The best chef of India, according to the government of India and about 5.4 million fans, is coming soon to The District at Tustin Legacy with his restaurant concept, The Yellow Chilli. Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor brings Indian cuisine to the masses through an incredible roundup of culinary accolades and we can’t wait to try his fare firsthand. As we anxiously await the opening, we thought we’d get an inside peek at what’s cooking and ask Chef what’s in his grocery bag. Visit sanjeevkapoor.com and discover a library of his recipes that you can make at home in the meantime.
1. Ghee or Clarified Butter
Ghee is one of those ingredients that has got a bad name for being too fatty, but that perception is changing slowly because people are realizing these fats are actually good fats. Besides the health factor ghee is also very versatile as a cooking medium – you can make just about anything with ghee!
Because seasoning is everything! Even the most beautiful flavours can fall flat if you dish isn’t seasoned properly. While I am at it, I’d pick the Rock and Himalayan Pink Salt varieties.
3. Tellicherry Black Peppercorns
These are the best quality black peppercorns from the Malabar Coast in India. They are larger in size than regular peppercorns and have more of a bite to them. Try the Fish tikka at The Yellow Chilli and you’ll know for yourself.
4. Millets and more millets
I recently used a bunch of these to make the world’s largest batch of Guinness World Record approved Khichdi! I have always loved ancient Indian grains like ragi, jowar, bajra and sama, it’s nice to see the world recognizing the benefits of these Superfoods.
5. The Yellow Chilli
Years ago, amidst a mass of green and red chillies I bumped into a yellow chilli in Meerut, India where my mother and grandmother hail from. I fell in love with this ingredient so much that I named my restaurant after it. The extra zing and confluence of flavors, aroma and color it adds to a dish makes it stand out from the rest, just like food at The Yellow Chilli, opening soon at The District at Tustin Legacy.
Naturally sodium, cholesterol and gluten free brain food — perfect to munch on when hunger strikes! I also use them to add a bit of texture to soups and salads.
7. Leafy Greens/Saag
Ranging from easily available fresh spinach and fenugreek to more unusual, seasonal veggies like mustard greens and amaranth — leafy greens are a must-have in my diet all year long. Winters in India are synonymous to sarson ka saag season, so you will definitely find a batch of mixed greens in my grocery bag! For those of you who haven’t had a chance to eat Sarson ka Saag with Makki ki Roti which are wilted mustard and mixed greens served with corn meal flatbread and plenty of homemade butter, get to The Yellow Chilli restaurant at The District at Tustin and indulge! You won’t regret it.
I eat papayas almost every day. They are great for digestion, immunity and help to maintain a healthy weight. They are really tasty too!
9. Fresh Turmeric
Fresh Turmeric has a lovely earthy aroma and taste. It has a strong flavour and color so a little bit goes a long way. It is lovely to make pickles with, and don’t even get me started on the health benefits.
Gulkand is nothing but a jam or preserve made with rose petals. Served enclosed in the folds of a paan or just a spoonful for good health, it’s delicious in every way! It is a key ingredient in one of my signature dishes — Gulab-e-Gulkand, which we serve at The Yellow Chilli outlets across the globe!