Cooking Up a Storm with Pooja Hegde: The Radhe Shyam actress spills the beans on the weirdest food she has ever eaten and more!

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-Heena AgarwalUpdated: Sunday, March 20, 2022, 07:00 AM IST
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Pic: Instagram/hegdepooja

Pooja Hegde is a true foodie. The Radhe Shyam actress clears any misconceptions any one has about her starving to stay fit. In an exclusive conversation with The Free Press Journal, she reveals her food and fitness fundas.

The first thing I have in the morning is: A shot of coffee because I work out early in the morning.

My diet preference: I am a complete non-vegetarian. I also eat a lot of veggies on the side because roughage is really important for your stomach.

My fav non-veg dishes are: I love seafood; it’s my favourite. Then probably mutton and chicken.

For breakfast: I normally have eggs, sometimes even an egg paratha. I like chillas.

Around 11 am: I have some fruits or a milkshake.

My lunch and dinner: I have brown rice and chicken curry with a sabzi.

One thing I must have with all my meals: Curd. I think that’s the Mangalorean side of me coming to the fore. Sometimes after an hour of eating lunch, I have chaas.

My evening snack: A sandwich or maybe a sweet potato tikki.

My favourite desserts: I have a sweet tooth and like all kinds of desserts, especially chocolates! In Indian sweets, I love gulab jamun, mawa and jalebi with rabdi. I also relish panna cotta.

My favourite fruits: I eat lots of fruits during the day, and I love all kinds of fruits.

My fitness regime: I am genetically blessed, and I also do workouts. I’d rather work out and eat because I’m a very big foodie. To tell you the truth, I work out so that I can eat everything my heart desires. I do bodyweight callisthenics and Pilates. I like to keep myself challenged. I find gym equipment boring.

After my workouts: I normally have breakfast because I wake up early to work out. I am not one to do a workout in the evening because after a hard day’s work, I feel very lazy.

I like working out with: Music. It challenges me. I like to listen to peppy and motivating stuff while exercising.

For health reasons: I consciously avoid junk food, and I try to avoid sweets but without much success. I rarely eat junk food, fried stuff and burgers. I also avoid processed food.

I can cook: Pastas, pesto zoodles, continental fare, fish and egg dishes. I like to experiment with eggs and create new recipes.

My favourite cook in the family: My mum. She is the best cook in the world. She is super fast, and yet her food tastes heavenly.

My favourite cuisines are: Korean, Indian and Italian.

My comfort food is: Dal chawal.

I feel guilty: After eating junk food.

The weirdest food I have had: Snails.

My favourite drink: I’m a sucker for hot chocolate. I enjoy it a lot in cold weather.

A food tip: Eat small meals every two hours. I do not believe in crash diets. I feel one shouldn’t do something that you can’t do for the rest of your life. In my opinion, carbs are very important because they make you glow.

Pooja’s recipe for Kori Rotti and Kori Ghassi

Kori Rotti is Mangalore's special dish. Crispy roti is soaked in the special chicken curry (Kori Ghassi) and it tastes divine.

REPRESENTATIONAL PIC

Ingredients:

1 kg chicken (cleaned and washed)

For the masala:

25 red chillies, 1/2 tsp jeera, 5 tbsp coriander seeds, 1/4 tsp methi, 4 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 sprigs curry leaves, 4 peppercorns (optional), 1 medium onion, 1 coconut, 10 garlic cloves, lemon size tamarind

For tempering:

1 small onion, 2 sprigs curry leaves, 1 tomato, 3 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp ghee

Method

  • Broil (dry fry) all the ingredients mentioned for masala.

  • First fry chillies, then add coriander seeds.

  • Fry all the other ingredients except for coconut, onions, garlic and tamarind.

  • Once done, keep aside.

  • Fry coconut, onions and crushed garlic without oil. Add the above masala and mix well.

  • Add tamarind and grind to a fine paste.

  • Transfer it to a vessel and clean the mixer with little water. Keep this masala water aside.

  • Heat 3 tbsp oil with 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan. Add onion, curry leaves, tomato and chicken.

  • Close the lid and let it cook for 10 minutes.

  • Add the masala water and continue cooking.

  • Once the chicken is cooked, add the masala and let the curry boil.

  • Switch off the flame and keep it covered. Kori Rotti curry is ready to serve.

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