Indian home-cooking saw the turn of a new leaf when celebrity chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor created lip-smacking recipes on a unique format of cooking shows on television. With the stay-at-home orders infusing new energy into the country's home kitchens, the celebrated chef, and Padma Shri recipient feels happy seeing people cook at home.
"Home-cooking is healthiest cooking. Even when people cook so-called junk food, I advise cooking it at home, which will be much healthier. Anyone who is usually cooking at home wants to make sure that the element of health is there. If we have to make ourselves healthy, home-cooking is the way to go, and I'm happy people are cooking at home," Kapoor, 56, said.
Kapoor suggests cooking enthusiasts to clean germs and pesticides off their fruits and veggies as any recipe's first step. "We are what we eat. That's something we have started to understand as a direct, cause-and-effect relationship. Now we have time to reflect and act on it. The superficiality of anything and everything we were consuming – that is diminishing, and a beginning has been made," he said.
Speaking about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he notes "two distinct things" that have happened during this time.
"Everyone was home so home-cooking has grown exponentially and eaten out – the service industry – is hit and has gone down – not just in India but globally. Similarly, what we were eating earlier, we are more careful with that. We want to be sure about the quality of the ingredients. Hygiene is paramount. What we were taking for granted, the world has sat up and is taking note of that. We are looking at bettering us for our own selves, not for the world. We're breathing right, cooking right, and eating right."
The culinarian, who is among the most prominent faces of Indian cuisine, shared what life in lockdown looked like for him.
"Despite a few relaxations now in Mumbai, we have taken a call that unless absolutely essential, we will not go out. In all these months, I have only been out twice. Managing was not that difficult, I didn't have much time to watch movies and web series. My whole family is home, and they naturally expect me to cook, which I enjoy, that has increased definitely. Food content is being consumed more across platforms. Across our social media platforms, it is an all-time high with engagement being up by 250 percent," the 'Khana Khazana' star shared.
Kapoor also shared that early in the lockdown, he decided on an initiative to feed doctors and staff in hospitals in Mumbai and beyond. "We worked closely towards that. I am also involved with Akshay Patra Foundation and served over 70 million meals in the lockdown," he concluded.