating or eating after large gaps comes acidity!

The stomach normally secretes acid that is essential in the digestive process. This acid helps in breaking down the food during digestion. When there is excess production of acid by the gastric glands of the stomach, it results in the condition known as acidity. However, there are certain types of ulcers where acid secretion is either normal or even low. Acidity is responsible for symptoms like dyspepsia, heartburn and the formation of ulcers (erosion of the lining of the stomach or intestines). Persons who are diabetic often suffer from acidity.

diet

Identifying and avoiding the causative factors are essential in the treatment of acidity. A suitable diet must be strictly followed avoiding spicy, salty and acidic foods. Smoking and alcohol consumption must be stopped. Those with highly nervous and emotional disposition and those involved in high-stress jobs must be encouraged to take lifestyle modifying measures. Antacids provide immediate relief of symptoms by neutralizing the excess acid secreted. Just being aware of what you eat and at what time will guide you to better health. Acidity is a common affliction related to stress in these modern times and we are sure that this list of things will be a helpful guide.

Here is a list of foods that are acid forming and low level acid forming:

Acid forming foods
Low level acid forming foods
Alkaline foods
Low level alkaline foods
Alcohol
Butter
Almonds
Apricots
Beans
Cheese
Corn
Nuts
Asparagus
Coconut (dried)
Dates
Buckwheat
Chickpeas
Fruits (canned)
Grapes
Chestnuts
Coffee
Dried fruits
Honey
Fresh coconut
Eggs
Grains
Lemon
Dairy products
Fish
Ice cream
Melons
Flour products
Homemade Ice-milk
Maple syrup
Legumes
Seeds and nuts
Molasses
Lentils
Oranges
Meat
Raisins
Milk
Vegetables
Noodles
Organ Meats
Pasta

Home remedies for acidity relief

  • Take one piece of clove and suck on it slowly. This will give you relief from acidity and also help in reducing the onslaught of diseases arising out of acidity.
  • Eat a cup of vanilla ice cream or drink a glass of cold milk to get heartburn and acidity relief within minutes.
  • Almonds can relieve heartburn. Eat several almonds when heartburn symptoms persist.
  • Lemons can also prevent heartburn. Cut a lemon into thin strips and dip in salt. Eat before meals to prevent heartburn.

We have got thousands of tried and tested recipes on www.sanjeevkapoor.com ! Several that get made in a jiffy – so here’s hoping with all these tips and recipes acidity should never be a pain again!

Happy Eating, Happy Cooking!

Sanjeev Kapoor

Rajma: It’s been my favourite

Today is Mexican Day at SK Culinary Studio! While the culinary team is busy whipping up some delicious Mexican treats at the studio, the smell of refried beans makes me write about my favourite food combination rajma chawal. People from the North will identify with this meal instantly and totally! There is something about the texture of rajma in gravy with the fluffy steamed rice that makes it so endearing. There are not only childhood memories attached, there are also moments of comfort that tag along.

Good old home recipes
There are many variations of rajma that one can make…but they all begin with one most essential step: planning – that is soaking the beans overnight! There is no way one can fulfill the demand of rajma at a moment’s notice so better not to throw a tantrum…next best is to order from the neighbourhood restaurant but I doubt if they will have it on the menu…dal makhni yes, but rajma still has to take a noticeable slot!

So, it goes without saying rajma is a product of authentic home cooking. I normally make it very simple – with some onions, tomatoes, bay leaves, ginger-garlic, red chilli, coriander, turmeric, cumin, garam masala and lots of fresh coriander.

Dabba delights
A favourite dabba dish is a little spicy parantha made with mashed rajma. Alyona actually manages to roll them out thinly! Some mashed rajma, atta, two tablespoons of soy flour, red chilli, finely chopped green chilies, powdered anardana, some chopped fresh mint, and a tablespoon or two of tomato puree (gives a good colour). Another tip: rajma pulao! All you need are some well boiled rajma that you cook with Basmati and some onions, tomatoes and masalas

Boiled rajma makes a handsome salad with blanched tender French beans and boiled moong and white cowpeas (chawli). All this mix needs is fresh coriander, fresh mint, green chillies, salt, dash of lemon and chaat masala. Talk about proteins, fibre and iron here!

