Curry, cars and Chil­dren in Need

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - CONSOLE CORNER -

Well, what can I say... I had such a blast at Carfest North last week­end, Chris Evans’ brain child which raises money for BBC Chil­dren In Need.

I was so hon­oured to be asked to demo and cook live on stage in the Food Fair Kitchen. I work with Sim­ply Good Food TV and they have been tak­ing part for years, so when I was asked to par­tic­i­pate - not know­ing any­thing about fes­ti­vals, I just said “yes”. All I thought was, it’s me on stage with an au­di­ence, easy peasy.

Well, in re­al­ity - it was an au­di­ence of over 300, rain, mud, long queues for the chem­i­cal loos, a 3-mile trek from the car park to the cook­ing tent, the smell of burn­ing rub­ber and dress code of posh dress, wellies and furry yel­low ear head­band... what’s not to love!!

For me, it was a real bap­tism of fire, I am not a fes­ti­val­goer re­ally, so my first ex­pe­ri­ence was a real eye opener. I am a ho­tel with swim­ming pool kind of gal. I couldn’t re­ally im­merse my­self into the whole fes­ti­val cul­ture, so baby steps for me. Per­haps next time, I will look into Glamp­ing or even Camp­ing - OK, let’s not push it, so, just Glamp­ing then. I was there for three days and was on stage for 30 minute slots. I cooked my pan fried tan­doori chicken, onion bha­jis and Pesh­wari naan amongst other dishes. Lucky for me it went well and I found my­self not want­ing to get off stage, all I could think was it’s good prac­tice for when I do the East of Eng­land food demo in Oc­to­ber at Peter­bor­ough Arena.

Ok, so back to Carfest, the en­ergy was great but the real hon­our for me was meet­ing the glam­orous Candice Brown, win­ner of The Great Bri­tish Bake Off. I gave her my cook book and she asked me to sign it, so that was sur­real. Candice said that she loved tarka daal and would use my recipe, so I also gave her a Tarka Daal Spice Bag along with Pesh­waari Naan Kit. Can you imag­ine, the win­ner of bake off, bak­ing with my naan kit and mak­ing my daal? So sur­real. Nat­u­rally, we posed for a photo along with the home econ­o­mist for Carfest, Vicki Co­p­ley who has worked with the likes of Gor­don Ramsey, Jamie Oliver and the Hairy Bik­ers. I also had the priv­i­lege of meet­ing the very per­son­able Tom Ker­ridge, who has lost 9 stones in weight, so I had to give him a recipe and spice bag for my fat­free chick pea chaat, well you know me, not back­wards in com­ing for­ward. In clos­ing I just want to say this week, that if you have a pas­sion for some­thing, fol­low it and keep your vi­sion clear and take op­por­tu­ni­ties that are pre­sented to you. I went along to do the fes­ti­val as it was for char­ity and in re­turn met some amaz­ing peo­ple. So many to men­tion but here are a few, the chef or­gan­iser, Cora (who kept us hy­drated but more im­por­tant made us cups of tea), the pre­sen­ter An­drew Dick­ens, who was just so sup­port­ive, the beau­ti­ful home econ­o­mist, Vickie whom I will be work­ing with soon. Last but cer­tainly not least I want to thank my won­der­ful friend Michelle who came with me to help and sup­port me. We all need good friends.

So, as you can see it was a full week­end but I must say the freaki­est fact was that I met a chef who knows city chef and fel­low colum­nist Lee Clarke!

To try my recipe for Tan­doori Chicken or Fat-Free Chick Pea Chaat email me at parveen@the-spice­queen. com and I will post out the spices to the first 20 peo­ple.

High­lights from the show will be shown dur­ing BBC Chil­dren In Need, so keep an eye out for me.

Can you imag­ine, the win­ner of Bake Off, bak­ing with my naan kit and mak­ing my daal? So sur­real.

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