Sonam Kapoor on bhel puri, bajra roti and why she is considering going vegan: The FOODie Interview
Sonam Kapoor is a huge foodie, and while she indulges every once in a while, but she makes sure she doesn’t overdo it. Here, she talks to The Indian Express about weight loss, eating healthy while travelling and her favourite restaurants, gluten free cakes, her passion for street food and restaurants she loves.
Your journey to being this fit has been long. How carefully do you plan your diet?
A diet plan is the most important thing while trying to lose, or maintain your weight, so there is no getting away from it. But I do indulge sometimes. However, for an effective weight loss plan, the diet has to be high in protein and low in bad carbohydrates. I am really strict about my diet and if I have to break it, I will pick the best option from the menu.
What’s your breakfast like?
It is a combination of things. Fruit and oatmeal, egg whites, protein shake… Sometimes, a meal of simple carbohydrates – a few servings of fruit and low-fat Greek yoghurt, since it provides enough energy to keep me going.
What do you like for lunch or dinner?
On the days I am not indulging, salad, or dal and chapati, or fish. I avoid red meat and my chapatis are multi-grained or made from bajra. Right now, I am more of a vegetarian. I have fish once in a while. I’m trying my hand at being vegan now. If I feel hungry in between meals while I’m at work, I have nuts and dry fruits. People generally end up deserting their diets when they travel. I stock up on apples and health bars, or order a sandwich. Egg whites and lean meat such as chicken, and fish are protein rich and have low triglycerides and cholesterol. I like the cakes from Divya Ranglani’s Healthy Treats. She makes lovely gluten-free and sugar-free cakes.
What’s your poison?
Coconut water, buttermilk and cucumber juice. I don’t drink.
You are said to be a street food aficionado?
Mumbai has a very strong street food culture. Sometimes, I feel really sad that I can’t eat at my favourite street food outlets anymore. I like chaat: everything from bhel puri to pani puri, and no one does it better than Elco Pani Puri Centre, in Bandra. If you analyse Mumbai’s chaat, you realise every community that has enriched life in the city has contributed to our chaats. For pav bhaji, I would go to Amar Juice Centre in Vile Parle. The Brijwasi store next to the Babulnath Temple serves fabulous masala milk. For meat lovers, it has to be either Bhindi Bazaar or Bade Miya. I like Indian fast food, and am not too fond of pizzas.
Which are your favourite restaurants?
Gajalee, in Mumbai, because they serve a really delicious Tandoor Crab. Then, there is Arya Bhavan, where the idlis are very good. At the Radio Club in Colaba, it is gin chicken and potato; The Pantry, because of the ambience and the organic ingredients that they source. The Table, in Colaba, if you are really celebrating an occasion, or like your food made from fresh, seasonal vegetables. In Singapore, the eateries around Mohamed Sultan Road. My favourite breakfast place is Angelina, in Paris, on Rue de Rivoli. Delhi has some fabulous restaurants, especially the old world ones. I used to patronise Karim’s for its meat dishes. My other favourites in Delhi would include Bengal Sweet House and Parathewaali Galli, not to forget the dhabas near JNU. Also, one should never miss the Aloo Bonda at Ganga Dhaba.
What’s your kind of cuisine?
Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, actually Pan-Asian. And, also Greek. I love Bengali food, especially the mustard fish, and Cholar Dal.
What do you buy on your travels?
A lot of honey and olive products, particularly from New Zealand, and chocolates and cheese.