Take a rain check!

Well, it seems Mumbai has got the monsoons right on time! It’s good as the city has been facing a water problem. So as the monsoon progresses let’s be alert and take a check on our ‘rain care’. I would suggest wear cool clothing. Choose cool light weight materials that dry fast. Wear good, supportive rainy wear shoes as the roads are slippery, sometimes waterlogged and full of potholes. Keep an eye on potholes, open drains or manholes when you are out on the street. If you are working, it is wise to leave an extra set of clothes and shoes in your office in case you are drenched in the rain. Keep some wet tissues in your purse and use them to wipe away grime and sweat. Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself well hydrated. You could have plenty of boiled/filtered water. Lemonade, khus sherbet, and rose sherbet are all excellent cooling agents that reduce heat stress and are refreshing as well.

Monsoons usually see slack business for roadside vendors of foods like cut fruits, juices, snacks, fried foods, chaat, gol guppas, and water/milk based drinks. If you really must eat out — choose a place known for its good hygiene and quality food, but try to steer clear of curd and curd-based preparations, salads, fermented and raw preparations. Bacterial growth increases rapidly during a hot and humid weather. Ask for branded, sealed bottled water in case you are not carrying your own supply.

A special check list before you leave home:

• Always carry enough cash and don’t forget your umbrella or raincoat.
• Always keep your vehicle’s fuel tank reasonably full or use a local cab which is reliable.
• Keep your mobile phone charged at all times and carry your phone charger along.
• Carry a bottle of water and a snack with you.
• Always keep your family informed in case you are stuck anywhere in the rain.

Recently Chef Sokhi conducted a couple of Wonderchef demonstrations and one recipe of Biryani with Khazana Chatak Chilli Pickle became an instant star! In fact using the masala of a pickle to cook theplas is something that my mother in law does frequently. She takes about half a teaspoonful of a spicy pickle (like garlic) and kneads it into the dough. Yes, you might have to add a bit more masalas and oil but the taste of the theplas is superb. I have some more ideas here that have the pickle flavour! Also as school reopens in some states, how about some cupcakes for your little ones?

Fish tikka achari
Achari Aloo
Chocolate Banana Cupcake

Happy Cooking
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Be energised in five easy steps

Good to be back home from Tokyo. What greets you when you land in Mumbai? Obvious answer is heat! And the heat saps one’s energy. How many of you feel almost depleted of energy at least three to four days a week? The first day after the weekend could be one of those days! Then somehow the following three days are mechanical. The day before the weekend break somewhat drags along! A lot of us feel the same simply because our energy levels are not up to the mark. If we keep our body fit the stamina is sustained and the basic requirement for sustained stamina is good nutrition every single day.

I have also met some people who ‘think’ they are leading healthy lifestyles. But they too need to rethink because they also feel a lack of energy throughout the day. It may be easy to grab a cup of coffee or energy drink for a quick pick-me-up, but how about including some energy boosting habits into your lifestyle instead? Secret 1: don’t sleep till late on weekends. You’ll wake up feeling sluggish and tired and feel as if you can’t find your bearings for several hours. Secret 2: we say breakfast is a must! A breakfast with high protein, low calories will keep you alert and awake. 3rd tip: Don’t skip snacks. If you have decided you’re going lose a little weight by cutting out all those midday snacks, but you may be doing more harm than good. Try not to go more than four hours without food if possible. The longer you go without food the hungrier you will be and when you finally do eat you actually may overeat. By eating small snacks throughout the day you are keeping your stomach partially full and are less likely to extend the limit at the big meals. Try to eat snacks that are high in water content like fruits, vegetables, a small salad, or even a soup. A small bit of cheese or a few nuts is another healthy choice. Tip no. 4: Watch the water intake! Stay hydrated, especially before you exercise. And of course have your eight glasses a day. 5 and very important tip: take exercise seriously! Don’t skip the warm up or cool down when exercising. These five basic steps will make you feel energetic throughout the week. To help you along I will link you up with some healthy recipes. Salad greens with Strawberry Vinaigrette, Beetroot Chaas, Brown Pohe.

Soon I will be travelling again. To Dubai. There for the Zee Dubai Mega Mela, an open-air festival celebrating Asian culture taking place from 1-3 April at the Amphitheatre in Dubai Media City. Live shows, loads of good food is waiting for you!

Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor.