The Kapoors on Diwali dinners and being foodies - Hindustan Times

The Kapoors on Diwali dinners and being foodies

Hindustan Times | ByAnita Raheja and Heena Agarwal, Mumbai
Nov 10, 2012 07:32 PM IST

The festival — for Randhir, Rishi and Rajiv Kapoor — is an occasion to celebrate good food

George Bernard Shaw said, “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” And who can prove that better than Bollywood’s first family — the Kapoors, with their famed love for good food and fine whisky?

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All Kapoors are foodies
Randhir: The entire Kapoor family just loves food — you can tell from our sizes. It’s a family of foodies — from my great grandfather, to my grandfather to my dad, to my uncles, to my brothers, and it includes my children, Karisma and Kareena. Of course, Karisma and Kareena are fit because they exercise, while we don’t.
Rishi: All the Kapoors are true foodies.
Rajiv: During breakfast, we discuss what we are going to eat for lunch. Our conversations are always peppered with talk about which dish is good at a particular restaurant, which restaurant we will visit next and which eatery serves the best food. Besides work, food is a major topic of discussion among all of us, whether we are on holiday, at home or in the office.

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The love for food has been inherited
Randhir: We are originally from Peshawar, in north-west Pakistan. We are Hindu Peshawaris and we have a tremendous weakness for food.
Rajiv: My dada and my nana were both major foodies. Therefore, being a foodie is in our genes... it runs in our blood. When my grandfather (Prithviraj Kapoor) was on a diet, he would eat his diet food and then follow it up with regular food. But now, we are more health conscious. At least I try to exercise away what I eat.

Food is synonymous to non-veg fare
Randhir: We are basically carnivorous. I don’t mind eating vegetarian food, but it depends on my mood and it should be well-cooked and tasty.
Rishi: Yes, we connect food to non-vegetarian food. I love eggs too, I like them akoori style, which was also my dad’s (Raj Kapoor’s) favourite. I also like vegetarian dishes like Palak Paneer, Baingan Bharta and Yellow Tadka Dal.
Rajiv: We all connect food with non-vegetarian food. But during the Navratras or Ganpati, I fancy vegetarian food. I also make a conscious effort to eat one vegetarian meal a day, since too much meat can prove to be bad for your health. I actually enjoy eating anything that swims, which is why I like seafood a lot. I love eating crab. Fish and prawns are also my favourites. I do not dig lobsters though.

Diwali dinner
Randhir: We no longer have Diwali parties, like we did earlier. But we are a very close-knit family so we do meet and greet each other during Diwali.
Rishi: During Diwali, we would go to Chembur to exchange greetings. A puja would be held in the house and we would get shagun. A lavish non-vegetarian spread would be laid out and we would light firecrackers. The party would end the next day after breakfast!
Rajiv: My dad never believed in having vegetarian food on Diwali. But we would eat vegetarian food on Maha Shivratri and Janmashtami.

Mom is the best
Randhir: If there is a party at RK (Studios), the food, mostly non-vegetarian, is always made at home. We are very fortunate to have good cooks. I guess we have an eye and taste for cuisine. I like the Meat Pulao my mother makes. I enjoy everything she cooks.
Rishi: I love the Yakhni Pulao my mother prepares, Khatti Dal and Fish Fry. I love eating at mom’s house.
Rajiv: My mom has always been a wonderful host. At an RK party, she would go from person to person, to see whether everyone was eating well. The food at the party would comprise Payas, Meat Pulao, Chicken Curry, Mutton Curry, Fish Curry and Fried Fish. My cousins and friends would look forward to eating at our place. Before coming over, they would deliberately stay hungry so that they could enjoy the food made at our home.

Favourite dishes
Randhir: My grandfather (Prithiviraj Kapoor) and father’s (Raj Kapoor) favourite dish was Yakhni Pulao. My daughter Karisma loves Fish Curry and rice while Kareena loves all kinds of cuisines, but has turned vegetarian for the last couple of years. She is very fond of Chinese food. In fact, all of us share a preference for Chinese food though Rishi Kapoor also likes Japanese.
Rishi: Chinese is indeed my favourite cuisine and I also enjoy Japanese fare.
Rajiv: My dad (Raj Kapoor) loved Khichdi. In fact, it’s my favourite food to date. People have it when they are unwell, but I can eat it any time. I mix it with chicken/mutton curry and curds.

Favourite drinks
Randhir: Johnny Walker, Black Label whisky.
Rishi: Black Label whisky.
Rajiv: Whisky and beer. No white drinks; I like malts.

Life without food is…
Randhir: We live to eat; not eat to live.
Rishi: Like a black and white movie. Our lives would be colourless.
Rajiv: Non-existent. I eat whatever is kept on the table. We have been taught to respect food. Never keep food waiting on the table.

Yakhni Pulao
1 kg mutton (washed and
cut into small pieces)
5 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods
5 cloves
12 black peppercorns
1 star anise
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large bay leaf
3 onions (finely chopped)
2 onions (finely sliced, to garnish)
3 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 piece of cinnamon
5 tbsp oil
2 cups Basmati rice (washed and soaked for 20 minutes)
3 tbsp curd
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying the onions

Tie the cinnamon, green and black cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns, star anise, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and bay leaf in a soft muslin cloth and knot it into a bag. In a heavy-bottomed vessel, place the mutton along with the muslin bag, ginger-garlic paste, salt and eight cups of water. Let it simmer till the mutton is almost done. Discard the muslin bag and separate the mutton from the stock. In another heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and sauté the finely chopped onions. Once the onions turn golden, mix in the mutton, five cups of rice and yoghurt. After the first boil, cover the pan and let it simmer till the rice is done. Garnish the final dish with fried onions and serve it hot with raita on the side.

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