As many of you may have seen, I attended a Tastesmiths event last week, where we were given a lesson in cooking with fresh ingredients, using the Tastesmiths kits. You can read my full write-up here.
At the event, we were given the choice of trying out the Madras or Korma, and my cooking partner and I went for the Madras. I was allowed to take a kit with me to try at home, so I thought I’d give the Korma a go this time. Korma is one of my favourite curries, simply because I love the flavour. But I’m always a bit embarrassed to order it when out at a restaurant with friends, as it feels a bit like the ‘wimp’ option. What I loved about the Tastesmiths kit, is that you could make any curry as spicy as you want – including Korma! It’s the solution I’ve been looking for all this time!
On Sunday evening, Tim and I used the kit for dinner – it was really fun to cook together, as we each had our own ‘responsibilities’. You just need to add an onion and two tomatoes to the kit. You can add other vegetables if you’d like to, to bulk it up. When I took this photo, we were planning to use potatoes, but ended up swapping these for chickpeas. Unfortunately I wasn’t near a butcher over the weekend, so I just had to make do with chicken from the local co-op:
This is the recipe, as taken from the kit:
Mild – Use one whole green chilli pierced once with a sharp knife. Remove at end of cooking.
Medium – Cut the chillies in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds and chop.
Hot – For some real heat, just halve or slice the chillies, seeds and all! (We went for this option with the Korma).
1. Wash, dry and prepare the chillies as above.
2. Peel and grate the ginger and garlic (I used the back of a spoon to grate the ginger, a handy tip recommended by Tastesmiths, which works really well)
3. Peel and finely chop the onion.
4. If using fresh tomatoes, chop them finely (we decided to use fresh tomatoes, but you can also use a tin of chopped tomatoes or passata).
5. Unwrap and grate the block of coconut.
6. Cut the chicken (or veg – we went for chicken) into bite sized chunks and drain the chickpeas.
1. In a large pan, heat 1-2 tblsp of oil
2. Add Spice Pack 1, stir and then add the curry leaves.
3. Add the chopped onion with the heat still high and stir until coated in oil.
4. Put the lid on and turn the heat to low. Leave to cook for up to 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions have softened.
5. Remove the lid and carry on cooking until the onions become soft and light golden brown.
6. Turn the heat up and add the prepared ginger, garlic and chilli if you’re making it medium or hot and cook for a minute.
7. Add Spice Pack 2 and stir thoroughly. Add a splash of water if you think anything might burn.
8. Add the tomatoes along with half tsp salt and bring to the boil.
9. Turn the heat down sand cook for 5 minutes until it starts to look glossy.
10. Add prepared chicken and chickpeas and stir well. Stir in 100ml of water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer with the lid not quite on for 10 minutes.
11. Add the grated coconut and stir well. Stir in the 3rd packet (ground almonds) and bring back to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for another 10 minutes.
12. Stir in 2-3 tblsp of yoghurt.
And you’re done!
We also served yoghurt alongside the curry. I have my own recipe that I use for this, which is a bit like a Tzatziki (which I used to live on at home!) You’ll need the following ingredients, and just mix them together. This is what it should look like before it’s mixed together.
– 1 small pot of low fat greek yoghurt
– 5 fairly thick slices of cucumber, chopped down into very small pieces.
– 1 tsp olive oil
– 1 garlic clove, crushed finely
– A couple of squeezes of a fresh lemon
– Salt and Pepper, to taste
We served up our curry (the kit says it makes enough for 2-3 – we definitely had enough for 3 people) with naan bread (again, shop bought unfortunately – if we had guests round, I would make the whole meal from scratch, but it did the job for just us) brown rice and the yoghurt.
The yoghurt was definitely needed – it was pretty spicy! It had a fantastic taste and heat, but the next time I think I would go for the medium heat.
I really can’t stress how useful these kits are – I’ve been telling everyone I know about them, and my mum and the in-laws are now keen to try them out, so we’ll be taking some kits up to Yorkshire, when we go up there to visit in a couple of weeks!
Update: May 2015: Tastesmiths have now introduced a ‘regular order’ feature on their website, where you can have 4 kits sent to you on a monthly, fortnightly or weekly basis, at £11.50 for 4 kits. It’s great value and so handy – you’ll never have to go to the shops to get your curry ingredients again!