Updated on: Sunday, September 26, 2021, 12:26 AM IST

'I always have gratitude for my food': Aahana Kumra, the Lipstick Under My Burkha actress, gets candid about her love for eating and more

We offer you an exclusive pass to the kitchen of your favourite celebrities and get the stars to reveal one secret recipe from their family cookbook to help you enhance your culinary skills and get a taste of what they relish!

Unlike other stars, Aahana Kumra, a popular film (The Accidental Prime Minister, Lipstick Under My Burkha), television (Yudh) and theatre actress (Arms And The Man), eats everything — even parathas and rasgullas! And yet the actress is slim and fit. Over to her to spill the beans.

First thing in the morning I have: Hot water with squeezed lemon followed by a hot cup of coffee before I go for my run. Now because of Covid-19, I have included kadha into my morning routine as well.

I am: A non-vegetarian. I like to eat a home-cooked meal and am also a fan of South Indian food. I have wholesome meals throughout the day. I have never done any sort of dieting, but I eat right and make sure to work out.

My diet: I don’t have specific cheat days, and I like to have everything throughout the day. I keep my diet simple and do not go crazy with my food.

Breakfast: I am a Punjabi, so I like to have parathas in the morning, but I also make sure to add eggs to my breakfast. At 11 o’clock, I eat whole fruits like guava, apple, watermelon, or pineapple.

Lunch: At 1 o’clock, I have lunch that comprises dal, sabzi, roti and rice with salad. In the evening, I have a black coffee with dry fruits or kurmura. I relish grilled fish, tandoori chicken or chicken curry for my dinner. I change my dinner menu depending on my mood. For dessert, I like ras malai, gulab jamun, and rosgulla.

To keep fit: I eat nothing before doing cardio, but before weightlifting, I make sure to eat a banana or even a paratha to get the right amount of energy to lift weights.

For health reasons, I consciously avoid: Ice creams. I am in bed recovering from Covid-19 and daydreaming about eating ice cream as soon as I feel better.

I can cook: I don’t really like to cook. Because of Covid-19, I have been cooking my breakfasts and assorted vegetables, etc. One thing I like to cook and eat is paneer bhurji and paneer capsicum.

My cooking disasters: I am a heroine when it comes to cooking disasters. Last year during the lockdown, I made Sindhi kadhi and sent it to my friends, and none of them reverted!

My favourite cook in my family is: My brother-in-law and my sister have become fantastic cooks during the lockdown. They make amazing naan and kadai chicken, one of the best I have ever eaten.


My childhood memory of food: My sister used to study in Dehradun, and I would spend my holidays with her. We would visit our aunt’s place, and she would make amazing kadhi chawal. Summer vacations were memorable with her kadhi chawal.

For a romantic meal: Something romantic for me would be a sundowner. I love to watch the sunset, and I remember attending a lot of sundowners in LA. I would love to go to a beautiful restaurant beside the beach whereI could watch the sunset.

My favourite restaurants in Mumbai and abroad are: I can name so many across India because I have travelled a lot. When I was in Lucknow, we would have Jashn-e-Ravivaar — Sharmaji ki chai with samosa, kachori or a mouth-watering bun maska. At Royal Cafe, you get amazing chaap and tunday kebab. In Kolkata, there is a cafe called Peter Cat which I absolutely love. Many small restaurants in Kolkata serve amazing thalis. Every nook and corner in Delhi has amazing food to offer.

My comfort food is: Khichdi

I feel guilty after eating: I don’t feel guilty after anything because the minute you send any such signal to your body, food doesn’t go well with your system. I always have gratitude for my food. Food has a positive effect on you if you look at it with an attitude that it is good for you. Have a positive outlook towards your food.

One tip on the food you like to give your readers: Include one whole fruit in your meal. It is a very important part of your diet. When you eat the fruit in its entirety, it makes a difference to your body.

My favourite drink and beverage: I love Aam panna.

Recipe of aam panna


11/2 kg raw mangoes

2 to 3 cups sugar or according to taste

2 tsp salt (or as per taste)

1 tsp rock salt (or as per taste)

2 tsp freshly roasted ground cumin powder


Wash the mangoes.

Steam the mangoes in a pressure cooker on a low flame till the mangoes are done.

Cool completely and peel.

Squeeze out the pulp from the mangoes.

Blend the mango pulp in a mixie along with the sugar.


Add salt, rock salt and cumin powder and store in glass bottles and refrigerate it.

To serve:

Pour about 3 to 4 tbsp of aam panna in a tall glass. Add cold water, some crushed ice, and few mint leaves. Mix well and serve chilled.


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Published on: Sunday, September 26, 2021, 07:00 AM IST