Rajma treats
Hummus too can take a new avatar with mashed rajma instead of chickpeas. The colour would be a little on the dark side but the change for the palate is welcome. Garnish with black olives and serve with crisp garlic bread!

As I always end with something new and delicious, this time here are some palate tickling rajma recipes

Rajma Galouti
  • Soak 1 cup rajma in five cups of water preferably overnight. Boil in sufficient quantity of water until soft. Drain and set aside.
  • Dry roast 8 cashewnuts, 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds and ¾ tablespoon poppy seeds. Grind to a fine paste using a little water.
  • Dry roast ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, 4 green and 2 black cardamoms, 2 cloves and 1 inch cinnamon. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Soak a generous pinch of saffron in quarter teaspoon kewra water.
  • Heat two tablespoons of pure ghee in a pan, add ½ inch finely chopped ginger and five cloves finely chopped garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Add 3 chopped green chillies and sauté for one minute.
  • Add rajma and cook for three to four minutes.
  • Add cashewnut paste and stir-fry for four to five minutes.
  • Add 2 tablespoons grated khoya, ½ teaspoon white pepper powder and salt to taste, stir-fry for four to five minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Cool and mash rajma to a smooth paste. (In case rajma paste is not firm, then cook paste further with addition of ghee till firm.)
  • Sprinkle powdered spices and soaked saffron. Adjust salt.
  • Add ½ tablespoon lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Divide mixture into equal sized portions and press them lightly.
  • Heat sufficient ghee in a frying pan and shallow fry tikkis until lightly coloured on both sides. Garnish with mint leaves and onion rings. Serve with chutney of your choice.

You can watch Alyona make a Rajma Salad here 

 

 

and also try out this recipe of my favourite Punjabi Rajma Chawal 

Punjabi Rajma Chawal

Happy Cooking,Happy Eating!

Sanjeev Kapoor

Cakes and Bakes and Jingle Bell

Christmas Cake recipeswould take you into a world of flour, dried fruits, rum and what not. Why not make a deviation this year and try some fruit cakes too. Something new with the traditional, it always works. I have also some of you asking for baking tips.

So here goes:

To make a cake spongier and better

  • Always keep the oven preheated while making any cake.

  • If you are making a fatless sponge then the secret lies in beating the eggs with the sugar to the stage where the batter forms ribbons when you pour it.

  • In the case of a cake with fat, the lightest cake would be one with even and small texture so ensure that you beat the butter and sugar well till light and creamy. Bake as soon as the batter is ready. Do not make the batter too thin.

  • In case of cake without eggs, make the batter using drinking soda and soda bicarbonate both. It aerates the cake well.

Which icing works where?

  • Fresh cream icing is best on light sponges with fruits.

  • Thick chocolate glazed icing is best on rich chocolate cakes.

  • Butter cream icing is favoured for birthday cakes where you need to use different colours and nozzle designs. Invest in disposable icing bags.

  • Any cake is best iced in a cool room, away from the direct breeze of the fan.

Why does a cake go flat?

  • If the baking powder and/or soda bicarbonate is not fresh and therefore not very effective.

  • If the batter is overly thin, then also the cake does not rise too well.

  • If the temperature is too high in the oven, the cake rises quickly and seems to be done but the inside is uncooked and hence cake falls flat when you remove it from oven.

  • If the cake tin is too large for the quantity of batter, you will get a flat cake.

Now some quick Christmas cakes. Check out Orange Marmalade cake and Date and Walnut Cake. For other choices look at Apple cake.

Christmas cake recipes are best preserved in your diary. Get your recipes perfected with every passing year.

Christmas pulaos – One wonderful dish that says it all!

