Cooking Up A Storm With Anjali Anand: 'I’m Not A Big Fan Of Sweet Dishes'

Cooking Up A Storm With Anjali Anand: 'I’m Not A Big Fan Of Sweet Dishes'

Believe it or not, Anjali Anand doesn’t have a morsel of food till noon

Anita Raheja Updated: Saturday, March 23, 2024, 07:45 PM IST
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Anjali Anand |

Anjali Anand was busy eating food when a gentleman approached her and offered her the lead role in Dhai Kilo Prem. Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, in which she played Ranveer Singh’s sister, marked her foray into Hindi films. Believe it or not, Anjali doesn’t have a morsel of food till noon. For more, read on.

My dietary preference: I am a non-vegetarian, and I consume non-vegetarian dishes 98% of the time. Rarely do I opt for vegetarian because I enjoy all types of meat and fish.

First thing I have when I wake up: I typically skip breakfast, except on holidays or when engaged in hunger-inducing activities. My first meal is usually around 2-3 pm, consumed on the go or on set if I’m shooting. On workdays, I start with coffee, maintaining the habit of an empty stomach until the afternoon without a clear explanation.

On the rare day that I have breakfast it is: Eggs are my go-to, whether it’s a nice omelette, a cheesy one, or sunny side up paired with toasted bread, beans, sausages, or bacon—perfect for a holiday. I also enjoy Thalipeeth, a Maharashtrian breakfast, and appreciate unique dishes not regularly made at home. On set, I’m delighted with thepla, dhokla, or delightful wadas with red and white chutney.

For lunch: My staple has been chicken curry and rice throughout my life. The curry variations include thick curry, watery curry, green curry, white chicken curry, and more. My mother even makes a special ‘undertaker chicken’, a simple yet delicious dish that she prepared when my dad invited the ‘undertaker’ (character) from the film Khiladyon Ka Khiladi to our home. She had to make something simple, avoiding heavy masala, and it turned out to be amazing. I still enjoy it every week, and we call it the Undertaker chicken (laughs).

My evening snack is: I usually have two main meals but have recently shifted to smaller portions multiple times a day.

For an evening snack: My favourite is khari or toast chai, coffee, or Bournvita.

My dinner is: Chicken curry again, or when I'm out at night, I enjoy ordering appetizers but typically have only one appetizer.

My favourite desserts are: I’m not a big fan of sweet dishes. I prefer old-school treats like a choco bar, Feast, or my all-time favourite ice cream – Sancha ice cream. It holds a special place in my heart as it brings back fond childhood memories. A good brownie is my ultimate weekness.

My fitness regime: Currently, I'm on a break from working out due to a knee injury from my last performance on Jhalak, where I was overworking without sufficient recovery time. It's a resting period for my body to recover before getting back to shooting. I'm a dedicated crossfitter, often working out at Soho House or at the studio alone. I avoid the gym, focusing on free weights, body exercises, and functional training. I've been a crossfitter since 2012, and the muscles I've built over the years are still intact. Though I miss it now due to time constraints, I try to stay active before and after shoots.

Before and after my workouts I have: Before my morning workouts, I have an apple and a banana. Afterwards, I have a protein shake and coconut water. For evening workouts, I ensure that I have a timely lunch for sustained energy.

Foods I consciously have and avoid: Food is my love story. I relish everything delicious, especially street food in Southeast Asian countries. I avoid vegetarian options but occasionally indulge in Sub-Zero Tea outside my home. I steer clear of modern fads like gluten-free, oat milk, and almonds, sticking to old-school, naturally prepared dishes. For me, a cake should be sweet without compromising on sugar or gluten.

My favourite restaurants in Mumbai or elsewhere: I've savoured Coconut Boy for Goan food, Nom Nom, and Sifa. Favorites also include Yauatcha and Nara Thai, leaning towards Asian cuisine. Top picks in Mumbai are Global Fusion, Yoko Sizzlers, Pratap The Dhaba, Lucky Biryani, Noor Mohammadi, and Bagdadi.

My favourite cuisines: I love Southeast Asian cuisine, especially Chinese, Japanese, and Thai. Malay food is a favourite too, but I appreciate anything delicious.

I excel at cooking: Southeast Asian dishes but find Indian cuisine, like a good chicken curry, a bit challenging.

My favourite cooks in my family are: Although I never had dedicated family cooks, my dad was skilled at making flavourful mutton masala. My mom, guided by her mother, is renowned for her simple yet amazing chicken curry. Presently, Shehnaz, our cook, is the master behind the best biryani in our household.

Childhood memories of food: Crunchy chicken from China Supper.

My idea of a romantic meal: Good food with the person I love, whether it's in a car, on the road, or anywhere. A Bombay sandwich or chutney sandwich is my go-to choice.

My favourite drink: Diet Coke.

My food related memories during the shoot of Rocky and Rani: Ranveer and I expressed our desire for mutton to Jaya (Bachchan) ji. She arranged a delightful Kashmiri food party at her house, creating one of the best memories. Another time, she brought mutton to the set, and it turned out to be the best I've ever had.

Tip on food: It's all about happiness. While considering dietary choices is important, I think it's crucial to eat what makes you happy. Everything in moderation is the key.

My staple food: Fried rice is my ultimate staple food. I pair it with everything, even butter chicken. It might sound like a strange combination, but give it a try; it's the best.

Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice |

Egg Fried Rice

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup cooked rice long grain rice (with salt)

4-5 tablespoons oil

1 heaped tablespoon garlic (very finely chopped)

3 spring onions (finely chopped along with some greens)

1 carrot (finely chopped)

8 to 10 French beans (finely chopped)

100 gms sweet corn (boiled)

2-3 eggs

1 tablespoon soy sauce (or as required)

1-2 teaspoon vinegar (or as required)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Pepper powder as per taste

Salt to taste

Method

In a wok or deep skillet, heat up the oil over high heat, then add garlic. Saute for a few seconds, followed by the spring onions (without the greens). Saute for a minute. Add carrots, French beans, and boiled corn, along with a pinch of salt. Saute for five minutes on high flame until the veggies are cooked but still crunchy. Push all the cooked vegetables to one side of the pan. In a bowl, beat the eggs, then pour them into the cleared half of the pan. Scramble the eggs, adding a small amount of salt. Mix the scrambled eggs with the rest of the vegetables. Add the cooked rice, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and pepper. Gently mix and let the rice cook until slightly crispy. Garnish with chopped greens and serve hot.

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