Spice Kits on Trial: Punjabi Tomato Curry review

Quick, easy and tasty, just what you need when you finish work at 7pm and get home at 8pm. I’m always looking for ways to cook quickly and eat well and I grabbed a Spice Tailor kit in Waitrose because the range was on offer a pretty reasonable £2.00 instead of a post launch price of £2.89.

Spice Tailor Kit

 

The Punjabi Tomato Curry caught my eye and I read that the Indian Chef Anjam Anand is behind the range. The blurb on the packet said this particular curry kit was typical of the region and was adapted from a recipe for chicken curry Anjam’s Mother uses.  More onions, a sweeter thicker base and more tomatoes to balance the taste.

There’s a suggestion that the base works well with chicken and lamb but Anjam tells the chef that this is a great base for a few things and that the cook should be adventurous with adding ingredients. I’m afraid Anjam I let you down. I wasn’t seeking adventure late one night after work, and I threw in all I could find in the fridge and that was 2 packets of mini breast fillets Mr had chopped. When I say this dish was quick, it took less than ten minutes to prepare. The rice took the longest time to prepare and if you’re feeling terrifically lazy or don’t have the energy to make rice, then pitta bread or chapati are a great Indian ‘mop’.

 

This particular kit can be made with paneer (Indian cheese), lamb, pork, duck, hard-boiled eggs (!) and chickpeas. I get all the others but totally unsure about the eggs.

The kit comes in three parts, fresh spices, base sauce and main sauce and all are well-marked.

Tailor Kit

I used a wok to heat the oil (which isn’t provided) and then added the spices in one of the small bags. In the spice mix you’ll discover a large bay leaf (for mellow fragrance); a guntoor red chilli (for clean heat); black peppercorns (for heat, pure and simple); black cardamom (for smokey depth); cinnamon (for sweet warmth); cloves (for pungent sweetness) and green cardamom for freshness. Beware of popping chilli and cloves, so keep a lid or cover handy.

Releasing the spice

 

Once they’ve cooked for a few minutes add your meat or fish or vegetables.

Chicken added to Spice

Once that’s cooked add the base sauce, then the main sauce.

The main sauce is added

If you’ve got the time, this would be great marinated in the base sauce for an hour or two to let the flavours infuse the meat/cheese/chickpeas (or if you’re brave the egg).

Then your dish is ready to serve. We topped it off with a luxury Jersey double cream, but would be equally tasty with a dollop of cashew nut paste. That said if you’ve got neither it didn’t miss an addition. There was plenty for a greedy pair like us and I have some for lunch today – bonus.

Finished curry with cream

There are eight sauces in total in the range. I’ll be buying a few more (even though the price has increased).  A meal in under ten minutes which tastes like the Indian restaurant has come to you, what’s not to love?

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