Christmas Dinner recipes can have a platter of pulaos. Well, why not! Pulaos are wonderful when made lovingly with meats or vegetables or paneer or all three! http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com has a magnificent collection of pulao recipes that can be chosen as an integral part of Christmas dinner giving you choices that can cater to any palate.

Rest assured, have plenty of food going around the Christmas table. Make large pans of fragrant pulaos and biryanis and try and make them as vibrantly coloured as possible.
One spectacular dish is Angoori Pulao which shows off some silver balls, so reminiscent of Christmas baubles on the tree!
Baked Eggs and Rice has some sunny side up eggs that are brilliantly yellow and look very inviting. Just ensure that you serve it warm.
Beetroot and Mewa Pulao has that tender blush that will add some charm to the table for sure.
Chilli chicken tomato pulao is something that will add zing to the get together.
Green fried rice looks like Christmas : all white and green!
With pulaos, ensure that you have some small goodies on the side so that the meal is a bit more filling. You could have a variety of snacky bites, or papads, or variations of papads, some raitas or kachumbers. If you have a good chicken or mutton biryani then having a raita or kachumber becomes mandatory. We will hunt out some good recipes for you for the accompaniments for sure.
Christmas dinner is not so far off now. Do hope the baking plan for Christmas goodies has been made, with dotted ‘I’ s and crossed ‘T’ s, meaning, that it is perfect!

Christmas dinner at home – Plan the menus in advance

Christmas is 50 days away and kids are the most excited by the thought of the numerous gifts that they would get or what Santa Claus would get them! For us, who look after the eats and the kitchen at home, it is time to decide on some menus that could work for Christmas dinner and set the spirits for the festivities.

Well, Christmas Dinner Recipes are no longer a challenge to find really. All you have to do is decide what sort of cuisine you would like to focus on. Try a mix. Have some light poultry with a nicely baked potato dish, a cold salad, all finished with creamy hot beverages with cookies or then a luscious decorative dessert! And if it is a snack and dessert party (is fast becoming popular as more and more people are skipping main course), dwell a lot on research of starter recipes. For ideas I am going to suggest some recipes in all categories but today the focus is on starters.
Starters with chicken:

Fried Chicken Wings with Chilli Pineapple Sauce.
Bacon Rolled Mustard Chicken
Keema Samosa
Vegetarian options:

Asparagus Canapes
Cheese and Herb Patti Samosa
The best part of having finger foods is that you can base your whole menu around it. Have at least four or five starters if you are throwing a party. Count at least six-seven pieces per guest and once you know the segregation of vegetarians and non-vegetarians make the appropriate portions or numbers. When you serve them on platters (with toothpicks, dips, chutneys and paper napkins) do ensure that the platter holds a little flag saying the name or whether the dish has vegetarian or non vegetarian contents. It helps tremendously in being a gracious and thoughtful host/hostess. Be ready with a stack of small plates as even if one guest expresses his desire for one, more will quickly follow suit because eating from a plate is more convenient than managing with just toothpicks and napkins!
So as the mood is set to start planning your forthcoming Christmas Dinner or Party, do take some time off the start jotting down important notes!

Tune in for June

When in Spain do as the Spanish do…watched a bull fight and I can say it was a new experience. Yesterday went in relaxing at the hotel, having our meals there. Tomorrow booked for dinner in Roca, 3- Michelin star restaurant and I believe they have an extensive set menu.

Back in Mumbai, new book My Mother’s Kitchen is going to press. June will be fun packed for the fans of www.sanjeevkapoor.com for there are special features on ice creams, tiffins and cooking for unexpected guests. That, in short, means loads of new recipes and happy cooking.

Rest, they say all is well at home, except for the day time temperature. That gets me to tell you some recipes that I personally enjoy when the Mumbai heat gets to me.

Try….Chilli Lemon Stewed Vegetables with Noodles, Celery Cucumber Medley, Rose Sandesh

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.