Cooking Up A Storm With Amrita Rao: 'Be proud of your appetite'

Cooking Up A Storm With Amrita Rao: 'Be proud of your appetite'

In this fortnightly column, we offer you an exclusive pass to the kitchen of one of your favourite celebrities and get the stars to reveal one secret recipe from their family cookbook

Anita Raheja Updated: Saturday, March 18, 2023, 09:03 PM IST
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Amrita Rao |

Actress Amrita Rao is known for her simple appeal. The simplicity reflects in her all-Indian diet too. She enjoys her methi theplas and dosas and prefers Yoga, an Indian way of staying fit, over gyms. She speaks with The Free Press Journal exclusively about her food fundas. Excerpts:

First thing I have in the morning: A glass of warm water with a spoon of cow ghee.

My breakfast is: A very regular Maharashtrian or South Indian breakfast. Upma, poha, methi thepla, dosa etc.

My lunch consists of: Rice, dal and sabzi. I ensure the cook doesn’t put too much oil in the sabzi. I eat mostly all vegetables and I’m a rice eater. Being vegetarian, I also try to add paneer gravy in my diet regularly. Also rajma, chhole, kaale chane, sambhar are common for lunch. 

In the evenings I snack on: Coconut water, banana and dry fruits. 

My dinner is: Either lauki or potatoes or some gravy dish to complement the rice. Often, we make pulao or khichdi or fried rice for dinner. 

My favourite desserts are: Cone ice-cream, thin crispy jalebis and cakes. 

My fitness regime: I am not into heavy workouts because weight loss is not for me. I really love yoga. Even if I have gaps of one or sometimes three months, I always turn to yoga for exercise.

Before and after my workouts I have: Nothing for two hours before yoga.

My idea of a romantic meal is: Driving to a restaurant with my husband Anmol. A candle light dinner on the beach would be truly romantic.

I can cook really good: Gajar ka halwa and pulao

My favourite cook in my family is: My mom. Anything she makes is good. She’s a master chef and is also very passionate about watching cooking videos. I love Konkani food and she makes the best batata song and humman

My favourite beverage: Watermelon juice.

The weirdest combination of food I have ever had: Dahi with spicy Hakka noodles, but it was awesome!

On a hot summer day, I like to drink: Chilled buttermilk.

My tip on food to my readers: Never feel conscious about the quantity of food you eat when amongst people. Be proud of your appetite!

My favourite restaurants: I love the vegetable exotica at Out Of The Blue in Bandra. They haven't got this dish out of their menu for the longest time because they know that every time I visit them, I go for it. I also like Bayroute at BKC.

My favourite dish is: A Konkani dish Batata humman.

Amrita’s recipe for batata humman

Ingredients:

4 potatoes 

1/2 tablespoon whole coriander seeds

2 whole dry red chillies (Byadgi)

1/4 cup grated coconut 

1 lemon sized tamarind 

3-4 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai

1/4 teaspoon hing (asafoetida powder) 

Few curry leaves 

1 slit green chilli (or as per taste)

Salt to taste 

Method: Boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker till three whistles. Cool and cut them into cubes. In a pan dry roast the whole coriander seeds on a low flame for a couple of minutes. Remove from gas. In a blender add dry red chillies, grated coconut and the kept aside roasted coriander seeds, add little water and grind to a thick paste. Soak tamarind in a little water for a few minutes. Squeeze out a thick pulp from the soaked tamarind and keep aside. 

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add hing and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds. Add the potatoes and stir fry them for two to three minutes on a low flame. Add the ground paste and mix well. 

Add water according to the consistency required (the consistency should not be watery). Add salt, green chilli and the kept aside tamarind pulp and mix well. Cook on a low flame for five minutes. If you like it more tangy you can add a little more tamarind pulp. Serve hot. 

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