The payasam princess

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Pop diva Katy Perry was excited to try out the lavish South Indian spread specially put together at Southern Spice by Chef Alok Anand, executive chef at Taj Coromandel.

She started the meal by tucking into more kali uppu urundai, scallop sukka, denji rawa fry (soft shell crabs in Mangalorean spices) and kozhi ghee roast. Eager to get a more comprehensive taste of the cuisine, Katy asked for the Alleppey fish curry, arachivitta sambar and asparagus parappu usili, along with some parotas and appams.

The highlight of her dinner was the elaneer payasam (tender coconut kheer), which she claimed was the ‘most refreshing dessert’ she had ever eaten!’ In fact, this dessert seems to have become quite a favourite amongst guests at the hotel for IPL 5. Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh liked the payasam so much that they asked for second helpings.

Amitabh Bachchan, who is very careful about what he eats, is sticking to South Indian fare as well and is quite taken by the arachivitta sambar (sambar made with fresh masala). Meanwhile, Salman Khan who is staying at another star hotel not too far from the venue is said to be sticking to his fitness and diet regimen.

A little birdie, who caught a glimpse of the Bollywood hunk, tells us that Sallu bhai settled down for a meal with steamed veggies and a simply cooked chicken, washed down with a beverage specially prepared to beat the heat.

On the other hand, actress Priyanka Chopra is said to be braving the sun by sipping on a cucumber and spinach concoction. The lady who arrived a day before the event, chose to tuck into a simple, low calorific meal comprising grilled fish with olive oil and herbs accompanied by a fresh vegetable salad.

The stars of the night sweated it out during their practice sessions. Dressed in a shimmery black sleeveless T shirt with white and green, and what looked like a pajama, teamed with green high-heeled shoes, Katy Perry was in full form at the YMCA stadium practicing for her debut performance in India at the IPL-5 opening ceremony.

Making sure she had a mark of India in her attire, she was seen sporting a green bindi while rehearsing. Katy is known for her out-of-the box performances and those who saw her sweat it out in Chennai heat knew exactly why. Sources say that she had been practicing till late on Monday night and on the day of the performance, she practiced non-stop from 10.30 am till 12 pm.

Following Katy was Kareena, who arrived in a grey T shirt and blue track pants for her rehearsals. There seemed to be some confusion on stage as there were too many people up there. Apparently, Bebo was not happy with her act and wanted some changes. Shaimak Dawar and Marzi were seen interacting with the dancers.

While the stars were busy practicing, it was a circus back stage. As the opening drew nearer, the dancers practiced wherever they could find place. The tailors were busy giving the costumes final touches, the organisers ran around making sure everything fell into place, the choreographers were busy fine-tuning their acts – everything seemed to be happening at the same time!

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