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What do chefs eat while recovering from covid

Five chefs talk about their daily meals and nutrient-rich foods which made them feel better

(From left) Ranveer Brar, Sanjyot Keer, Urvika Kanoi, Parth Purandare and Arnez Driver
(From left) Ranveer Brar, Sanjyot Keer, Urvika Kanoi, Parth Purandare and Arnez Driver

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Earlier this month, chef Ranveer Brar posted a story on his Instagram handle (@ranveer.brar). It read, “No.Omicron is not mild..” He shared a voice note with Lounge to talk about the foods he ate while recovering from a long bout of Covid-19.

Like Brar, several chefs caught the virus. Here are five who talk about kadhas, protein-rich foods and energy boosting laddoos that helped them feel better.

Chef Ranveer Brar

The idea was to have a diet high in protein, antioxidants and Vitamin C. My family and I had covid-19 in early January. We survived on clear soups. They would be infused with amla juice on a daily basis for a shot of Vitamin C. For antioxidants we had beetroots and spinach; and for protein there were chicken meatballs and a lot of poached eggs.

Sanjyot Keer, chef and founder, Your Food Lab

When I was tested positive for Covid-19, I had a deep discussion with nutritionist Shonali Sabherwal which helped. My breakfast was a banana, two boiled eggs, a small bowl of daliya (broken wheat) with some veggies. My lunch and dinner consisted of pulses with basic tadka, bhakri (usually jowar), either white or brown rice, a light vegetable preparation and a basic salad on the side. 

I avoided non vegetarian as it takes longer to digest and there was little to no activity during lockdowns. I completely avoided sugar and dairy. When I craved street food, there would be an occasional pav bhaji. But, it was moderated with one pav, more bhaji and little butter. One of my indulgences was biryani, but I would leave out the meat pieces. I love soups and would have different soups everyday. Idli-sambar is another favourite, and a couple of meals would have these or soups.

I used to have a pinni everyday which is a Punjabi speciality. It’s a wholesome, energy-boosting laddoo made with ghee, whole wheat, gond, fried ginger, nuts, dry fruits and some spices. I do not believe in having kadhas if one is not used to them. A lot of people can’t take kadhas because of their body type. I am still staying away from sugar, having fruits, salads and soups, and eating small nourishing meals.

Parth Purandare, founder and chef , Bombay Taco Company

I got covid on Christmas Day last year, and was up and about in eight days. Luckily, it was a mild case. When the body is affected by a virus, it’s best to stick to proteins, vitamins such as C and D and minerals like zinc. I would have palak paneer, roast chicken with herbs, grilled fish, and some vegetables. There would be citrus fruits like oranges, pomelo and berries. I would hydrate with a lot of water, and start my day with a glass of coconut water. Apart from this, I have a daily habit of mixing moringa powder and wheatgrass, and having this concoction in the morning.

Arnez Driver, head chef, Santé Spa cuisine and Kasa Food Works

About two weeks ago, I caught the virus, and spent a week at home. I usually don’t do breakfast, but started eating a lot of fruits for breakfast like papaya, apple, strawberries and pineapple. Three times a day, I would have a kadha-style tea made by my mother. It’s like an ayurvedic drink with ginger, fresh turmeric and spices. The meals would be simple with daal rice, chapati and lots of vegetables.

Urvika Kanoi, chef and owner, Café Duco

I had covid-19 in April. Unfortunately, I lost my sense of taste for two-and-a-half months. My friends and family pampered me and sent a lot of food. I could also eat food from my restaurant. My doctor advised eating nourishing meals enriched with protein, iron and Vitamin C. My go-to was the chicken roast from my cafe which is a comforting dish with mushrooms. I would make basil chicken at home. I needed dishes which were slightly punchier, and had flavour. I would think that if something had more flavour, probably I would start tasting food again. I would include gooseberries and citrus fruits in my diet whenever possible. 

Also read | What to do if your baby has covid

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