I love Indian food, I think it stems from the days when I used to stay over at my first boyfriends flat which happened to be just above an okay-ish curry restaurant, but ordering from there was better than cheese and ham toasties every night! Then I moved into a pub that was just across from an amazing curry house, and Sunday nights became curry night! I do miss those rent free days when I could afford a curry out every week… Up till a few months ago Sam and I used to join friends every month for a curry, but these we only make it once or twice a year what with a baby and work schedules to contend with!
So although I’m a bit of a curry fiend, I must admit I have never actually strayed further than the ‘cook meat add sauce from a jar’ method. I know, I’m hanging my head in shame. That’s why I was so excited to open up a lovely box full to the brim with the whole range of sauces and kits from The Spice Tailor to help kick-start my adventure in Indian cooking during National Curry Week which runs from 13th – 19th October. The range is the brain-child of Anjum Anand, who you’ll probably be familiar with if you watch as many cooking shows as I do as she has her own BBC2 show (and book) called Indian Food Made Easy!
I think my favourite of all the sauce kits was the Rogan Josh. I made a vegetarian curry with it using baked veggie-meatballs, and added heaps of green and yellow peppers and served with four different Chutnis from the same range with some coriander poppadum’s, and some naan bread. It took about 25 minutes from start to finish and even went down a treat with Sam, who is notoriously anti veggie anything and normally doesn’t like any curry stronger than a Korma! I marinated the non-meatballs before baking them in the oven, then added them to the cooked peppers in sauce for a final simmer before serving.
All the kits are really easy to use, with two or three separate pouches included. Firstly the spices to help to flavour the oil, the marinade which can be used to tenderise the meat and thoroughly flavour it if you have time, or they can be added to the cooked meat before the main sauce is added. None of the sauces contain artificial flavours or preservatives and although each pack comes with a recipe suggestion, plus a little about the history of the dish and further inspiration. You are obviously free to add whatever you fancy to the sauce to create your own meals!
So far we’ve used chicken, beef (not traditionally Indian for obvious reasons) and vegetarian meatballs, with added various veggies to most of the meals.
The five chutnis in the range come in well proportioned jars in a variety of flavours, my personal favourite is the Green Papaya Chutni, it’s incredibly moreish with both sweet and tangy flavours. The Peanut and Tamarind is a close second, and although I usually associate peanut sauces with satay style oriental food I found it really complemented the Spiced Spinach curry sauce perfectly. All the chutnis can be spread, dipped or stirred into sauces to create your unique flavour, and they can be kept for up to 90 days from opening (in the fridge) although I don’t think they’ll last that long in this house!
There is heaps more inspiration on The Spice Tailor website, plus videos and competitions too. You can buy the whole range online or at Waitrose.
So tell me, can you beat my total of four curries cooked and eaten this Curry Week? The weeks not quite over yet either!