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TV actor Mrunal Jain's recipes for Tofu Poha, Kesar Elaichi Oats

TV actor Mrunal Jain is equally passionate about food and fitness. He shares his eating fundas and how his mother and wife pamper him with sumptuous meals

Mrunal Jain describes himself as a foodie, but of a different kind. The TV actor believes in gorging on healthy food to stay fit. He essays the character of Akash in the serial Uttaran.

TV actor Mrunal Jain
TV actor Mrunal Jain prepares Tofu Poha and Kesar Elaichi Oats at his Andheri residence. Pics/ Khushnum Bhandari

Healthy eating
I prefer having homemade food because that way, I don’t have to struggle to maintain my fitness level and can work it out.

On my plate
Every morning, as soon as I get up, I drink a litre of water to cleanse my body. Then I have a bowl of oats, muesli, cornflakes or brown bread with tea. There is always a packet of green tea with me in my car. After two hours, I have tofu poha. For lunch, I have a fixed portion of rice, dal, vegetables and one or two rotis. One needs some amount of carbohydrates to feel energetic. A power nap of 15 to 20 minutes is a must. Then, in the evening at around 5.30, I have oats or cornflakes and a protein shake.

Mrunal Jain

At 7.30 pm, I munch on some khakhras — just enough to fill my stomach. Or else, I have some fruit juice, milk or coconut water. I hit the gym at 9 pm. One thing I am particular about is drinking eight to nine litres of water every single day to keep my mind fresh and clean. While exercising, I sip on glucose drinks, so I don’t get dehydrated.

After my workout I have small quantities of oats and a protein shake. I also have dark chocolate to get the energy back. I have a proper meal post workout like tofu paratha and dal without tadka. It has proteins and is healthy as well. I sleep an hour after dinner. If I feel hungry later in the night, I have a glass of soya milk.

Mrunal Jain

Meal matters
I cook, only when my mom or wife are not around. I learnt to cook when mom went holidaying. Around seven years ago, she taught me easy recipes, such as oats poha, which I could make without assistance. I also eat Jain pizza, which has grated tofu instead of cheese. So, it’s healthy and tasty. I do eat cheese — it’s good to have it. I believe that you don’t have to sacrifice anything in your life. You should have everything, but you need to burn it off. I feel that we work so hard, at the end of the day it’s a meal which satisfies you and it should be one that gives you a good night’s sleep. So have a balanced meal, but not one that interferes with your workout.

My favourites
I like to eat nachos, pizzas, popcorn, and sizzlers. I believe it is important to be strict with yourself, but there should be cheat days, too. A lot of sweets and fried food were made at home during Diwali. As we are Marwaris, we prepared fafda, jalebis and butter chakli. But since I have been having them since 12 years, now I didn’t feel like having them. I just took one piece of each savoury.

I also like salads which contain tomato, cucumber and broccoli, and have them once a week. I have boiled sprouts as well. I am not really into desserts — maybe it’s because of the strict regime I follow. I have always avoided them. I like spicy, chatpata food — even a papad or a vegetarian starter works fine with me.

Local flavours
I like any kind of food if it’s Jain. The best thing about Jain food in any restaurant is that they don’t have it ready. They have to specially prepare it, so it’s always fresh. It becomes like a special treatment. I like proper Indian food — dal, sabzi, naan, kulcha. In appetisers, I like Manchow or tomato soup, starters like baby corn and paneer tikka. It is a blend of protein and junk. I don’t like pav bhaji or pasta. Italian and Mexican are my favourite cuisines. However, my favourite restaurant is Bhagat Tarachand. I specially go there to have its dal roti. I can miss my day’s gym for it, which means it has something (winks). I have been going there since 12-15 years. If I go out of Mumbai, I have dal roti as it is the safest thing I can have. I always order Jain food.

Mom, wife know best
I like to have dahi puri and sukha bhel, when it comes to chaat. At home my mom and wife cook. I am pampered by both of them. My mom has made me what I am today. I am really happy about the fact that my wife cooks just like my mother. A man can’t ask for more.

On foreign shores
Abroad, I prefer eating bread, butter and Margarita pizza. There are Indian restaurants abroad where you get paneer butter masala and plain roti. You can prepare instant noodles in your hotel room. A variety of food is available in the markets, so it is not difficult for a Jain to find a place to eat. Seven to 10 years ago, it was difficult to find vegetarian food, but now it has become easier. I like to eat a farmer’s meal — wholesome rotis with a spicy dal. I like Jain fried rice which mom makes at home with Manchurian gravy. I also eat dark chocolate.

Health is wealth
It’s not the gym which makes the body, it’s the fuel that you add to your body. Eat healthy food and indulge in the sport you like. Do it everyday or every alternate day to keep yourself fit. I have always been a Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan fan. So I have always been conscious of how my body looks. I always knew I would work toward building a good, toned body. And, of course, I always wanted to wear a tight-fitting T-shirt!

Recipes

Tofu Poha
Ingredients
>> 100 gm poha
>> 50 gm tofu
>> 2 tsp olive oil
>> 1 tsp turmeric
>> 1 tsp mustard seeds
>> Salt, to taste

Method
>> Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and turmeric to it.
>> Add water to the poha and drain the water.
>> Add poha in the pan and cook it.
>> Shred the tofu and sprinkle on the pizza.
>> Mix it well and add salt to taste.

Kesar elaichi oats
Ingredients
>> 1 glass skimmed milk
>> 1 bowl oats
>> 1 tsp elaichi powder
>> 1 tsp sugar
>> A few strands of saffron

Method
>> Heat milk in a pan and add sugar in it.
>> Let it cook for a few minutes and then add elaichi powder and kesar to it.
>> Add oats after a while. Stir it till the mixture becomes thick.Serve hot

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