Actor and former model Sidharth Malhotra thinks Delhi is India’s ultimate food city and wants his hypothetical meal to feature puri, chana and halwa. Malhotra, who is Tourism New Zealand’s brand ambassador, spoke to Express Foodie about his mom’s cooking, his diet and his sweet tooth.
Tell us about going vegetarian to get in shape for a movie last year. Did it work for you?
I think vegetarian food is healthier. It gets digested quicker. If you don’t care about getting all beefed up, then a vegetarian will work for you.
What do you eat for breakfast usually?
These days, I mostly have eggs and sweet potatoes.
Do you like eating out and do you have favourite places when you do?
I enjoy eating Italian and Japanese cuisine, and abroad I love Zuma, Nobu and Cipriani.
What about street food?
Growing up in Delhi we had a lot of chaat — Gol Gappa, Raj Kachori, Aloo Tikki and Chana Puri. We used to frequent Haldiram and Bengal Sweet Centre in South Extension.
What are your binge-eating guilty pleasures?
I eat just about anything and everything on my cheat days. But I’m crazy about sweets and dark chocolate.
Which place, according to you, is the country’s food capital?
Delhi. The city has some fantastic restaurants and street-food joints. Delhi is unbeatable when it comes to food.
What did you grow up eating?
As a kid, I remember my mother always experimenting with bizarre combinations of food such as gulab jamun and pickle! Surprisingly, many years down the line, I have found myself doing the same thing.
Do you have a favourite dish cooked by your mother?
My mother makes really good achari mutton and mutton biryani. She is an excellent cook, and I enjoy every meal of hers.
Do you cook?
When I had just moved to Mumbai, I lived on my own. I hadn’t signed on any moved and ran my own kitchen so I cooked a lot. It was basic cooking and sometimes just boiled food really. I would love to learn cooking and throw a feast and have people over.
What do you always stock in your fridge?
Dark chocolate, eggs and gluten free bread.
What would your last meal ever include?
Puri, halwa and chana.