Bhavana Pandey can’t cook. Period. She says, without being apologetic, “I don't think I have ever really cooked for Chunky or Ananya and they’re very grateful and happy that I don’t.” In an exclusive chat with The Free Press Journal, Bhavana shares her diet and food fundas. Excerpts:
I’m basically: A vegetarian. I enjoy vegetarian food a lot and once in a while, I eat non-vegetarian food for more protein.
First thing in the morning I have: A cup of hot water and seven almonds soaked overnight. And then, I have coffee with lactose-free milk because lactose doesn’t suit me too much. Then I have a banana and I try to work out after that, either yoga or Pilates.
My lunch is: Usually light. I know you’re supposed to have your heaviest meal for breakfast but I feel hungrier in the evenings because I’m mainly a night bird and don’t sleep early. I will maybe eat an avocado toast, an egg or a dal, sabzi and a roti. An omelette with a toast or a cheese toast.
A must with my meals: I always have some kachi haldi with lemon and black pepper on it with my lunch.
My evening snack is: Usually a coffee again with a cookie or a cupcake… something low in calories and sugar.
For dinner: I try to alternate between an egg or chicken or mutton with vegetables or salad. If I’m very hungry, I’ll eat a couple of tablespoons of rice with it. I’m trying to avoid carbs at night, but I can’t.
My favourite desserts are: I have a major sweet tooth. I relish Tiramisu. In Indian desserts I love atte ka halwa.
For health purposes: I am mindful. I try not to eat too many fried things or food that has a lot of cholesterol.
I can cook: I don’t cook at all. I don’t even enjoy cooking.
My favourite cook in my family: My younger daughter Rysa. She makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the whole wide world.
Childhood memories of food comprise: Meals cooked by my grandmother. She made delicious aloo parathas with achar and dahi. My mother made excellent chhole with puris or bhaturas.
For a romantic meal: I would love to go out and it would definitely be by the water. It could be the beach or by a lake or any water place and I enjoy it. There could be wine and pizza and Tiramisu or wine, pasta and Tiramisu.
My favourite restaurants: When I travel abroad, I look for good breakfast places. Waffles, pancakes and I love French toast. I love warm croissants with coffee. In Los Angeles the breakfast at Maybourne hotel is divine.
My favourite cuisines: Indian, Italian and Mexican.
My comfort food: Cheese toast or pizza.
My favourite drink would be: I love red wine, Rosé. I also love coffee.
On a hot summer day: I love pina coladas.
During winter and monsoons: I love my coffee, freshly brewed. So I have coffee beans at home. They grind them and then they make my coffee for me.
One tip I would like to give the readers: Please enjoy your food. And no fad diets.
Bhavana’s cheese toast recipe
REPRESENTATIVE PIC | Pic: Pinterest
4 bread slices
4 cubes cheese (grated)
Butter as required
1 medium sized onion (finely chopped)
1 medium sized tomato (finely chopped)
1 small capsicum (finely chopped)
Handful of boiled sweet corn
1 finely chopped green chilli (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Red chilli flakes (optional)
In a bowl mix together grated cheese, onion, tomato, capsicum, boiled corn, green chilli, salt and pepper. Smear the bread slices with butter. Spread about two tablespoons of the cheese mixture on each bread slice. Pre- heat the oven and toast at 160 degrees Celsius till the toast is crisp and the cheese has melted. Add some chilli flakes on top and serve hot.
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