You’re quite the celebrity chef but ‘Dip In Kitchen’ is your first TV show, why did it take you so long to take a TV project on?
To me success comes with hard work and dedication. It has been a dream of mine for a very long time to teach the nation how to cook real Indian food, however before doing that I wanted to ensure I had solid foundation with good following. I now lecture at The University of West London, co-own our family restaurant The Brilliant in Southall where I run my cookery school, have written my very own cook book ‘Beyond Brilliant’ which sold out, have appeared on TV shows including; Ramsays Best Restaurant and The Hotel for Channel 4 and something not many people would know but I am the brand Chef for the Punjabi food range for the Compass group. After accomplishing so much, not only am I humbled and grateful, l feel it is now right to step up a gear with my TV cookery show so that I can share my recipes and food knowledge with an even wider audience.
What’s the USP of ‘Dip In Kitchen’?
‘Dip In Kitchen’ is a lifestyle cookery show with a twist. Like my cook book Beyond Brilliant, it tells the story of my food legacy through my recipes and also portrays my upbeat bubbly personality through snippets of my life on a day to day basis. One day I may be at a pop up event, the next lecturing at the university and the next cooking with dad in the kitchen. It shows me cooking up both restaurant style dishes and those that I cook at home, the best of both worlds. Having fun cooking and enjoying what you do is the secret to perfecting your cookery skills and Dip In Kitchen signifies just that.
Every big Asian TV channel in the UK has a local cookery show, what do you think the obsession is with such food shows?
Indian food is just so addictive and delicious and we really cannot stay away from it – it’s the nation’s number one dish after all. People are very intrigued by cookery shows so they can try new recipes and learn new skills and also get some enjoyment and that is exactly what I wanted from ‘Dip In Kitchen’. I want people to learn new skills, methods and techniques they do not know already use and feel really encouraged and supported to try something new. If someone tries to re-create my dishes from the show and finds it easy to follow and it turns out better than they thought – that for me is a win win situation.
How will you keep ‘Dip In Kitchen’ different to existing shows on UK Asian TV?
‘Dip In Kitchen’ is not just a show where I talk solely about making that recipe. It’s a lifestyle cookery show that shows my life as a chef on a mission convincing the nation how easy and fun Indian cooking can be. It’s a show that shows my lifestyle which brings in the entertainment factor whilst still educating viewers with some amazing Indian recipes, some of which are infused with varied flavours from other cuisines.
Your the head chef at Brilliant, Southall, is there a particular favourite secret recipe from the restaurant, you’ll be sharing with viewers on the show?
There are quite a few, however my particular favourite that I will be sharing with viewers are Karahi Prawns, Tandoori Lamb Chops and Palak Chicken – so I urge you all to watch to learn how these are made.
What’s your favourite cuisine, away from Indian & will you be making non-Indian cuisines on your show?
I absolutely love Japanese food, I am a Sushi fanatic! The series focuses on Indian recipes and a few Indian fusion recipes as that is my heartland.
You’ve recently also released a book, will you be sharing some of the recipes from there with viewers?
There are quite a few recipes from my cook book Beyond Brilliant that are on the show, some of which have been adapted – that is the thing with Indian cooking it is so versatile and you can be innovative with lots of recipes old and new.
Is there a particular Indian dish you find most challenging?
Something I just can’t master is filling a samosa, especially the way my dad does at the restaurant. Firstly they make this filo style pastry which is complicated enough and then the way they are filled, I just struggle! Anyhow on the show I make an easier version of a samosa for anybody else in my boat which is absolutely mouthwatering.
If viewers want to interact with you about recipes you feature on your show, how can they do that?
I can be reached on my social media handles and would love to hear from everyone.
Facebook: Chef Dipna
It’s a ten-week series, can you give us some indication, what viewers can expect over the coming episodes?
Week after week viewers can expect to be kept entertained and impressed with the dishes I create in Dip In Kitchen. The shows have a theme each week i.e. on Christmas Eve there is a special Christmas show, then a street food themed show, restaurant style cooking and loads more!
Please all tune into ‘Dip In Kitchen’, it’s a show for everyone where the message is quite simple, cook from your heart, enjoy what you’re doing and savour each dish cooked.
‘Dip In Kitchen’ launches on Saturday 17th December at 17:00 on B4U Music UK.