Unlike other stars, Aahana Kumra, a popular film (The Accidental Prime Minister, Lipstick Under My Burkha), television (Yudh) and theatre actress (Arms And The Man), eats everything — even parathas and rasgullas! And yet the actress is slim and fit. Over to her to spill the beans.
First thing in the morning I have: Hot water with squeezed lemon followed by a hot cup of coffee before I go for my run. Now because of Covid-19, I have included kadha into my morning routine as well.
I am: A non-vegetarian. I like to eat a home-cooked meal and am also a fan of South Indian food. I have wholesome meals throughout the day. I have never done any sort of dieting, but I eat right and make sure to work out.
My diet: I don’t have specific cheat days, and I like to have everything throughout the day. I keep my diet simple and do not go crazy with my food.
Breakfast: I am a Punjabi, so I like to have parathas in the morning, but I also make sure to add eggs to my breakfast. At 11 o’clock, I eat whole fruits like guava, apple, watermelon, or pineapple.
Lunch: At 1 o’clock, I have lunch that comprises dal, sabzi, roti and rice with salad. In the evening, I have a black coffee with dry fruits or kurmura. I relish grilled fish, tandoori chicken or chicken curry for my dinner. I change my dinner menu depending on my mood. For dessert, I like ras malai, gulab jamun, and rosgulla.
To keep fit: I eat nothing before doing cardio, but before weightlifting, I make sure to eat a banana or even a paratha to get the right amount of energy to lift weights.
For health reasons, I consciously avoid: Ice creams. I am in bed recovering from Covid-19 and daydreaming about eating ice cream as soon as I feel better.
I can cook: I don’t really like to cook. Because of Covid-19, I have been cooking my breakfasts and assorted vegetables, etc. One thing I like to cook and eat is paneer bhurji and paneer capsicum.
My cooking disasters: I am a heroine when it comes to cooking disasters. Last year during the lockdown, I made Sindhi kadhi and sent it to my friends, and none of them reverted!
My favourite cook in my family is: My brother-in-law and my sister have become fantastic cooks during the lockdown. They make amazing naan and kadai chicken, one of the best I have ever eaten.
My childhood memory of food: My sister used to study in Dehradun, and I would spend my holidays with her. We would visit our aunt’s place, and she would make amazing kadhi chawal. Summer vacations were memorable with her kadhi chawal.
For a romantic meal: Something romantic for me would be a sundowner. I love to watch the sunset, and I remember attending a lot of sundowners in LA. I would love to go to a beautiful restaurant beside the beach whereI could watch the sunset.
My favourite restaurants in Mumbai and abroad are: I can name so many across India because I have travelled a lot. When I was in Lucknow, we would have Jashn-e-Ravivaar — Sharmaji ki chai with samosa, kachori or a mouth-watering bun maska. At Royal Cafe, you get amazing chaap and tunday kebab. In Kolkata, there is a cafe called Peter Cat which I absolutely love. Many small restaurants in Kolkata serve amazing thalis. Every nook and corner in Delhi has amazing food to offer.
My comfort food is: Khichdi
I feel guilty after eating: I don’t feel guilty after anything because the minute you send any such signal to your body, food doesn’t go well with your system. I always have gratitude for my food. Food has a positive effect on you if you look at it with an attitude that it is good for you. Have a positive outlook towards your food.
One tip on the food you like to give your readers: Include one whole fruit in your meal. It is a very important part of your diet. When you eat the fruit in its entirety, it makes a difference to your body.
My favourite drink and beverage: I love Aam panna.
Recipe of aam panna
11/2 kg raw mangoes
2 to 3 cups sugar or according to taste
2 tsp salt (or as per taste)
1 tsp rock salt (or as per taste)
2 tsp freshly roasted ground cumin powder
Wash the mangoes.
Steam the mangoes in a pressure cooker on a low flame till the mangoes are done.
Cool completely and peel.
Squeeze out the pulp from the mangoes.
Blend the mango pulp in a mixie along with the sugar.
Add salt, rock salt and cumin powder and store in glass bottles and refrigerate it.
Pour about 3 to 4 tbsp of aam panna in a tall glass. Add cold water, some crushed ice, and few mint leaves. Mix well and serve chilled.