Cooking Up a Storm with Shantanu Maheshwari: 'I can cook for survival,' reveals the Gangubai Kathiawadi actor

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, May 01, 2022, 05:53 AM IST
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Shantanu Maheshwari made his big Bollywood debut opposite Alia Bhatt in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi. He loves food, and one must not be fooled by his scrawny look. “I can cook for survival. I can make chapatis, dal and sabzi apart from a good omelette,” he shares. The Free Press Journal caught up with him for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:

First thing in the morning, I have: Basil seeds soaked in water (sabza).

I am a vegetarian: I love paneer, my favourite dish is palak paneer.

For breakfast, I have: Eggs or a peanut butter sandwich.

Around 11 am, I have: Green tea or regular tea.

My lunch is: Ghar ka khana. I don’t have any specific meal preferences.

A must with my lunch is: Salad.

In the evening, I have: Sandwiches, poha or sabudana khichdi.

My dinner is: Lightly sautéed vegetables.

My favourite dessert: Any Indian dessert.

My fitness regime: I don’t like to work out in a gym. I prefer exercising alone in my zone with reasonably loud music. I like to do bodyweight training, callisthenics, yoga, sometimes jump ropes, and a bit of kickboxing. Basically, I keep it challenging. I don’t eat two hours prior to my workout, and I have protein intake post my workout.

For health reasons, I consciously eat: Fruits in the morning.

My favourite cook in my family is: My mom. She makes everything yummy. She cooks really good dal bati churma, a Rajasthani speciality, while my aunt makes amazing Indian desserts.

My childhood memory of food: I was my mom’s assistant in the kitchen. She would take pains to teach me cooking as she wanted me to be independent. Everyone in my family knows how to cook basic food. We would make potato chips at home, which require chopping. In the process, someone or the other would get hurt. It is one vivid memory that has stayed with me.

For a romantic meal: A rooftop restaurant or one with a sea view would be ideal.

My favourite restaurants are: Masala Kraft, Barbeque Nation and Zaffran.

My favourite cuisines: Indian and, sometimes, Italian.

My comfort food: Ghar ka khana.

I feel guilty after: Overeating because I love eating. Don’t judge my appetite from my looks!

My favourite beverages are: Tea, milkshakes and mojitos.

On a hot summer day: I like to have watermelon and lemonades.

In winter, my favourite food is: Bajra rotla with garlic chutney.

During monsoons: I relish pakode.

Food on the sets of Gangubai Kathiawadi: There was variety, and it was tasty.

One tip I would like to give the readers: Understand your body because each one has a different metabolism. Exercise daily; that doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym. There are various ways of staying fit. It’s important to enjoy the process of exercising rather than stressing about the result.

My favourite food: Fried rice.

Shantanu’s recipe for fried rice

Servings (four)

Representational Pic

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons oil

½ cup carrot (60 gms) diced

1 tablespoon garlic minced

½ cup onion (75 gms) diced

½ cup bell pepper (50 gms), diced

½ cup broccoli florets (75 gms)

½ cup peas (75 gms)

⅓ cup corn

3 eggs, beaten

3 cups cooked white rice (600 g)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Method: In a wok or deep skillet, heat up the oil over high heat and cook carrots, onions, and garlic until onions are translucent. Add bell peppers and broccoli and cook for an additional three to four minutes. Add a little salt and sauté for a minute. Push all of the cooked vegetables to the side of the pan. Beat the eggs and pour them into the cleared half of the pan. Scramble the eggs, add very little salt to the scrambled eggs and mix with the rest of the vegetables. Add peas, corn, cooked rice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper. Mix well and let the rice cook until slightly crispy.

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