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Made with love, Made by Ma.

One of the most heartening compliments for a chef is – Your food reminded me of my mother’s cooking. When it comes to food, no five star can ever live up to the fabulousness of the food from your maa’s kitchen. This mother’s day I am sharing with you some of my best memories in the form of recipes with you. Welcome to my mother’s kitchen.

Aam ka Panna Summer was like a synonym for mangoes in our household when we were kids. The moment unripe mangoes appeared in the market my mother would make a panna concentrate and store it in the refrigerator – a practice she follows till today. Just pour a couple of tablespoons into a glass, top it up with ice cubes and chilled water and serve. However, don’t make too much of the concentrate at one go, as it tends to lose its flavour.

Quick Pressure cooked vegetables In my home we like to have something different for breakfast every day – meal times are fun times. These pressure cooked vegetables get made within a jiffy and taste brilliant with some crunchy toasted bread. This was one of the ways mom would ensure healthy vegetables are a part of our diet.

Vegetable Bhakarwadi - When I got married to Alyona another great cook stepped into my life – my mother in law. In the years that followed I discovered her culinary expertise. She has this unique way of making traditional recipes special. For example she always found a traditional bhakarwadi too dry, so she tried a new recipe for the filling, using potatoes and vegetables. This recipe remains one of my favorites to date.

Pyaaz aur Chawal ke Paranthe – An experiment that turned out successful! My mother made it for the first time at her cousin’s home. My aunt was unwell and had a house full of guests to feed. So my maa offered to cook breakfast. There were a few leftover vegetables and rice in the fridge which she turned into these mouthwatering paranthe. Now you know how to turn leftover rice into a yummy breakfast.

Dal Dhokli This was a perfect Sunday lunch at my in laws home for many years – an easy to prepare one dish meal, nutritious and a good way to feed protein rich dal and wheat flour rotis to kids. Don’t forget the finely chopped onions, fresh coriander and lemon juice topping along with a few drops of desi ghee.

Rajma Masala or Pakorewali Kadhi – It is no secret that rajma chawal and kadhi chawal are two of my most favourite dishes. Must haves, when I am home, or have just returned after a long trip – my mom always makes one of these and serves it with hot steamed rice and chilled curd. No need for any other accompaniments with these super hit recipes!

Besan ka sheera – The piping hot sheera loaded with ghee is my mother’s delicious home remedy for anyone with a cold. My father had a special fondness for this recipe and could eat it any time. In fact he would ask her to make it often so he could keep the cold away.

Try making these recipes from my mother’s kitchen for your mom. The celebration of Mother’s day is a relatively new concept in India but celebrating our mothers is not. Just one day to celebrate our beloved maa just seems very unfair for those of us who owe everything we have to our moms. It is indeed a time to reflect and rejoice the presence of a mother in our lives.

Each morning as I struggle to wake up
Aromas from the kitchen make me sit up.
I then follow my nose and watch my mother cook
Mouthwatering dishes, though she never refers to a book.
She adds a pinch of this and a dash of that,
Ah Yes! Plenty of love, no lack of that!

This is the preface to my book titled “cooking with love” - An apt name for a recipe compilation from my mother’s kitchen.

Sanjeev Kapoor!

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.