Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Spice Tailor (by invitation) by Bureaucrat

The Eat and Be Merry Crew was contacted by The Spice Tailor to try out their sauce kits.  You may have already seen the bright, colourful packets in the shops already.

The range was created by celebrity British Indian chef and author, Anjum Anand, who’s wants to give home cooks an authentic Indian cuisine experience.  I was given a trio of sauces to try out and I enlisted Mr S and Mr X to help me. 

Each packet has three pouches – the spices, a base sauce and the main sauce.

With my packet of tikka masala, I decided to make it with turkey mince.  While the packet calls for you to use 250 grams of meat, I decided to upscale it and used 500 grams of turkey mince, some fresh breadcrumbs and garlic powder, to make a batch of small meatballs. 

After searing them in the pan, I then followed the instructions by frying off the spices (I ground the spices so that there wouldn't be whole spices in the sauce) in the pan in oil – the instant hit of aroma coming the spice was incredible.  I also added some chopped onions because I love them in my curries.  I then placed the meatballs back in the pan with the base sauce and simmered it for a few minutes.  I then added the main sauce and cooked it until the meatballs were done.

I loved the unctuous sauce, which had a heap of tomatoes, garlic and ginger flavour. Even with the optional red chilli, the curry was mild.  I took the meatballs to a picnic and everyone loved the flavor and they couldn’t believe that this came from a packet. 

Mr X tried the korma curry and made it with chicken. He liked how the curry had a lot of different flavours all in one.  This was a richer textured curry with cream, nuts, dried fruit and saffron.  He particularly really liked the sauce - the spices, the coconut and the other nutty and creamy flavours.  Mr X recommends to eat the curry fresh as the curry seemed to lose some flavor when he reheated it the next day in the microwave for his lunch. 

Mr S got to try the Mangalore herb curry with his family.  Mangalore herb curry has a fresh and fragrant taste of coriander and mint and a hint of coconut.  Mr S also made it with chicken and added some extra vegs.  With three small kids, Mr S thought the curry was simple and quick to prepare – which is great when you are short of time.

What I really loved was that the flavours were truly aromatic and strong.  There’s lots of depth to the flavor – you definitely can’t get that in a typical jar or packet of sauce – this was something we all agreed on.  And more than anything, I loved the fact that there is absolutely nothing artificial (no additives, preservatives or colourings) in the ingredients – if you look at the ingredients list, everything was just herbs and spices – which is quite a rarity these days.

There's eight types of curry to choose from.  All the ones we tried were mild in chilli/heat as I'm bit of a chilli wimp.  The sauces are quick and easy to use and you have the flexibility of customizing the dish by adding the chilli - the packet also comes with other recipe suggestions for the sauce.  If you want an easy but special home cooked meal, definitely try The Spice Tailor sauces.

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