In my free time:
I like to cook—I cook for my family every day. My signature dish is sambal chicken. I cook mostly traditional Malay dishes with recipes passed down to me by my grandmother and mum. I’m half Eurasian and Pakistani.
If you could pick anyone from past or present to have a meal with, who would you choose and why?
Rihanna, I think she’s a really inspiring person. I admire her style and nonchalant attitude. I recently heard her speech at Harvard when she won the Humanitarian Award, and she mentioned how people should not be credited for having humanity as it’s a basic value or moral. That was very inspiring to me.
Nigella Lawson. It’s not so much about her cooking but the passionate way she enjoys her food. The meals she cook ooze with love and the way she describes how to cook is just mesmerising to me. I honestly don’t watch her for the food, I usually just enjoy the way she speaks.
Best piece of advice I’ve ever received:
“Be kind and forgiving to everyone.” It’s a piece of advice given to me by my mother. I firmly believe that the way you treat people affects the way they treat you in return.
Butter chicken, a dish made with chicken chunks stewed in a rich and creamy sauce made with plenty of butter, is one of my favourites. Most people would consider my favourite food a guilty pleasure. (laughs) But I eat whatever I want to. I don’t do diets, or healthy food. My mum makes a great butter chicken, so I’m hoping to learn the recipe from her soon.