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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Food for thought

Always trying her hand at new dishes, Nargis Fakhri finds cooking a de-stresser and a good way to connect with friends

Written by Geety Sahgal | Mumbai | Updated: May 2, 2014 1:02:48 pm
Nargis Fakhri Nargis Fakhri

Q. 1 How do you regard cooking, as a passion or a hobby?

Cooking is more of a de-stresser. I am an average cook, but I am happiest when I am cooking. When I lived with my mom in New York, I would chop the nuts and berries and churn up something nice for her before she would head for work. I would also make and pack lunch for her. My basic nature is that I want to take care of people. And when you feed someone you show your love for that person. I feel you put love in what you cook, and get love in return.

Q. 2 When was the first time you tried your hand at cooking and which dish do you cook most often?

I must have been around 10 years old, when I saw a chef on a TV show chopping vegetables at lightening speed. So I took a carrot and went chop, chop, chop like him and almost chopped off my finger! My mom screamed in panic. I didn’t know what I was going to cook, I just wanted to chop like the guy on the show.
I am trying to cook healthy food for four weeks now. So it’s quinoa with very light seasoning, and tossing in some tomatoes, onions and broccoli and boiling it together to make a healthy dish. Unfortunately, it is very boring.

Q. 3 What do you really enjoy trying your hand at?

I love trying curry dishes. So I try and learn different types of curries by browsing on the internet and making stuff like Thai curry.

Q. 4 What dish would you make if you had to prepare a romantic dinner?

I would probably cook Italian cuisine and serve it with some Italian wine. A pasta dish with chicken, or lasagne which is a favourite or a dish with eggplant.

Q. 5 What type of food would one always find in your fridge?

Vitamins! And cream and milk. I love milk with coffee. In the morning when I get up, I head straight for the fridge and the espresso maker. I cannot understand the world, until I have had my first cup of coffee with milk. That’s why those two things will always be in my fridge.

Q. 6 Are you an adventurous foodie, the one who likes to try new dishes at restaurants, and which is your favourite restaurant?

No! Because whenever I order at a restaurant, I feel the other person’s dish is always better. But when I see healthy food, I always feel I should try that at home. For instance, I take note of salads and other things that are healthy and simple to cook, because these days I don’t get time to cook.
I am a frequent visitor at Wasabi at Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. I love the sushi and I even tried making it once at home with a friend, a Danish boy in Copenhagen. It was fun, but rolling the fish in rice was difficult.

Q. 7 Are you a non-vegetarian or vegetarian?

I am both. I am a moody eater, sometimes I go for veg food for six months and then I turn non-veg. At present, I am a veg five days of the week. I am more attracted to vegetables like carrots and my all time favourite is aloo gobhi made in the Indian way, something I ask my maid to make for me. However, at times I get this craving for a burger and I tell myself, ‘ok fine, I should have one, rather than keep craving for it’!

Q. 8 Any food you would like to stay away from?

Pigs feet! You know that people like to eat pigs feet and things like oxtail. The Italians eat a dish made with baby lamb brain. It’s served in the skull and they mix it with bread crumbs! I stay away from such stuff.

Q. 9 Any dish that you made went wrong?

I experiment a lot with my cooking so many a time my experiments have gone wrong. Nobody, wants to eat that dish and I end up eating it, since I don’t like to waste food. The first time I tried to make curry, it didn’t taste good since I had not put all the ingredients and the amounts were also not correct. Also I am not good at baking. There’s a huge difference between baking and cooking. Some people bake well, but may not be good cooks. I have messed up brownies and a cream yellow cake.

Q. 10 Do you love your desserts?

My favourite is New York style cheesecake. I like anything that is sweet. gulab jamun, rasmalai, jalebis are a bit too sweet, but they are still good.


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