What’s your favourite ingredient?
I love turmeric. It has a lot of health benefits and it’s known for being a natural antioxidant and for its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s earthy, aromatic, and so easy to use, making it a great ingredient for cooking. I incorporate turmeric into lot of my dishes and have recently enjoyed drinking it as a tea. Nowadays, people are even making turmeric lattes.
Do you have a guilty food pleasure?
Butter chicken is definitely my guilty pleasure. It’s super decadent with its rich, savoury but sweet creamy sauce - you just want to eat more and more. Sometimes I like to change it up and swap out the chicken for paneer.
Tell us about your first food memory?
My first food memory is eating panipuri – a common Indian snack – at street food markets in India. I ate a lot of them as a child and I still love them to this day.
What’s your favourite Scottish restaurant, deli or cafe?
I absolutely love Bread Meats Bread. My daughter took me there recently with some of her friends, and we had a great time. We all really enjoyed the food, too. I had the Cheesy M&M plant-based burger - it was delicious and a totally convincing meat substitute.
What would be your last supper?
This is a tough one but I’d have to go for a duck roast – served with sautéed spinach, a rich gravy and then the pan-roasted duck sliced on top. We used to serve this dish at a restaurant I previously worked at, and it was one of my favourites.
Starter or pudding?
Definitely a starter. I’m diabetic, so I tend to avoid desserts. That suits me perfectly, though, as I don’t really have a sweet tooth anyway. My favourite starter has to be lentil soup – which I know sounds boring – but it’s such a classic. A good lentil soup is like a hug in a bowl.
Do you have any food hates?
Broccoli - it’s good for diabetics, but I hate it. The doctor is always telling me to eat more broccoli and asparagus but there’s something about people telling me it’s good for me that makes me not want to eat it.
What starters, main and dessert would be served at your dream dinner party and who would you invite?
To start, I’d serve crispy prawns, followed by a cumin lamb main, and finished off with a chocolate bomb.
I could write you a long list of famous people whom I’d love to serve, but when it comes down to it, I would honestly just want to invite my closest friends and family. It’s always nice to get to spend time with them.
What's your favourite geographical foodie destination?
It has to be Mumbai, where I was born and brought up. The fragrant aromas of the street food, and the spectrum of flavours you can experience when you’re there is just amazing. It always gives me a buzz when I go back to visit. It’s definitely my happy foodie place.
Tuk Tuk recently opened a second branch, to join their original 1 Leven Street venue, at 16 Drummond Street, Edinburgh. For more information, see www.tuktukindianstreetfood.com