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Before I can catch my breath, he adds: "In my opinion it's the best Indian food you'll ever have tasted." I feel electrified by Kohli's unbridled enthusiasm.In the searing heat of the kitchen of his new Edinburgh restaurant VDeep we're soon discussing the merits of using green chilli, rather than red, with East Coast crab in the traditional South Indian dish (the Scots crab, I'm told, has a different sweetness and its brown meat a more subtle flavour than South Indian, so less fiery green chilli enhances it).Catholic culture is based around food, periods of abstinence followed by celebrations, much like Islam and Judaisim.But we hear less about Lent because it's more personalised than, say, Ramadan, where you have to fast and it's very strict. But also transsubstantation, the eating of the body of Christ at Communion, a tradition based on Last Supper.He reckons langar still has a role to play in promoting equality in modern society. Kohli and his brother, the actor and writer Sanjeev, attended St Aloysius school in Glasgow, and he is now dating a "lapsed Catholic actor from Giffnock who lives in London" following his divorce from his wife Sharmilla in 2009.His daughter and son, now 17 and 21, live with their mother in London.It's like when you're a person of colour you need to be kept in your place. It was much better in my time." But it's probably fair to say he took a tumble to himself.With the benefit of time, however, he reckons it wasn't all bad.
Conviviality is the basis of the Slow Food ethos and the route to a true appreciation of good, well-cooked food.
"It was a hug around the shoulders after filming had ended and the young woman said something." he says now.
"I'm not an angel; I say things that are edgy and I can be a pain in the arse.
Given his fondness for verbal provocation and witty asides, as well as for food, it makes sense that Kohli, 46, would want to share the love on a permanent basis now. "When I was young we always sat around the table eating from large bowls of food to be shared.
We're very excited about the prospect of creating a kind of food community here in Leith, and eventually we hope to be able to work with homeless charities to feed the less fortunate and create training opportunities." If successful, he has plans to open a VDeep in Glasgow.
He says: "The Catholic culture at school has rubbed off on me massively.