PT’s Spice Queen to star in her own ITV se­ries

Colum­nist and Peter­bor­ough cook will in­spire con­fi­dence in cook­ing In­dian food

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR TELEGRAPH - By Joel Lamy [email protected]­me­dia.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

Peter­bor­ough’s own Spice Queen is set to siz­zle on the small screen thanks to a new show on ITV - and she hopes the flames will keep on burn­ing for her flour­ish­ing TV ca­reer.

Cook Parveen Ashraf has been film­ing in the UK and In­dia for her new se­ries called Parveen’s In­dian Kitchen.

But the am­bi­tious 53-yearold from Wer­ring­ton is de­ter­mined not to stop there, with a se­cond cook book on the way and a de­ter­mi­na­tion to make the most of her ca­reer hav­ing over­come a year of hell more than a decade ago when she needed four op­er­a­tions to re­move a stom­ach tu­mour.

The se­ries be­gins on Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 20 at 9.30am, and the self-styled Parveen The Spice Queen hopes it will in­spire peo­ple to try out some new recipes.

She said: “The show is cel­e­brat­ing every­thing about In­dian food. Peo­ple love it. There’s a fear fac­tor about cook­ing In­dian food and I want to get rid of that.

“It’s about in­spir­ing peo­ple and giv­ing them con­fi­dence.

“I think the food is the star of the show. I hope peo­ple get the con­fi­dence to cook and will recre­ate the recipes at home. They are quite sim­ple to fol­low.

“We talk about what spices to use and what method.”

Mum of three Parveen, who said her pro­file has grown thanks to her reg­u­lar columns in the Peter­bor­ough Tele­graph, was pre­vi­ously an Of­sted in­spec­tor. She pur­sued a ca­reer in cook­ing af­ter re­cov­er­ing from her health scare.

“I have al­ways known this kind of cui­sine. I got mar­ried and my hus­band loved what I cooked - that in­spired me,” she said.

“He would go to restau­rants and was so dis­ap­pointed, so would bring work clients back to the house.

“Af­ter surgery I came out of hospi­tal and my hus­band said I should do some­thing that I love. I said I loved cook­ing for peo­ple and de­cided af­ter the tu­mour I would change ca­reer and teach cook­ing.”

Parveen has taught In­dian cook­ing at col­leges in Peter­bor­ough and does pri­vate tu­ition both na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally, while she has also ap­peared on TV hit Come Dine with Me.

She has been a reg­u­lar demon­stra­tor on the Hochanda shop­ping chan­nel, based in Peter­bor­ough, and made guest ap­pear­ances on James Martin’s Satur­day morn­ing show, but hav­ing her own ITV se­ries was “sur­real”, she ad­mit­ted.

“You have ex­perts in their field and lit­tle old me.

“Peo­ple will hope­fully watch and think ‘that’s quite sim­ple, I will try it’. I loved film­ing it so hope­fully peo­ple will love watch­ing it.”

With her ca­reer now cook­ing on gas Parveen hopes to get in­volved in new pro­jects, while there is talk of a se­cond se­ries for her ITV show. She added: “I’m an ex­tremely am­bi­tious 53-year-old. I have three chil­dren and all of them have left home. Now it’s my time!”

‘I hope peo­ple get the con­fi­dence to cook’

Parveen in the kitchen

Parveen launch­ing her recipe book with then Mayor of Peter­bor­ough David Sanders

Parveen on Come Dine with me with Aly Ni­chol­son. Below: launchkit ing a recipe

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