Coming as she does from a food-loving family, Kareena Kapoor loves eating as much as any of her uncles, but she also knows how to balance it all out. In an interview with The Indian Express, she talks about her comfort food, chocolate and her diet.
The Kapoor family is known for its love for food, especially non-vegetarian food. But you are largely vegetarian…
I gave up eating meat several years ago, and I no longer crave it. Being vegetarian is far healthier. I eat just about everything in vegetarian food. It helps that I like eating at home much more than dining out. I enjoy simple, home-cooked meals: veggies, roti, dal, rice. But, like most of the Kapoors, I love eating. Once in a while, I indulge myself with a samosa or a kachori.
Which is your favourite ingredient?
Ghee! I like it on my rice and dal, and on my rotis. Ghee, contrary to what many people believe, has several health benefits. My grandmom is still beautiful in her 80s, and she has eaten ghee all her life. I believe her clear skin is because of all the ghee she has eaten. Ghee also makes your body supple and keeps you energetic.
What is your favourite comfort food?
At the end of the day, my favourite meal is always a hot plate of rice and dal, made at home, with a bit of ghee.
And your favourite cuisine?
Thai and Italian. I am rather fond of pasta and spaghetti.
Which is your favourite regional Indian cuisine?
Saif (Ali Khan) loves Nawabi cuisine, which is rich in meat. I don’t eat meat, but I like the dal or paneer that is cooked the Nawabi way, with butter and ghee.
Which are your favourite restaurants in India?
As a child I used to go to Yoko for their lovely sizzlers. Now, it is Wasabi at The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai; Olive in Bandra, and Thai Pavilion at Taj President, since I enjoy Thai food.
What about restaurants abroad?
London has some very good restaurants. I love going to Hakkasan whenever I’m in London.
What do you avoid, or try to avoid so you can keep fit?
I eat everything, but in moderation. If I want to eat a pizza, I stick to eating two or three slices and supplement my meal with a soup or a salad. To up my fitness levels, I have added soups, salads, yoghurt and nuts to my diet. I generally try and eat small meals through the day. I try and avoid rice, but I can’t get over my weakness for cheese. I believe one should eat a balanced diet with what’s available locally, if one wants to stay healthy.
What do you buy when you travel?
A lot of cheese and chocolates. In Switzerland, I buy a lot of chocolates. My favourite food moment is when I take that first bite of chocolate after having stayed off it for weeks.
What’s your breakfast like?
I begin my day with juice, or some milk. I am not too fond of tea or coffee. My breakfast would include a bowl of muesli, or upma, or idli, and sometimes a paratha. Once in a while, I add a slice of cheese to my breakfast.
What is your earliest food memory?
I grew up eating a lot of parathas and tandoori chicken. A few years ago, before I turned vegetarian, I was very fond of seafood, especially fish curry and prawns. I also remember the food served at the Diwali parties in the Kapoor household: a lot of good meat, dal and parathas, all of which was cooked at home under my grandmom’s supervision.
Do you cook?
Not very often, but I can cook different kinds of cuisine: Indian, Chinese, Thai. My friends say I bake decent chocolate cakes.
Who are the foodies you go out eating with?
My girl gang: my sister Karishma, Malaika (Arora), Amrita (Arora Ladak), and a couple of other friends. We always try and catch up over a good meal and some wine. I enjoy a glass or two of red wine.