Bollywood stars share personal tips to improve health

Feb 26, 2017, 08:36 IST | Kusumita Das

Pooja Dhingra

Celebrity chef Pooja Dhingra's latest book, The Wholesome Kitchen, (Hachette India) appears to be quite a departure from the decadent ways she's known for. Dabbling in healthy cooking and eating, for a pastry chef especially, is a job easier said than done. For Dhingra, the journey began two years ago, when she was preparing to run the half marathon in Mumbai. "Training for the half marathon meant I had to change my diet, but then, I also needed to meet my sweet cravings," says Dhingra.

It was around the same time, that she started developing a line of healthy treats with the help of her sister-in-law Viddhi (Dhingra) that eventually culminated into Jump, a line of healthy desserts. "We started handing out recipes to our friends, and when the feedback was encouraging, it was a sign to go ahead with this book, which is all about wholesome and tasty eats."

Among the 20 recipe contributors, are some of Bollywood's best known celebrities, known to have tackled their own weight problems with panache. So, if you want to know how Shraddha Kapoor likes her red velvet brownies or why Rahul Khanna looks as young as he does, this is where you look.

SONAM KAPOOR'S
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT TRUFFLES

Ingredients (Makes 10 truffles): 
70 g chocolate chips
20 g hazelnut butter 
60 g hung curd 
1/3 cup cocoa powder

For hazelnut butter:

  • Pulse the hazelnuts into a powder in a food processor 
  • Blend them for 2-3 minutes, till mixture is oily and sticky
  • After resting the mixture, grind for another 5-7 minutes to form smooth paste 
  • Spoon into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days

Method:

  • Melt the chocolate for 1 minute in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds to prevent burning
  • Once the chocolate has melted, stir the butter 
  • Fold in the hung curd and freeze till hard. This takes approximately 4 hours. 
  • To form the truffles, use a tablespoon to measure out the dough and shape into balls. If needed, refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow them to set.
  • Spread the cocoa powder on a plate and roll the balls in it before serving 
  • The chocolate hazelnut truffles will stay in the refrigerator for up to three days

SHRADDHA KAPOOR'S
RED VELVET-INSPIRED BROWNIE

Ingredients (Makes 12 pieces)
100 g beetroot 
135 g oats 
10 g cocoa powder 
1/2 tsp baking powder 
A pinch of salt 
5 tbsp milk 
3 tbsp oil 
150 g honey 
120 g chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled 50 g chocolate chips

Method: 

  • Pre-heat oven to 165 degrees Celsius
  • For the beetroot puree, boil the vegetable for 30 minutes. Drain, peel, chop roughly and blend till smooth 
  • Blend the oats, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder in a mixer, to form a powder 
  • Add the milk, oil and honey and blitz 
  • Add the beetroot puree and boiled chickpeas and blend till combined 
  • Add more milk if the batter is too thick
  • Pour into a bowl and fold the chocolate chips 
  • Pour the batter into an 8-inch baking pan lined with butter paper
  • Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, till a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean
  • Turn out on to a wire rack to cool
  • Cut into 12 squares and serve

RAHUL KHANNA’S
GREEN BLAST

Ingredients (Makes 1 glass):
150 g cucumber, unpeeled
25 g kale, stems removed
25 g spinach, stems removed
1 stalk celery, A few fresh mint leaves , A small piece of fresh ginger root, unpeeled
A small piece of fresh turmeric root, unpeeled
5 g flax seeds
A dash of sea salt
A pinch of chili powder
1 tsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
160 ml chilled coconut water or plain water

Method: 

  • Wash the vegetables thoroughly. Scrub the ginger and turmeric well.
  • Roughly chop all the vegetables, ginger and turmeric 
  • Put all the ingredients in an extractor. Blast for 30-40 seconds 
  • Top with cold water or coconut water, if you prefer

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