Sunday with Meera Syal: ‘Once school bags are packed, we all squeeze on to the sofa’

Michael Segalov
Photograph: David M Benett/Getty Images

A lazy Sunday morning? It’s my day of rest – certainly midway through a show – so ideally I’m not up until 9.30am. But it’s often before that, when our 13-year-old wakes me for a catch- up.

Breakfast in bed? Only tea. When I was little we’d all sit in bed together as a family with a cup of tea and talk: we called it ‘bed-tea’, our Sunday morning ritual. I still love to do that, although I’m sure it’ll stop as my son gets older. I’m clinging on to the last vestiges.

Fresh air? We’re not too far from Kenwood, it’s my favourite place to walk. I’ll pick one of the paths, before ruining all the hard work with a slice of cake in the café. You feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside.

Sunday lunch: in or out? I often end up cooking for friends and family; Indian food is where I’m confident and a biryani is a safe bet. I like shortcuts. Precook the rice, layer it up with spices, onions, saffron milk, cashews and curries. Do this over and over, then sprinkle with fried onions, cover and bake.

A Sunday smell? My son’s sweaty football kits, wafting in between the gorgeous aromas from my food.

What’s on the radio? Desert Island Discs is my Sunday staple. Otherwise I’ll be listening to BBC Asian Network, humming along to the music of my childhood, checking out what’s new.

A local spot? The pubs I can walk to from my house; Sundays aren’t for the tube or car. The Bull on North Hill and the Red Lion and Sun are both fantastic, and most importantly they’re so close I can stumble home.

Sunday night telly? We’re three generations in the house, so once school bags are packed we all squeeze on to the sofas. I’m hooked on Succession, but it’s hard to find shows that suit us all. We’ll whack on a quiz show and all play along.

Meera Syal stars in Noises Off at the Garrick Theatre, London, until 4 January, noisesoffplay.com