Gulshan Devaiah: What I Eat In A Day
Image Credit: By special arrangement

“I have a unique eating pattern where I typically consume only one meal a day. It's a substantial meal that can take me up to an hour to properly eat. I follow this routine for around 300 days a year. Being from Kodagu, I often miss the delightful Kodava cuisine, but living in Mumbai makes it nearly impossible to find. I have to wait until I visit my parents in Bengaluru to enjoy those flavours.

Nevertheless, I do have my indulgences, like Neapolitan pizza, which I absolutely love. Once a month, I treat myself to a feast at my favourite restaurant in Mumbai, Gustoso. I'm not particularly fond of energy drinks or bars, though.

Since I eat just one meal, it usually serves as my lunch, and when I'm working, it doubles up as my dinner. I like to start my meal with a fruit course, and my personal favourites are pears and bananas. I usually have about three pears and one or two small bananas.

Following that, I enjoy grilled vegetables or a refreshing vegetable salad with minimal dressing — just a sprinkle of salt, lemon juice, and sometimes a drizzle of olive oil.

At home, I sauté the mixed vegetables in pure bilona ghee, which adds an incredible flavour. It's so delicious that I don't even need to add any salt. After that, I include some meat or eggs in my meal. During the hotter months, I tend to avoid eggs and chicken and opt for mutton or fish instead. Most of the time, I have them grilled or in the form of seekh kebabs, but occasionally I enjoy mild curries too. I pair the meat or eggs with either rice or bhakri (a flatbread made from rice, wheat, or ragi). To wrap up my meal, I have a glass of lemonade or simply regular water. Sometimes, I indulge in raisins or berries for dessert, and on occasion, I treat myself to some chocolate, with Royce Nama being my favourite.

While intermittent fasting works well for many people, I wouldn't technically categorise myself as an intermittent faster since I add milk and sugar to my teas and coffees. However, I find it easy to keep track of my diet restrictions when I'm filming because I only have to eat one big meal, and I have flexibility in terms of timing. Additionally, it naturally helps with portion control since there's only so much you can eat when you have just one meal.

As for shorter meals, I rarely have them, except on specific occasions. Typically, these smaller meals consist of sweets because I have a weakness for them, or I may have to eat due to illness and the need to take medication. On outings, holidays, cheat days, or important celebrations, I sometimes indulge in small snacks that catch my fancy.

I have a deep love for bamboo shoots and jackfruit (kathal), both as vegetables and fruits. I limit myself to two cups of tea or coffee per day, both with milk and sugar. If I need a quick pick-me-up, I usually go for a small cup of black, cold coffee if it's available. I'm quite particular about my tea and usually prefer making it myself. I don't enjoy adding spices to my tea; I prefer its simplicity.

On my cheat days, I allow myself to enjoy some of my favourite dishes. Mutton biryani or pulao and Neapolitan pizza... and, of course, plenty of Mysore pak, doodi ka halwa and kaaju katli!

When it comes to food, nothing beats the flavours of a wood-fired Neapolitan pizza and a delectable dum biryani, Kolkata style. If I didn't have to worry about my diet and fitness, these are the delights I would relish without a second thought.”

Gulshan Devaiah was recently seen in Dahaad (Amazon Prime Video) and is currently working on Ulajh, co-starring Janhvi Kapoor and Roshan Mathew.