Home > Uncategorized > Discover the khazana of Sanjeev Kapoor

Discover the khazana of Sanjeev Kapoor

Popular cookery show ‘Khana Khazana’ getting aired for last 15 years, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor has definitely changed the dynamics of quintessential India kitchens and pampered our taste buds with his typical cross-over recipes for over two decades. He is also sharing the space with star chefs from culinary capitals across the globe in Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel. With his kitty full of accolades, he is still busy experimenting with his wok and ladle while active in the process, Food & Nightlife manages to get candid with the man himself as we put him on a rapid fire.

A celebrated T.V personality, a dancer and a chef… what is the secret of your energy and the role you love the most?
When you love the work that you do, the passion increases with every passing year. Cooking is a passion and it is a creative activity and when you create you do get energised! I do not waste my time and energy on non priorities in life.

What makes you look so young, is it your own recipes?
Good nutritious food, proper sleep and a zest for life – keeps me fired up.

When you started things were totally different, what is the kind of transformation you have seen during the course?
The profession of chef was certainly not what it is considered now. The profession has been elevated and chefs are no longer considered as ‘cooks’ and this is a positive thing that has happened in the last two decades.

What are the latest food trends in India?
The Indian palate is quite excited with the influx of international cuisine. The adventurous are no longer restricted to Chinese. Be it Italian, Mexican, Lebanese or Thai, Indians are loving it. But let me tell you, that the basic desire for ‘ghar ka khana’ will always be there and remain at the root of our eating habits.

Would like to pass your legacy to your children?
My daughters Rachita and Kriti do love to help around in the kitchen. It is natural for the kids to emulate the parents but only till the time they can make their own decisions. I am not sure at this stage if any one of them would like to walk in my foot steps! Time will tell.

Who cook at home you or Alyona and who cooks better?
This is one question that I have been asked more than a thousand times. Home is a woman’s domain and Alyona is a very good cook. We also have our Savitri Amma who has been cooking for us since many years. I cook when we have a birthday celebration at home or when the kids demand anything special. I also cook when a new idea strikes me and I have to try it out in the kitchen, not caring if it is 3 am in the morning!

Your favourite dish and food destination?
Two dishes: kadhi chawal and rajma chawal! And destination: my dining table at home! I love brown rice with either Gujarati kadhi or Punjabi kadhi or rajma!

Place you would like to eat in Delhi, Mumbai and International?
Alyona and I enjoyed a great meal at Tetsuya’s in Australia some time back. There are so many new places to try out in the metros that I cannot really pinpoint any particular favourite.

Pearls of wisdom for the budding Chefs?
Define your career path. Know what you want and then go for it! The sky is the limit in this profession and one needs to think big. Three requirements: hard work, sacrifice and dedication…is the mantra of success.

Arrival of International flavours has changed the things we used to eat, so what is the next big thing?
Emerging international cuisines are Japanese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Moroccan and bit of Middle Eastern. Japanese and Vietnamese are particularly on the rise due to the lightness and health aspect of these cuisines. India will see a surge of Latin American food be it Peruvian or from Argentina and Brazil. The US is seeing the emergence of Afghani food. That’s a surprise. It would surprise you further to know that Afghani food is not Mughlai but a blend of Irani, Persian, Mediterranean and yes, one more surprise, Chinese cuisine! Spa cuisine is catching up in India (though fading in the West). You go to a spa to feel better and are served customized menus (not necessarily satvic). In India it will gain momentum as we have Ayurveda to back it and as I see it, the West will pick it up again and this time round it will be a success as the Indian principles and Ayurveda will be in place. Fusion cuisine is passé. It was a temporary phase and India’s honeymoon period is over. We are ready for regional fusion though, something like North Indian Chicken in South Indian Gravy or Pani Puri with Kokam Sherbet. Savoury and hot spices are finding their way as flavouring and ingredients in desserts, cookies and candy. There is a Mexican Chocolate with Mexican cinnamon, all spice and a hint of habanero. The small plate rage has just begun : be it Indian Chaat, Middle Eastern Mezze, Spanish Tapas… the small plates craze will keep going and growing and this has just reached India. Look for ‘grazing menus’ that are basically a compilation of special/signature dishes from the main menu where one can sample eight or more dishes (very small portions), course wise, at a fixed price.

Sanjeev Kapoor Special Recipe
Heat 3 tablespoons oil on a tawa, add 2 large chopped onions. Sauté till browned. Add 1 teaspoon ginger paste and 1 teaspoon garlic paste and continue to sauté. Add a little water and continue to sauté for a minute. Add 3-4 chopped green chillies and sauté for another minute. Add ¾ cup tomato puree, 3-4 tablespoons pav bhaji masala, salt to taste and ½ tablespoon chaat masala and continue to cook on low heat till oil separates from the masala. Add 500 grams cubed paneer and 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves. Stir gently. Check seasoning and cook on low heat for two minutes. Make small holes in some pani puris and stuff it with the paneer mixture. Serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

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