As you can probably tell if you follow my blog regularly, I'm a bit of a schizophrenic cook, switching from quick ready meals after a long day at work to lovingly-prepared dishes cooked from scratch on my days off. Well, when the lovely Di Price from Sugar and Spice sent me a couple of her curry spice kits to review, it seemed like the perfect happy medium. She takes all the hard work out of choosing the right selection and quantities of spices, allowing you to create a delicious curry from scratch without a jar of sauce or paste in sight.
She also puts in detailed instructions on how to prepare the meal. The spices - a combination of whole spices/leaves and powdered spice - come in two separate bags which makes it really simple as you don't have to be able to recognise individual spices. I love using spices in cooking, but I always shy away from using whole spices because I never really know what to do with them and don't want to buy a large amount of a spice I may end up rarely using. These kits are therefore a great, risk-free introduction to using whole spices and are a brilliant way of discovering new exotic ingredients.
The recipe is really easy to follow - you fry some onion with the contents of spice bag 1, then when that's cooked, add the contents of the second bag, some chicken, chicken stock, stir, pop on a lid and leave it to bubble away making the kitchen smell fantastic.
Now, at this point, I went to put the kids to bed and left Madhouse Daddy Mike in charge, telling him just to keep an eye on it and turn the heat off when it started drying out. I don't think he knows what a biryani is supposed to look like though because when I came back, he proudly told me he'd added some more liquid because the rice had started sticking. The finished dish is therefore much too liquid and looks nothing like a biryani but it tasted absolutely divine !
What I love is that it's a much healthier but equally tasty alternative to jars of shop-bought curry sauce, which are often very high in fat and calories. I hate the "oil slick" you always get when you open a jar of curry sauce. Takeaway food is also something you have to scrap from your menu if you're trying to eat more healthily or lose weight, but with these kits, you can rustle up a totally healthy, low-fat curry. It wasn't until I went looking for Diane on twitter to tell her I'd reviewed the kit that she kindly sent me that I noticed she's changed her name on there to @HealthyMealKitz so this is obviously an important aspect that she takes into account when creating the recipes.
I can't wait to try out the Chicken Madras kit she also sent through, but if you don't like curry, there are plenty of other options available, including stew & dumplings, moussaka and chilli, so there's something to suit everyone's tastes.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £1.50
for more information : http://healthykit-tastic.blogspot.com/
or contact Di for more info : http://twitter.com/#!/Healthymealkitz
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