One of our favourite artists with tastes of India, Berlin and the UK checks in…
A record that always reminds you of Ibiza…
Gorgon City – Unmissable ft. Zak Abel
Your perfect breakfast would be…
Okay, two options here…
If I want south Indian home cooking, then it would be a few Idlis with coconut chutney and some Sambar. YUM.
For a western meal it would be a few poached eggs on some gluten-free bread and some proper crispy american style bacon with a green juice. YUM.
The most unusual thing I have ever eaten…
I was in Japan on tour and we went out with the label for a Korean BBQ. I had been to a few Korean BBQ joints in the states before – so thought it would be chicken, shrimp, beef – etc. Nope. We got intestines, stomach and all kinds of other weird stuff. And I ate it because I didn’t want to be rude. Also, please bare in mind that I had been drinking all night and was hungover as hell. Intense!
The dish that reminds me most of my childhood
My mom’s Rasam. Rasam is a south Indian pepper/tamarind dish – a real staple dish. It’s fast to prepare and it soooo tasty – every time I have it, I am transported back to my childhood.
Who taught you to cook?
My mom. Me and my siblings were in the kitchen from an early age, peeling onions and helping with small jobs, so we really got to observe her. She is a BAUSS in the kitchen.
Your favourite 3 restaurants in London
I love me a good Gauchos – to be honest, it’s the only place I eat steak at! Two minutes away from my studio is an amazing restaurant called “Clutch” – it’s basically posh fried chicken (below). You want to bath in the gravy and the soy/garlic chicken tenders are just out of this world. I was recently introduced to Cicchetti – an italian restaurant right by Piccadilly Circus. I was initially dubious about this place – it just seemed like it would be too touristy. Boy, was I wrong. Amazing Italian food – I dream of the fried gnocchi!!
Your favourite restaurant in Berlin
I haven’t actually been here yet – but I am gagging to check out “Der Goldene Hahn” – it’s right in the middle of trendy Kreuzberg and is meant to have the most delicious italian food. And they have an adjoining wine bar – so win-win really!
Has a musician that you have worked with ever surprised you by cooking you a meal?
Jessie J throws it down in the kitchen! I remember going over to hers when we initially met and being really impressed with her cooking. She makes such a mean barbecue chicken and mac and cheese!!!
You have spent a lot of time back stage, on the road, in the studio. Who has surprised you with their strange food item choices…?
I was once on the road with a guitarist who was all about the whole “constant snacking to maintain energy” thing – so always had a bag of nuts with him that he would munch on. ALWAYS. Like bro, we are in the middle of Texas, where did you get these nuts from? (You know I love you Adam!).
Your guilty pleasure food. You know you shouldn’t but you always do…
I hate to admit this – but I occasionally get salt cravings and devour a packet of crisps. A big packet – not those cute small ones.
What is your signature dish in the kitchen?
I make a few great south indian chicken dishes – one recipe called “Ammachi Chicken” was passed down from my great-grandmother – It’s a delicious combination of chicken, cloves, garlic, chilis, etc. Sooooo tasty. I also make a dish called “Chicken 65” which is a firm favourite in the family. It’s quite a process – chopped garlic and ginger, fresh ginger, garlic paste, lots of chilis, different stages of marinating and frying – but the end result is fingerlickin’ good!
If you could have a master-class with a celebrity chef, who’d you pick and why?
It is my DREAM to have a masterclass with an amazing chef! I think I would pick Jamie Oliver – I love his enthusiasm – I think he would be a right laugh. I might also want a session with Ken Hom – I love Thai food, so it would be great to pick up some tips from him.
Have you ever sent food back in a restaurant?
Man, I hate doing that. So I usually just rile them up and my friends to do the dirty work for me.
The best back-stage catering you have ever experienced?
Popcorn Catering is hands down the best caterer!! I have been on many tours with them and – oh my god – they are ridiculous. From the fact that you can make fresh juices for breakfast, to the choice of starters, mains and desserts! There is always a healthy option and after a week or so they take on board your specific likes – so I always get an extra spicy portion! Love.
Dead or alive – 3 people from history you would invite around for dinner…
Miles Davis, Mahatma Ghandi and maybe Johann Sebastian Bach, just to see if Miles would be rude to him, hahaha!
A dish you have yet to master…but wish you could…
I still have to nail making a Biryani – this really is the calling card of any indian household. The problem is my brothers Biryani is so banging, that I‘ve kind of given up. This interview is giving me second wind, I am gonna make one this weekend!
Your favourite pizza topping
Anything spicy – so spicy salami, Jalapeños and extra mushrooms. Yum.
A kitchen gadget you cannot live without
Obviously you have to have great knives – I have a Global Knife as my main one. I also couldn’t live without my Pestle and Mortar – as I cook a lot of Indian food, I need to crush my spices!
Your biggest ever food cock up
When I was still in school, I was at my best friends house – we were about 17 or so and decided to host a dinner party – basically play grown-up. I was in charge of the baking and the boys had already arrived – so I did the whole “closing the oven door with a swing of my hips” thing – I’d seen it on TV and it looked so cool; obviously I was trying to show off. Swung the door too hard, cake pan fell over, batter all over the oven – NOT a pretty sight.
When was the last time you followed a recipe from a cook book and what was it?
I like baking – a few weeks ago I made a mean Banana and Walnut bread with a cinnamon layer in-between and a crunchy cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar crust – is your mouth watering yet? I got the recipe from Pinterest.
A dish you just cannot stomach
Pigeon. I once went on a date to a fancy restaurant – this was before I was a foodie, so I freaked out that there was no chicken on the menu. I ordered pigeon, thinking – well it must kinda taste like chicken. How wrong I was!! I spent the whole evening deciding whether to just suck it up and eat it, even though I hated it or just admit that I made the wrong choice and swap dishes. In the end, I had to admit my ordering mistake – we had a laugh and it was all good.
We believe you came to Ibiza a few years ago with Jesse J and stayed on for a holiday. Can you recall any of the restaurants you went to?
We actually stayed in a villa and had a chef come by every day and cook for us. One day he made a seafood paella – oh my word. I watched him as he made the fish stock from scratch in the morning all the way until he put it all together – the whole process took about 10 hours. Needless to say, the paella was mind blowing.
Your favourite beach on the island for a lazy day?
Salinas Beach is a great place to hang out – it’s hectic, but so vibey and fun!
The best sunset spot for a cold drink…
Has to be Cafe Mambo!! A cheeky cocktail and a spectacular sunset, good combination, me thinks!!
When you think of food and Ibiza, you think of…
PAELLA AND SANGRIA – take me back immediately!
The perfect 24 hours in Ibiza would be…
Landing around 3pm – I hate taking early flights! Straight to the beach to soak up some rays. Then a quick change of clothes and time to catch the sunset around 8pm on Sunset Strip accompanied by a few drinks. A late dinner at Tapas Ibiza around 10pm before it’s time to head out to one of the clubs! Obvs I would only go to a club where one of my friends is playing, so maybe DC10? Or I would tag along with my homegirl Miss Kelly Marie – she DJ’s at a lot at private villa parties there, so it’s bound to be a nice vibe!! Then it’s off to catch the sunrise (depending on the level of intoxication) before I head back to the hotel to grab some sleep. Then a healthy late brunch nursing what’s bound to be a sore head!
Check out Hannah V’s new track It Aint’ Right…