When did you re­alise that space was in the kitchen? Tell us about your tele­vi­sion de­but

Friday - - Leisure Food -

As I’ve men­tioned ear­lier, I’ve al­ways loved food, whether it was help­ing my mum in the kitchen, watch­ing her cook or eat­ing all that lovely food. That was prob­a­bly one rea­son why I ended up be­ing ex­tremely over­weight. So much so that I was very un­com­fort­able with the way I looked and would go on crash di­ets. But the mo­ment I would stop the diet, the weight would creep back on. I fi­nally re­alised di­ets didn’t work.

What I needed was a life­style change that in­cluded food I en­joyed so that I would never feel the need to fall off the band­wagon. So, I de­cided to make my favourite foods lighter and that was what got me into cook­ing healthy In­dian food. UKTV Food took note of my first cook­book and asked me to do a show called Good Food Live. It did not get off to a good start.

On the first day of shoot­ing, I was so ner­vous that I man­aged to cut my hand in two places with the su­per­sharp Ja­panese knives even be­fore I started chop­ping. I was se­ri­ously em­bar­rassed. I thought they were go­ing to re­gret sign­ing me up.

They sent me home af­ter en­sur­ing I was OK and I was sure at that time that my TV ca­reer was over be­fore it even be­gan. Thank­fully, they called me back and we com­pleted the se­ries with­out a hitch. In fact, my as­so­ci­a­tion with the show lasted for about four years.

But when BBC2 asked me to do In­dian Food Made Easy, I was eight months preg­nant with my daugh­ter Mahiya. Since I was more fo­cused on this mo­men­tous phase of my life called moth­er­hood, ev­ery­thing else seemed less stress­ful. So I was quite re­laxed in front of the cam­era and man­aged to have a good time. The show went on to be a huge suc­cess.

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