Cooking Up A Storm With Shekhar Suman: Do Not Be Too Experimental With Food

Cooking Up A Storm With Shekhar Suman: Do Not Be Too Experimental With Food

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 Updated: Saturday, June 15, 2024, 09:15 PM IST
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Shekhar Suman |

From courtesan Rekha’s amorous lover in Shashi Kapoor’s Utsav (1984) to courtesan Manisha’s unfaithful, royal paramour in Sanjay Bhansali’s web series Heeramandi (2024), Shekhar continues to look dapper. What role does his diet play in it?

My dietary preference: I'm a non-vegetarian but not a strict one. I take a break now and then and become a complete vegetarian for a year or so.

For breakfast: I've the heaviest meal of the day starting with a glass of lukewarm water with haldi followed by moong sprouts, pomegranate/apple/banana, 2 boiled eggs , 10 soaked almonds, and a glass of protein shake.

For breakfast: I have the heaviest meal of the day, starting with a glass of lukewarm water with haldi, followed by moong sprouts, pomegranate/apple/banana, 2 boiled eggs, 10 soaked almonds, and a glass of protein shake.

My lunch includes: Salad, broccoli, asparagus, veg soup, and lots of green veggies.

My supper: Around 7 pm, I have a fruit, 1 boiled egg, and maybe quinoa or oatmeal mixed with green vegetables.

My favourite desserts are: Lemon souffle or vanilla ice cream with mango or any other seasonal fruit, and caramel custard once a month.

My fitness regime is: Extensive. Starting at 6 in the morning until 8 am with stretches, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, on-the-spot jogging, 500 jumping jacks, abs crunches, a bit of yoga, pranayama, anulom vilom, etc. By two in the afternoon, depending upon my schedule, I do weight training. I train 5 days a week, with 2 days reserved for functional training/swimming.

Monday: I start with chest exercises, 6 to 7 variations/sets, each with 12 to 15 reps (common to all body parts).

Tuesday: Biceps/triceps/forearms.

Wednesday: Shoulders.

Thursday: Functional training.

Friday: Back/deadlift.

Saturday: Legs/calves.

Sunday: Functional training.

Before workout: I have a cup of black coffee.

After workout: I have a glass of protein shake.

Foods I consciously have are: Eggs, nuts, fruits, green vegetables, paneer, and dal. I avoid sweets, junk food, and fried stuff.

My favourite restaurants: In India, it is Bastian Mumbai, and Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal at Piccadilly Circus, London.

My favourite cuisines are: Mughlai, Chinese, and Italian.

For a romantic meal: I would like to go to the beach for a candlelight dinner. I would like to order some exotic French cuisine with some red wine, preferably Cabernet Sauvignon.

I can cook: I make the best mutton biryani in the world.

My favourite cook in my family: My son Adhyayan, who makes awesome butter chicken.

My childhood memories of food are: Food cooked by my mother—simple dal, chawal, and vegetables, but the best in the world.

My favourite drink is: Nimbu paani and red wine.

The most exotic food I have had: Some exotic French cuisine, the names of the dishes I don’t remember, at Burj Al Arab, Dubai.

My tip on food is: Do not be too experimental with food. Eat the tried and tested ones. For weight loss, one must stay in a calorie deficit zone; also, a perfect proportion of carbs and protein works best for your body.

My favourite recipe: Lemon Chicken

Recipe of Lemon Chicken

Ingredients for the marination:

1 kg chicken

200 gms curds

Juice of 3 lemons

1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste

1 tablespoon crushed black pepper

1 tablespoon garam masala powder

Salt to taste

Other Ingredients:

1/2 cup oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

4 to 5 cloves

1 medium stick cinnamon

2 bay leaves

5 to 6 green cardamoms

2 green chillies (slit)

Handful of fresh coriander leaves (finely chopped)

1 teaspoon cornflour mixed with 4 teaspoons water (to make a slurry)

1 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground peppercorns

1 big lemon (cut into thin slices)

Finely chopped coriander leaves (to garnish)

Method:

Wash the chicken well and pat dry. In a bowl, mix curds, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, crushed pepper, garam masala powder, and salt. Add the chicken to the curd mixture and mix well. Let it rest for an hour and a half. Heat oil in a deep heavy-bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add the whole spices (cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, and bay leaves). Sauté on a low flame for 2 minutes. Add the marinated chicken and mix gently. Sauté the chicken on a low flame until it turns brown. Add the leftover marinade (curd mixture). Add half a cup of water and mix gently. Cover with a lid and cook the chicken on a low flame, stirring at regular intervals until done. Add green chillies and some finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Add the cornflour slurry and mix gently. Cover with the lid and let the chicken rest for a couple of minutes. When the gravy thickens a little, add some fresh coarsely ground pepper and lemon slices. Mix gently. Garnish with coriander leaves. Lemon chicken is ready. Serve hot.

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