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I Am a Chicketarian, Chicken in Any Form is Nice: Vasundhara Das

Diet Routine

I begin my day:
With a cup of hot chocolate.

Usually egg whites, scrambled or omelette and may be a glass of juice.

I generally time my recordings so that I can eat at home. But if the studio is far then I try to catch with somebody who I haven't seen in a while. I prefer to have home food. If am heading for my recording then I prefer to eat light, as it helps me to work. A couple of rotis, dal and an oil free sabzi would do well for me.

I don't Snack in the evenings.

If I have eaten dal, sabzi in the morning than I have something in chicken although we do not cook non-vegetarian at home. My dinner would be a chicken breast with some stir-fried or sautéed vegetables with some soup. I relish a Lebanese lentil soup. It's quite filling, a meal in itself.

Fitness Regime:
I do yoga. I do my pranayam and asanas for an hour and a half.

Some Foody Favorites of Vasundhara Das

I am: A chicketarian. Chicken in any form is nice whether it is in gravy or tandoori or plain grilled, Continental style. Seafood is not my cup of tea, the smell puts me off.

I love: Vegetarian food but what vegetable depends on which side of the bed I wake up. Sometimes its just roti, dal and a vegetable. I come from a vegetarian household and I am a South Indian we have a huge variety of vegetarian food. At times I want a proper South Indian meal at other times its just salads.

I love: Meetha. Bengali sweets especially rasgollas.

I carry with me: Some warm water, and if I am not in a mad rush some herbal tea.

In foodstuff: I don't avoid anything for my throat but try to avoid fried stuff. Cold things don't affect my voice. My folks would keep me away from cold things as a child but as I grew up, I realised that they don't have a direct affect on my throat.

My fridge is stocked with: Panchranga pickle from the north and South Indian pickles. And pasta sauce is a permanent fixture.

An honest admission: I don't cook much but whenever I do, the meal turns out quite nice. I can make dal, chawal and really nice rotis. My mom is surprised when she sees me making rotis in the kitchen. I also make good pastas and soups.

My favourite cooks in the family: I like different dishes made by different people in my family, since half a dozen of my relatives live close by me in Bangalore, I often walk into their homes. My mom makes sumptuous baigan bhartha, my cousin and I usually fight over it. My aunt and mom makes awesome rasam and peas kozhambu.

One dish that I expertise in: Lentil soup, I make it really well.

In restaurants: In Bangalore, my favourite place is The Only Place, a continental restaurant. In Mumbai, I am huge fan of Urban Tadka and Masala Mantar for North Indian food. I also like Indigo in Delhi.

Italy is great for food if you are almost vegetarian. Spain has huge carnivores, I remember this place La Biotica in Madrid. It specialises in organic vegetarian food and it was interesting as they make vegetarian food without using the curry and masalas.

My favourite cuisines: Anything not fishy. I also like Italian and Thai devoid of fish sauce.

My favourites in South Indian food: I am an Iyengar and I am really proud of the food we put out. It's very unlike other South Indian food. We use a lot of mustard and hardly any coconut.

My favourite beverage: I love fresh orange and pomegranate juice.

My favourite poison: An occasional glass of white wine.

My idea of a romantic meal: I would like a candle light dinner with Maria Chivan playing Spanish love songs. A glass of white wine with continental/Italian cuisine would be perfect.

Vasundhara's Favourite Recipe: Lebanese Lentil Soup

3 tbsp olive oil1 large onion, finely chopped1 celery stick, chopped2 1/2 cups yellow moong dal, washed and soaked for 30 to 40 minutes5 cups vegetable or chicken or meat stock5 medium sized tomatoes, peeled and roughly choppedJuice of a lemon½ tsp red chilli powderSalt to tasteFreshly ground pepper, as per taste

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add the onions and celery. Sauté till the onions become soft. Add the stock. Mix well. Add the lentils. Boil it. After it boils, simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or till the lentils are soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, red chilli powder and lemon juice. Cook further on a medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

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