Actor Shazahn Padamsee's petite frame belies her love for food. "I cheat a lot with my diet but I do balance it out with some home-cooked food. My mom and I enjoy browsing through cooking websites and experimenting with healthy dishes. We love Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver's recipes." As she prepares one of her favourite dishes - prawn pasta with tomato sauce, Shazahn gets chatty about her gastronomic preferences...
Shazahn Padamsee preparing prawn pasta in her kitchen. Pics/Shadab Khan
The days I skip gym, I indulge in a heavy breakfast complete with fried eggs, sausages, bacon, baked beans and bread. I am a very breakfast person. If I am travelling, I always find out about the hotel's breakfast buffet first. I love the waffles, breads and the works!
High on junk
My comfort food includes chips, Pringles, salsa dips and chocolate. A bar of chocolate instantly lifts my mood.
I am very particular about my tea, which is slightly strong with a bit of ginger. Even if I am travelling abroad, I need my kind of tea. A year ago, I was shooting in Bangalore and did not enjoy the taste of the locally made tea. I went to the restaurant, which was catering for the crew and gave them instructions on how to prepare my tea. I told the producer, it's a little luxury that I can't do without.
Thai, Chinese (Indian Hakka style!), Italian and Indian cuisine, are my favourites. I am a spice addict. I can eat food, which is extremely hot in temperature as well as in taste. My friends just can't understand this (laughs out loud).
I remember going to China with my mom for a pop show in the '90s. I was eight or nine then. After the event, the organisers had laid out a gala dinner for us. They had served snake curry as a delicacy. At that time, I found the dish laugh worthy and the crew members too were taken aback and were apprehensive about the idea of eating it. The fact that we had live drunken shrimp as a side dish made it more bizarre. (laughs).
If a guy wants to win me over dinner, all he needs to do is to ensure that the restaurant makes good bombil (Bombay Duck) fry. I am a regular patron of Gajalee, where I devour three plates of fried Bombil at one go with their spicy green chutney. I love their crabs and prawns as well. There is this shack near Morjim Beach in Goa called Gopal's. They make terrifc rawa fried prawns. I have had prawns almost everywhere in Goa but their taste is the most consistent. On a recent one month trip I had rawa fried prawns everyday for lunch.
I can make all types of eggs and pasta with a little bit of assistance. Indian food is too tough (laughs). I also make great Maggi. My friends tell me it's quite outstanding.
When I visited Cannes a couple of years ago, I loved the crepes made there. I am also obsessed with chocolate fondant. They make that very well in France. La Plage in Goa also makes yummy baby chocolate fondant.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Prawns in Tomato Sauce
> One cup of small prawns cleaned
> 50 gm whole wheat penne pasta
> Red bell pepper
> Yellow bell pepper
> Green bell pepper
> One cup finely chopped tomatoes
> Red pasta sauce
> A pinch of garlic paste
> Finely chopped fresh basil
> Olive oil
> One finely chopped green chilli
> Salt and pepper
> A pinch of brown sugar
Simmer chopped tomatoes, finely chopped green chilli and a pinch of brown sugar on a low flame. You can add some readymade red pasta sauce as well, if you wish to. As your sauce gets done, in another pan, saute the prawns with olive oil with a pinch of garlic paste. Boil and strain one cup of whole wheat pasta. Now, combine the pasta, prawns and sauce in a vessel. Cook it on a low flame and add the zucchini and bell peppers. Stir over high heat for a few minutes. You can season it with crushed garlic, salt, pepper, chopped basil and a dash of Tabasco. I am not too particular about it. Serve with a garnish of fresh basil.