Pratik Gandhi made inroads into audiences hearts with his performance as Harshad Mehta in the web series Scam 1992. Almost eight months after his release, the series is still garnering praise and applause. And according to recent IMDb ratings, the show has picked up the top spot to become the highest-rated Indian show globally beating its international counterparts like Band of Brothers, Breaking Bad, The Wire and Chernobyl. Amidst the new development, we got into a fun, non-filmy, foodie chat with Pratik where the actor gave a glimpse into his diet and shared the recipe of his favourite dish. Excerpts:
First thing in the morning I have: Ginger water.
My favourite dish: I am a vegetarian and my favourite dish is Undhiyo (a Surti dish made with assorted vegetables).
Breakfast includes: Poha or upmaa or paratha with masala tea and some dry fruits. Around 11 am I have a fruit.
Lunch includes: Roti, sabzi, dal, rice, buttermilk and salad.
A must with my meals: Buttermilk or curd.
Dinner includes: Handvo or chillas or khichdi... anything light with paneer.
I love: Desserts, especially Gujarati sweets.
My favourite fruit: Oranges, bananas and seasonal fruits.
My fitness regime: I practice different forms of martial arts. I love innovating my workouts, therefore I don’t go to the gym. I don’t use exercise equipments, instead I go to the park, preferably to the kids play area and I exercise with the available equipments there.
For health reasons: I avoid deep-fried saturated fats. Despite having a sweet tooth, I don’t indulge myself. If I have eaten a heavy meal I compensate with an equally heavy workout.
I can cook: Maybe poha. I’m not a good cook but I am a good helper in the kitchen.
My favourite cook: My mother. It’s her food that gave me a lot of strength all these years and because that’s the taste I have grown up with, nothing can replace mom’s food.
My childhood memory of food: Homemade Gujarati food, lots of snacks... and all the snacks that I once ate in Surat.
My favourite restaurants: I don’t eat out much.
For a romantic meal: A good seaside restaurant, with some chilled bear and some good healthy pizzas or sizzlers is what I enjoy.
My favourite restaurant in Mumbai: Yoko (for sizzlers).
Comfort food: It’s roti, sabzi, dal and rice.
My favourite cuisine is: Gujarati food is my favourite and I enjoy having a wholesome Gujarati thali.
A food adventure: The kind of fruits and vegetables that I have seen in Africa, I have never seen anywhere else, especially passion fruit juice. It blew my mind when I tasted it for the first time.
My favourite drink and beverage is: Masala chai. In aerated drinks I am partial to Thums Up. At times I like to drink chilled beer.
A food tip: Just eat a tad less food of what you love eating than what you have an appetite for. Eat to your heart’s content without feeling guilty but be prepared to work out enough to facilitate digestion.
Muffin Handvo with Masala Curds and Cheese by side
300 gms of mix dals (chana, chole, tur) and a little rice
1 cup curd
1 tbs red chilly powder
1-2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
1-2 tsp jaggery
1 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp of Eno
A sprig of fresh curry leaves
1 tbsp peanuts
60 ml oil for tempering
3-4 tbsp oil for cooking
2-3 dry red chilies
1 bowl fresh masala curd
1 bowl fresh tomato chutney
1/2 cup grated cheese
Soak all the dals and rice in water for about four hours. Add 2-3 tbs of curd and grind in a mixer. Add red chilly powder, ajwain, jaggery, turmeric powder, salt and asafoetida as per taste. Add one cup curd and mix well, then add 1 tsp of Eno. Mix well and ferment for six hours. Temper the batter with mustard seeds, dry red chilly asafoetida, sesame seeds, fresh curry leaves and peanuts in oil. Add the tempering to the batter and mix well. Heat an appam pan. Add 2-3 drops of oil in each cavity of the pan and pour the batter. Cook on low flame. Once the base is done turn them upside down. Cook till done. Serve hot with fresh tomato chutney, spiced yoghurt and cheese on the side.