Friendly TV Chef Kapoor Gives Lessons at the Home Hearth


Adoring fans gathered around popular Indian TV Chef Sanjeev Kapoor as he gave a demonstration of several dishes

By Jawahar Malhotra

SUGAR LAND: Not only did he come fully prepared to demonstrate how to make some dishes for the invited crowd of admirers who have seen him countless times on cable TV, he was completely at ease cracking jokes in Hindi and English and used his Facebook page to do a post live from his cell phone as he described what he was cooking.

“So do you know what this is?” he asked as they looked quizzically at the bowl of chopped yellow pieces. “Anyone? … its yellow tomatoes!” he declared. “To go with the color of the mangoes and to use with the cubes of paneer slightly browned in butter.” To loud exclamations from the crowd hanging over the kitchen counter, he gleefully mixed the tomatoes in, added spices and said, “that’s how we make butter mango paneer!”


Kapoor showed his skills at the house of Dr. Vivek and Madhavi Kavadi (on left) in Sugar Land, Akshaya Patra Regional Director of Development Manisha Gandhi is second from right

This was internationally acclaimed Indian Chef Sanjeev Kapoor of the longest running cooking TV show Khana Khazana, enjoying a day in front of his fans and cooking up a few dishes that everyone sampled. He showed them how to make vegetarian Indian quesadillas, and a paneer and peas biriyani which was served later for lunch. “And we are here in Houston to help Akshaya Patra (see page 05 for related story) raise money to help feed 1.6 million kids a day,” he went on to explain to the live FB feed.

A day after the Akshaya Patra gala, Kapoor was at the spacious home of Dr. Vivek and Madhavi Kavadi doing the demonstration as Manisha Gandhi, the Regional Director of Development, Akshaya Patra USA beamed. And helping him along preparing the dishes was his wife, Alyona; Kiran Verma, the chef and owner of Kiran’s Restaurant (which is soon re-opening at its new location in Montrose). Restauranteur Ricki Oberoi lent a hand too, as did Indo American News’ beloved food columnist Mama Shakuntla Malhotra whom Kapoor asked (in Punjabi) to roll a couple of rotis to cover the biriyani in a soup mug, another creation of his.


Kapoor enlisted the skills of his wife Alyona and three generations of chefs – restauranteur Ricki Oberoi, IAN cooking columnist Shakuntla Malhotra and restauranteur Kiran Verma – in preparing a dish

Kapoor has been on a tour of San Antonio and Austin, culminating in AP galas in Dallas and Houston. He also made a quick dash to LA scouting a restaurant location. Rajeev Matta, the CEO of Kapoor’s company, SK Restaurant Pvt. Ltd., said a deal was in the works for a restaurant in Houston in the near future. “There are three company owned restaurants in Mumbai,” Matta explained, “and another 74 franchisees all over the world. We expect to add another 24 franchises by year’s end another 30 in the next 24 months.”

The crowd spilled out into the pool and waterfall area of the Kavadi’s house, where the food was laid out in the bright sun. Apart from the biriyani, the rest of the dishes came from Chef Verma. Asked how she did it with her place still not open, she smiled, “The people at another restaurant, Arista, allow me to cook there to cater special occasions.”