Mazia Khalifa began his working life as a chef 14 years ago. Half of that has been spent in Bradford, a city he now calls home.

“Before I came to West Yorkshire, I worked in Saudi Arabia,” he says. “I was a chef for a catering company. It was hard work, with long hours, but I learned such a lot and really enjoyed it.”

Originally from Gujarat, the westernmost state of India, he began cooking in his teens, encouraged by his father. “My father was a very good cook who regularly cooked at weddings and parties, and for people in our village. He was well-known for his cooking.”

The talented chef honed his early skills to embark on a career in catering, which brought him to Bradford. He is now wowing diners with Asian cuisine at Inam Khan’s restaurant in the city’s lively Leeds Road.

Mazia, 28, is joint head chef at the eatery – which opened three months ago – and loves his job. “I work part-time which is great as I can combine my job with family life,” he says. He lives in Otley Road with his wife and children aged eight and seven. “I love being with my family – I have enough time to enjoy both sides.”

He shares the top job in the restaurant kitchen with fellow chef Sher Khan, 31, who perfected his art in the city of Mardan in north-west Pakistan.

Together the pair prepare a wide range of traditional Asian dishes including karahi dishes cooked in a special pan with fresh ingredients in a thick blend of Indian spices.; distinctive balti dishes, cooked with chunks of onions, peppers and tomatoes with freshly-ground spices; and milder korma dishes gently cooked with fresh cream and coconut.

Mazia specialises in Peshawari cooking – dishes created in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province – and names karahi lamb tikka as his speciality. Indian food expert Sher highlights Peshawari chabli kabab, as his signature dish.

Sher, who lives off Leeds Road, has been a chef for 15 years, learning the trade from his father and grandfather, who both own restaurants in Pakistan. “My family have been in the trade for 150 years,” he says, “so it was natural for me to follow.”

With Mazia, he oversees a four-strong team, and enjoys his work. “There is a good team spirit in the kitchen and we have many regular customers, which is nice,” he says.

On days off, both chefs like to relax and unwind. Father-of-two Sher likes to play with his children. He cooks at home, rustling up their personal family favourites including lamb tikka.

“We also like English food, particularly fish and chips,” he adds.