Coming as she does from a food-loving family, Kareena Kapoor loves eating as much as any of her uncles, but she also knows how to balance it all out. In an interview with Express Foodie, she talks about her comfort food, chocolate and her diet.
What are your childhood memories of food?
During Diwali, the food served at the Kapoor household was truly memorable. There was lots of good meat, dal and parathas cooked at home and supervised by my grandmother. I ate a lot of parathas and tandoori chicken while growing up.
How did you make the switch to being vegetarian?
Like most of the Kapoors, I love food. I used to love seafood before I turned vegetarian. I loved fish curry and prawns. But I no longer crave meat. I think it’s healthier to be vegetarian and I gave up meat many years ago. I no longer have that craving to eat meat either. I eat all kinds of vegetables and vegetarian food. Since I like eating at home, it’s easier to stick to the diet.
What is your favourite meal?
There’s nothing like a hot plate of rice and dal, made at home, with a bit of ghee.
What is the one ingredient that you love?
I love ghee. I always have ghee with my rice, dal and rotis. Unlike what most people believe, ghee is actually good for health. My grandmom, who is in her 80s, has eaten ghee all her life and is still beautiful. Ghee, I think, is the reason why she has such great skin. You’re also energetic and your body remains supple when you eat ghee.
What is your favourite cuisine?
I love Thai and Italian. I particularly love pasta and spaghetti.
Which Indian regional cuisine do you love?
I quite enjoy the Nawabi cuisine. I love the dal and paneer cooked the Nawabi way, with butter and ghee. Saif (Ali Khan, husband) loves the Nawabi style of meat.
Do you cook?
I bake chocolate cakes well, my friends tell me. But I don’t cook very often. I cook Indian, Chinese and Thai dishes.
Which restaurants are your favourites?
I remember going to Yoko’s for their amazing sizzlers as a kid. I like going to Wasabi at The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai; Olive in Bandra, and Thai Pavilion at Taj President for their Thai food.
Which are your favourite restaurants abroad?
I go back to Hakkasan every time I visit London. The city has some very good restaurants.
Who is your foodie gang?
I go eating out with my gang of girls, which includes my sister Karishma, Malaika (Arora Khan), Amrita (Arora Ladak) and some other friends. We often catch up over a good meal and some wine. I like drinking a glass or two of red wine.
What is your diet like?
I believe in moderation and I eat everything. If I’m craving a pizza, I eat two or three slices and then have a soup or a salad. Once in a while, I indulge in a samosa or a kachori even. I have added soups, salads, yoghurt and nuts to my diet to increase my fitness levels. All through the day, I try to eat small meals. I try and avoid rice, but I can’t get over my weakness for cheese. I think that to stay healthy, it’s important to eat a balanced diet that includes local produce.
What’s do you begin your day with?
I usually start the day with juice, or some milk. I don’t like tea or coffee. Breakfast would include a bowl of muesli, or upma, or idli, and sometimes a paratha. Once in a while, I add a slice of cheese to my breakfast.
What do you buy when you travel?
A lot of cheese and chocolates. In Switzerland, I buy a lot of chocolates. My favourite food moment is when I take that first bite of chocolate after having stayed off chocolates for weeks.