20/10/2012 16:11 BST | Updated 20/12/2012 10:12 GMT

Madhur Jaffrey Tells HuffPostUK How To Begin Indian Cooking, Her Favourite TV Chef And Her Own Top Treat

Madhur Jaffrey is television's favourite Indian cook, but hasn't been on British TV screens for 17 years.

In the meantime the archetypal curry has been anointed the UK's favourite dish - what happened? The culinary legend is returning to our screen to find out.

madhur jaffrey

Madhur Jaffrey says nobody should be intimidated by the prospect of cooking Indian food

In a new ten-part series, Jaffrey will be travelling around the UK (and yes, she will be in Birmingham, the British home of the curry) to explore our modern love affair with Indian cuisine, more than three decades after she introduced the West to its delights... below she tells HuffPost UK how to get started, who's her favourite TV chef, and her own special treat...

I find the prospect of cooking Indian food quite intimidating, even though I love to eat. What would your advice be to someone like me to get started?

Pick a recipe from a book that you trust. Get all the spices needed for just that one recipe. Do all your prep work and lay out your spices, and then follow the directions and cook just that one recipe. Don't get ambitious and try to make several things. Just make the one thing a few times until you're comfortable with it and then add to it as time goes on.

Where do you get inspiration for your new recipes?

I carry a begging bowl around the world! I also look everywhere in small villages, in humble homes and in restaurants.

madhur jaffrey

Madhur Jaffrey was the foremost influence in bringing Indian cuisine to the UK

Since your first cookery book was published in the 1970s, we have seen TV chefs become enormous personalities. Why do you think this is, and is it a good thing?

Because food is fun, it has a dramatic showbusiness element to it. And most people whether they know it or not are voyeurs looking into other people's lives and seeing how things are done. Audiences love cookery shows. Little children seem to love cookery shows as well. My own grandchildren sit spellbound and have a vocabulary that is filled with food terms like ganache. I think it is a good thing because even if people aren't cooking, they're learning and some people might be moved to cook.

Who is your favourite other TV chef and why?

I like Jamie Oliver because his recipes seem clear, and delicious and somehow instinctively I trust him.

When something like cooking is such a big part of your professional life, how do you keep it enjoyable and interesting for yourself personally?

I love to eat! Cooking is a wonderful means to an even better end.

What is the favourite thing you like to cook? What's your naughtiest treat?

I have too many to have one favourite, but I do like to have French fries with salt, pepper and ketchup and that would be my treat to myself.

Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Nation is new and exclusive to Good Food, Sundays - Thursdays at 9pm from 4th November (Sky / HD 247, Virgin 260). Madhur in action in Curry Nation below...