Sanjeev Kapoor, India's biggest celebrity chef, is expanding his culinary empire to America. F&W previews his new cookbook.



It's time for Americans to finally learn about India's first and biggest celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor. In India, a country where cooking has long been considered a menial task and even middle-class families rely heavily on servants to prepare meals, Kapoor has almost single-handedly made spending time in the kitchen seem like fun. With a daily television show that has 500 million viewers in 120 countries, as well as more than 140 cookbooks and over 20 restaurants to his name—plus his own TV station in the making—Kapoor has a huge following of housewives, their mothers-in-law and even their husbands. Why? As he says, "I understand what people want." Now Kapoor is publishing his first cookbook in America, How to Cook Indian. Among the 500 recipes are many regional dishes that reflect his interest in healthy eating, like a Goan-inspired shrimp simmered with garlic, ginger and a touch of coconut. Here, F&W offers a preview.

Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Gravy

This classic Punjabi dish, called masaledar chholay, is often served as part of a big Sunday lunch, along with raita, naan and salad.

Building Flavor:

"I try to put to rest the myth that Indian food has to be elaborately prepared," Kapoor says. "Once you have the basic spices, it's just a matter of tossing them in your pan."

Fresh ginger.

Aromatics: Start the chickpeas in spicy tomato gravy by making a paste of fresh ginger, garlic and jalapeños.


Spices: Sauté the ginger-garlic paste with fragrant spices like cumin.


Herbs: Add chickpeas and tomatoes, simmer, then garnish the dish with cilantro.

Video: Watch Sanjeev Kapoor Demonstrate Indian Cooking Techniques

Kapoor's US Cookbook Debut

How to Cook Indian by India's celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

500 Best Recipes

How to Cook Indian compiles the chef's top 500 recipes from his more than 140 (!) cookbooks. A highlight: the chapter on northern India's Chinese-inflected cuisine.

Touring India & Easy Indian Recipes

Saffron Lassi
Indian Coconut Fish Curry
Oregonians spice things up with an interest in all things curry. They might want to save this coconut fish curry for a rainy day.
| Credit: © Dana Gallagher