This month's Kitchen Trotter box has just arrived and when I saw the destination, I was a bit ambivalent. India is undoubtedly a country whose cuisine is full of exotic flavours and colours but it's fairly well-known these days, even getting beyond the the usual Indian takeaway fayre and the popular Anglo-Indian hybrids. Would the contents of the box manage to take my tastebuds on a voyage of discovery nevertheless? Time to find out !
The first thing I found when I opened the box was this month's bonus gift - a 2017 diary full of mandalas to colour in. Both of the girls were eyeing this up but I've managed to keep it for myself so far !
On to what interested me the most though : the ingredients ! I pulled out a packet of Tandoori Dish BBQ seasoning, some pomegranate seeds and a box of masala chai.
There was also a box of Bombay biryani seasoning and mathri biscuits .
The product that I got the most enthusiastic about was this pot of Pan Masala - a mixture of sugar balls, menthol and seeds (fennel and melon seeds) which can be eaten at the end of a meal as a breath freshener or incorporated into desserts. The smell and taste took me straight back to a really good, authentic Indian restaurant that we used to go to when we lived in Brittany which always served a dish of this along with the bill (quite literally as a sweetener !). There was also a jar of minced garlic and ginger paste in the box.
Hmm it looks like we'll be eating curry then, so nothing particularly original. On to the recipe booklet.
Crispy pakoras as a starter - they look promising but I'll have to find some chickpea flour, which might be complicated.
Chicken biryani as the main dish - slightly disappointing because, not only is it a well-known dish, we also had a recipe for Chicken Biryani in the Sri Lankan Kitchen Trotter box.
The dessert is Paneer with Pan Masala - as far as I know, paneer is a type of cheese, which could be interesting to make from scratch.
The final recipe is for Coconut Milk Chai - I'm really not keen on hot drinks so I'll see if the kids fancy trying this one. If not, I'll pass the box of chai on to a work colleague who I know loves it.
Well, I'm not really expecting that much from this month's box in terms of culinary discovery, to be honest, but maybe I'll be blown away once I've made the recipes !