Cooking Up A Storm With Tulsi Kumar: 'Once I start eating chocolate, I can't stop!'

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, August 07, 2022, 07:14 AM IST
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Tulsi Kumar has an enviable diet, which is healthy and yet delicious. She has her cheat days but her exercise regime ensures she stays fit as a fiddle. The Free Press Journal caught up with the singer for an exclusive chat on her diet and fitness. Excerpts:

I begin my day: On a very healthy note. I start with a glass of lukewarm water that I have along with wheatgrass powder and another glass of warm water which is soaked with coriander seeds and jeera and I add a few mint leaves. Later I have a few almonds and one walnut.

My dietary preference: I am a pure vegetarian and my favourite vegetarian dishes are any paneer recipe. I really like my greens and I love broccoli. I also like different cuisines so vegetarian sushi, especially with asparagus is among my favourite dishes.

My favourite meal of the day is breakfast: I love eating my avocado toast. I prefer gluten-free bread whenever possible so either sourdough bread. I have plain toast with a little bit of butter and jam with a cup of tea. When I am in the mood to indulge I eat pancakes.

For my lunch: I love home-cooked food. It consists of rotis made with Amaranth flour along with any vegetable, preferably a green vegetable and a bowl of dal. I love my bowl of raita and a kachumber (salad) as well. On days when I want to pamper my palate, I love eating Asian food. Veg dim sums are my favourite.

In the summer season: Before my meal, I have a glass of buttermilk sometimes but otherwise along with my meal I definitely have a bowl of vegetable raita along with a kachumber which comprises finely chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumber and green chilli. I love the flavour of green chilli. I add a dash of salt and lemon to the kachumber.

My evening snack: A cup of tea with makhanas, sourdough crackers with a hung curd dip, I also eat boiled beetroot with hummus. I use almond milk in my tea because it just keeps it lighter.

My dinner: I usually have tofu and stir-fried vegetables. Or a bowl of khichdi. There are days when I have a mix of sweet potatoes, cottage cheese, capsicum, onions and pineapple grilled. And yes, malai broccoli for dinner is an option. I avoid roti and sabzi for dinner.

My favourite desserts: I try to avoid desserts but I succumb to anything chocolate! Whether it’s a chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream. In Indian desserts, I love gulab jamun and any kind of barfi.

To keep fit: I follow a combination of hitting the gym three times a week and going for a run the other three days. I try my best to keep my routine of cardio or weight training.

For health reasons foods I avoid: Anything that is excessively cold because it affects my throat and consequently my singing.

I can cook: Not really. A sandwich or a very easy cheese toast.

My favourite cook: My mum makes amazing paneer bhurji, excellent parathas and yellow dal.

My childhood memory of food: The food I ate at birthday parties. A plate of wafers, cake slices, sandwiches, pasta and French Fries. Sometimes I get nostalgic about my childhood and I make a plate for myself.

For a romantic meal: A candlelight dinner in a sea-facing Italian restaurant. A Virgin Mary along with Aglio e Olio pasta and a delicious pizza.

My favourite restaurants: I love Italian, Japanese and Asian food so in Mumbai, I would head to meet my friends at Soho house. They have a very limited menu but the food is very good for Japanese cuisine. I also like dining at Mizu, Olives and Table in South Mumbai. Abroad my favourite restaurant would be Zuma in Dubai and London.

I feel guilty after eating: Chocolates and any dessert to do with chocolate because once I start, I can’t stop!

The strangest combination of food: You get various kinds of dosas like Chinese dosa, and pav bhaji dosa but I prefer the regular masala dosa.

My favourite drinks: A guava-based concoction, coconut water and Pina Colada.

On a hot summer day: A platter of fruits, nariyal pani or a nimbu pani is ideal.

During winters: I relish hot chocolate with marshmallows.

During monsoons: I binge on samosas, jalebi, and vada pav with my cup of tea.

Advice to my readers: Eat whatever your heart desires but exercise, and also ensure portion control. Work out regularly.

Tulsi’s recipe for two pizzas

Pic: Pixabay

For the sauce

Ingredients:

4 to 5 red tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 10 to 12 cloves of garlic (crushed), 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup, Salt and pepper to taste, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon oregano, 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves

Method: Boil the tomatoes for 8 to 10 minutes in sufficient water on a medium flame till they turn soft. Cool and remove the skin of the tomatoes. Coarsely blend the tomatoes. In a pan lightly heat olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Add the tomato purée and cook on a low flame for seven minutes. Add tomato ketchup, sugar, salt, pepper powder and oregano. Cook for a couple of minutes more. Switch off the gas. Cool and add shredded basil leaves. The pizza sauce is ready.

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