WHAT CAN VIEWERS EXPECT FROM YOUR NEW TV SHOW RECIPES THAT MADE ME? This is a lifting of the veil on ancient kitchen secrets that are dying out. We are losing our first generation of immigrants in this country from all nations, but particularly from the Indian sub-continent. Immigration rules have changed so that Indian chefs are not allowed over here. Curry is Britain’s number one dish – if people want to keep curry alive, they need to learn the home kitchen secrets.
AS AN INDIAN WOMAN YOURSELF, WAS IT REALLY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO MAKE THIS SHOW? It means everything to me. What I need is people to understand how my grandmother cooked. This is how we, as Indians, eat at home. We don’t have a balti or a bhuna, and we don’t have naan breads and poppadoms. That is something we created for you, and enjoy it, but if you want to know how Indians cook at home – really healthy, really delicious family food – you need to watch this programme.
IT MUST HAVE BEEN EMOTIONAL AT TIMES, MEETING PEOPLE WHO HAVE FAMILY RECIPES THAT ARE SO SPECIAL TO THEM? It’s completely moving. They’ve had to really make that calculated effort to think, ‘These are my nan’s, my mum’s s, am I really going to pass these on?’ Indians are really not keen to do that, so it’s very brave and gracious of them.
WOULD YOU AGREE THERE HAVE BEEN STRIDES IN THE REPRESENTATION OF PEOPLE OF COLOUR AND WOMEN ON TV IN RECENT YEARS? There really has. What I would hate is if this was minorities for the sake of minorities. You should only really have talent on TV if they are stretching the audience, if they are bringing something that nobody else could bring. And what I love is that’s irrespective of sex and colour, isn’t it? So, I am encouraged by it, but you hear about the disparity between male and female, the pay – it’s still like that in many spheres.
In terms of presenters, we need complete equality. But you need to know that you’ve been picked for what you have to say, not because you’re female and you’re brown.