Video: It’s time to ditch the fear factor and spice up your life with Parveen The Spice Queen

The Spice Queen Parveen Ashraf
The Spice Queen Parveen Ashraf

Hi everyone, Parveen The Spice Queen here, nice to meet you all - I am looking forward to writing for the Peterborough Telegraph and I am very much looking forward to teaching you simple and easy Indian recipes that really work.

I love teaching people how to cook Indian food. Over my years of teaching, I have learnt that most people love a good curry, but rarely have the confidence to make one from scratch...there is usually a fear factor when it comes to what spice goes with what? How long to marinate and to get that authentic taste? Well, no need to fear, Parveen is here!

So, the clocks went forward a few weeks ago, the sun keeps threatening to shine and sometimes it actually does. What can we cook in this partial summer we are having?

Let’s try a really quick, simple summery type dish - my Pan Fried Tandoori Chicken. It’s a fabulous recipe that I make at least twice a week for my family. My children are now all young adults. The eldest, Imran lives abroad but still Skypes for cooking tips. Sherine lives in London and comes home every other weekend for a good feed. My youngest Cyrus works for the shopping channel where I actually work, Hochanda. He still lives at home and our morning conversation is always centred around what we are having for dinner that night. Well, l love talking about food, I love cooking it and most of all, love eating it - hence my curvy size 12 figure and this new column.

Pan-Fried Tandoori Chicken

This recipe may be described as ‘Tandoori’ which actually means a clay oven, but seeing as many of us don’t have one of those in the back garden, a bog standard hob will do.

Pan fried tandoori chicken

Pan fried tandoori chicken

These spicy, tender tasting medallions of chicken are healthy, quick and easy to make. In fact it’s “Marination to Mouth” in just 10 mins! If you don’t believe me, just watch my YouTube video tutorial which is in real time. Use your own spices or try one of my perfectly portioned little spice bags from my website.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Makes between 20 to 25 pieces and serves approx 4 to 5 people, or 4 hungry people

INGREDIENTS

2 chicken breasts

1 tbsp plain yoghurt

add the spice bag (or 1 tsp of chilli powder, 1 tsp of tandoori powder, ½ tsp of coriander seed powder, ½ tsp of chilli flakes).

2 tsp lemon juice, fresh or bottled

1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil

1 tsp salt

METHOD

1. Cut chicken into medallions (1cm thick) the pieces should be roughly the same size but if they are not, don’t worry you can just cook the smaller pieces for less time.

2. In a large bowl, add the yoghurt, salt, lemon juice, spice bag or chilli flakes, chilli powder, coriander powder and tandoori powder and mix together - this is the marinade. Now add chicken pieces and coat thoroughly. Leave to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes (allowing flavours to fuse together).

3. Add 1 or 2 tbsp of oil into a frying pan and heat till oil is hot. Now, carefully place chicken pieces in the pan. Make sure you leave space between each piece, so you should be able to pan fry 6 or 7 depending on the size of your pan.

4. Cook on high heat for about 1 min on each side to seal the chicken, then a further 2 minutes on each side to make sure the chicken is cooked through.

5. Clean the frying pan with kitchen paper between each batch of chicken and continue to cook all the chicken. Either serve straight away or store in an airtight container.

BBQ:

This recipe works really well when cooked on a barbecue. Just cut the chicken fillets into approximately 2cm cubes, marinate as in step 2, then cook on skewers as you would normally do.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Even though this is an Indian recipe, you don’t always have to serve it with a full-on Indian meal. Mix it up a little, my family does. I will make a batch of tandoori chicken and my daughter will make a chicken & avocado wrap, my husband will eat his in a pitta bread with a green chilli dip and a little salad. I will just have mine with a lemon and coriander salad.

LEFT OVER SUGGESTIONS, PIZZA AND NOODLES

It’s not often that I have leftover tandoori chicken in my house but if I do, I have been known to experiment and add it to household favourites like pizza or noodles. With pizza, I will take an ordinary margarita, slice the tandoori chicken, add red onion and some sweetcorn - oven bake as you would normally and you will find that it works really well. When I make my noodles, I will just slice the tandoori chicken and add it and stir fry for a minute or two.

If you would like to try Parveen’s spice bags, email parveen@ the-spicequeen.com - the first 10 get it free.

You can see Parveen on Saturday (May 20th) at 5pm on Hochanda channel, Sky 663, Freeview 85 and hochanda.com.

Find Parveen: www.the-spicequeen.com - on facebook Parveen The Spice Queen - on Youtube Parveen The Spice Queen - on twitter @Parveen_ashraf