TV Dinners | Recipes | Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

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What’s a good TV dinner? Something that is tasty and makes TV watching all the more fun! Something that is easy to prepare so that you can sit with your family and enjoy the time! I have contradicted the concept of TV dinners of the West and refrained from the frozen set meal trays that they use. My range of TV dinners is fresh food, healthy food, fun food…..as also bringing about change! They say the only thing constant in life is change! TV dinner recipes can change the food habits particularly of those who love eating in front of the telly! What really happens when we eat while watching TV? I can think of three things: we do not look at the food much, we do not taste the food much and we do eat too much! I have invariably found that we tend to overeat while watching TV. Those who understand the term couch potatoes will agree with this last statement!

So my take is why not remove some attention from the telly’s face and that remote in your hand toward the food in your plate? Is it what you like? Is it nutritious? Is it comforting? Is it tasty?

TV dinners as one dish meals can be balanced and tasty and novel too. Like I mentioned before, TV Dinners as per the western concept are known as frozen dinners or microwave meals or ready meals. They are prepackaged, frozen or chilled meals which usually come in an individual package. They require very little preparation and contain all the elements for a single-serving meal. Though the concept is around fifty years old, the popularity continues with lots of evolutionary changes. For example, the aluminium tray that needed to be heated in an oven has now been replaced with a food tray made of microwaveable material, usually plastic. You will also find meals labelled gourmet, organic, vegan, small children meals but the fact remains that these meals are not freshly made. The freezing process tends to degrade the taste of food, and the meals are usually heavily processed with extra salt and fat to compensate.

A TV dinner in my definition would mean anything that it nutritious, can be plated easily and be handled easily plus it should be filling enough to do away with the craving for snacks that are sans nutrition. I am not emphasising that munchies be banned but the quanitites consumed can be drastically cut down as the need of the hour is to remove all junk food from our diets!

So a TV Dinner could mean a slightly westernised Bread Salad with Diced Chicken or a chatpata snack like Black Grape Pani Puri. A TV dinner could mean a wholesome Missal Pav or a creamy Risotto Prima Vera. You could combine these with a sweet something like a Sticky Date Pudding or a Vanilla Sponge with Strawberry Cream and then dump all the dishes in the sink to be washed the following morning if the movie is really very good! 

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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 www.sanjeevkapoor.com 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.