My Life In Food: Angela Malik


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After training at Leiths School of Food and Wine and gaining experience at Bibendum, Vong and with chef Tom Kime, Angela Malik established The Angela Malik School of Food and Wine, which is acclaimed for its Asian cookery courses. She is also a panellist on BBC Radio 4's Kitchen Cabinet.

What are your most and least used pieces of kitchen kit?

My Magimix is by far my most used piece of equipment. I've had one for about ten years and I still marvel at what good value for money it's been. I use it for everything – chopping, blending and mixing. For me, kitchen equipment is about making life simpler, and it does exactly that. My least used piece of kit? A coconut flesh shredder. I saw someone using one in Mumbai and was seduced. But what works well in Mumbai works less well in London.

If you had only £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?

I'd head to Deli Wala in Hounslow and spend my tenner on a paratha stuffed with spicy cauliflower. They are a typical Punjabi breakfast. I remember as a child I'd wake on a Sunday morning and I'd smell these being made downstairs in the kitchen by my parents. If I'm feeling indulgent, I have them for breakfast at the weekend nowawdays, too.

What do you eat for comfort?

I was brought up in Edinburgh, so when it comes to comfort food I return to my Scottish roots. I have cheese on chips. You need to get big chunky chips and sprinkle loads of Scottish Galloway cheddar on them. You have to use Galloway cheddar because it melts so well and is this wonderful bright-orange colour.

If you could eat only bread or potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

I think bread would be the best choice. Think of all the different breads from around the world – you just don't get that breadth when it comes to potatoes. Unleavened bread is really my thing, so things like wholemeal chapattis or roti. I remember as a child we'd take both on picnics and eat them with the kebabs my dad would make.

What's your desert island recipe?

The tamarind marinade I created. It sums up what I try and do with my food: bring Asian flavours together with everyday European ingredients. You mix a teaspoon of tamarind, a clove of crushed garlic, a teaspoon of brown sugar, a pinch of salt and a glug of olive oil. You can then use it to marinate tuna steak or tofu (serve either with some chilli-and-garlic-fried broccoli).

What's your favourite restaurant?

Any of the Ottolenghi resturants. I think Yotam Ottolenghi is so inspirational. He takes simple ingredients and creates these sensational dishes which are total riots of flavour.

What's your favourite cookbook?

Tom Kime wrote a wonderful book in the early Noughties called Exploring Taste and Flavour, which I remember coming across when I did work experience with him. I read it and it confirmed everything I'd been thinking – it was one of those moments that changes you.

Who taught you to cook?

My father is a restaurateur who opened a curry house in Scotland back in the 1960s and he inspired me. I was surrounded by all the great cooks who worked for him. But when it comes down to it, I'd say I am pretty much self-taught.