Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Jan 05, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Bangalore Published on Mondays & Thursdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

HOT stuff

The telegenic chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, came down to plug his latest cookbook


AND THE new thriller in town is... well, it's the chef Sanjeev Kapoor's new recipe book, Simply Indian. And why is it a thriller even though it contains many common recipes that we've seen so often? Because, the Khana Khazana chef is the pin-up man of many a middle-aged woman and having him in the city to launch his seventh book was an exciting event for many.

Talking to a handful of journalists at Infinitea, Gaurav Saria's tea parlour on Cunningham Road, Sanjeev Kapoor outlined the history of Indian cuisines. "It is the second most popular cuisine in the world," he said, "and Chinese tops the ratings. But the most popular Chinese restaurant in London is run by an Indian and a Bangladeshi!" added the proudly Indian chef.

Simply Indian is a collection of over 90 recipes, divided into six sections. From soups, salads and starters, to vegetables, from chicken, mutton, seafood, to rice and breads, the book rounds off with accompaniments and desserts. "At home, people want to make `restaurant-style' food, and ironically restaurants have started popularising `ghar ka khana'," pointed out Kapoor. "I've enjoyed experimenting with ingredients and coming up with good recipes, and I'm sure this book will help many to make restaurant-style food at home."

"But with so much time given to compiling books and CDs, and television shows, how often do you get to actually do the cooking? I asked. "Yes, all this does take time. And at home, I only cook when we have guests. I'm usually supervising. But on shows, I cook in front of you. And when it comes to creative work or experimenting, that just cannot be delegated — I have to create!" explained the charming cook.

The book, published by Popular Prakashan, contains authentic recipes from all parts of India. "When I started out as a chef, I made a promise to myself. I decided I would eat authentic local food not at a restaurant but at the house of a local person, and that I would learn as much as possible about the local cuisine. This I do wherever I go," said the gourmet who wants to improve documentation of Indian cuisines.

The psychologist and researcher in Kapoor surfaced when he surmised: "We want newness in our food, and yet feel wary of moving away from our taste-zone. The answer is to innovate on traditional recipes."

Simply Indian, with its colourful photographs and helpful suggestions, promises to wean us away from saaru to Lemon and Coriander Soup, from the Punjabi (or rather, un-Punjabi) chole to Palak Chole, from mundane chapattis to Varqi Paranthas, and from coconut burfi to Chocolate Walnut Barfi.

If you must learn one new thing post-New Year excesses, may it be the art of innovating with food. And for all those purists who abhor fooling around with traditional recipes, here's what the `maharaj' pointed out: "Did you know that tomatoes were unknown to Indians some centuries back? And now, isn't it surprising how many `authentic, traditional, Indian' recipes cannot be done without tomatoes?"

Ah, that puts the oggarane on the authenticity theory of the great Indian cuisine — or call it the thadka! They're simply Indian.

Simply Indian, priced at Rs.250, is available at all leading bookstores.

MALA KUMAR

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2004, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu