A foodie ode to Lata Mangeshkar

From seafood to gajar ka halwa, the legendary singer was a foodie who also loved to cook

09 Feb 2022

The Nightingale of India, the Queen of Melody. Some of the most famous titles that Lata Mangeshkar was known by. The legendary singer passed away on February 6, 2022, in Mumbai. And while music was her first love, Lata Didi (as she was popularly called) was also a passionate foodie.

Unsurprisingly, given her simple lifestyle, the singer also loved simple food. According to a media report, she once mentioned in an interview that she usually had phulka, sabzi and dal for lunch. And while she didn’t have any particular preference and ate different sabzis, dal was a must!

Lata Didi also mentioned that she ate everything sparingly. And while she loved spicy food, she had been avoiding it. Sour foods and cold water were two other things she wouldn’t have, according to the report.

Lata Didi was known to follow a disciplined way of eating but also loved indulging in her fa-vourite delicacies once in a while. One of these was the shammi kebab that was made by her sister Asha Bhosle, another renowned singer. In an earlier interview, Asha once revealed that Lata Didi was a fan of her cooking and would occasionally request her to prepare the kebabs.

These kebabs were among some of the dishes that Lata Didi enjoyed eating; it was a commonly known fact that she was fond of non-vegetarian food. Mutton Kothimbir, where the meat is cooked with coriander, has often been mentioned as one of her much-loved dishes.

Seafood was yet another favourite, which isn’t a surprise given her roots — her father, Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar belonged to Mangeshi village in Goa.

But Lata Didi didn’t only have a taste for savoury and spicy food, she also had a sweet tooth. In her biography, Lata: Sur Gatha, author Yatindra Mishra mentions that she loved jalebis with extra saffron. Gajar halwa was another sweet dish that she was fond of, and she once mentioned in an interview that she liked to prepare it with a lot of saffron as well. Saffron was clearly her spice of choice for desserts — she loved to add it to milk along with almonds.

Strawberry popsicles
Representative image

From cooking for loved ones to relishing dishes prepared by others, Lata Mangeshkar was a true-blue foodie. And as the world mourns the loss of a legendary singer, at Vikhroli Cucina, we would like to keep the tributes pouring in from the food ecosystem.

What dish would you have cooked for the Nightingale of India? Let us know in the comments section below.

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