This was good curry. In fact, it was great curry - and it's not only myself who thought so - good foodie friends ate this with me and we all agreed it was pretty awesome. I congratulate myself on excellent onion and chicken chopping skills, perfect yoghurt stirring skills and my ability to firmly press down the lid of a tupperware box but other than that, all the glory goes to Anandas Gourmet.
The pack comes with a shopping list and fold out cooking instructions. I did make one slight change - switching chicken breast for skinless and boneless chicken thighs instead. I find them have more flavour and don't dry out so much. My one piece of advice - read the instructions before you cook - there are some length marinade times in here so you need to know you've got time to really perfect all the elements!
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 450g chicken (the pack suggests breast meat but I used boneless, skinless thighs)
- 220ml tinned tomatoes (I used a full tin, then reduced the water/ milk quantity slightly)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 lemon or lime
- 3cm piece of ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 50g salted butter
- 150ml natural yoghurt
- 125ml milk
The spice pack contains 3 spice packs which are added at certain stages in the cooking process.
- Spice Pack 1: chilli & salt
- Spice Pack 2: whole spices
- Spice Pack 3: ground masala mix
The Chicken Marinade:
- Mix the chicken with pack 1 and the juice of half a lime. If time allows, leave in the fridge for an hour.
- Next coat the chicken with pack 2 along with yoghurt, 2 tbsp of oil, grated ginger and garlic and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or even overnight if you're able to!
- Preheat the oven to 200c or gas mark 7.
- Place the chicken on a foil lined roasting pan and roast in the oven for 15-20 mins or until slightly charred. I found it took a little longer than this to get the charring effect - because I was using thigh meat, this was fine as it doesn't dry out as quickly as breast meat. Once done, keep to one side.
- Grate or finely chop the onion and keep aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil with the butter in a frying pan or thick bottomed saucepan (something with a lid). Add the onion and fry for 5 mins on a medium heat, stirring to avoid sticking. Again, I cooked the onions for slightly longer than this as I love to really cook them down so that they're really soft.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add pack 3 and 200ml water, 125ml milk and the chicken plus any cooking juices left in the pan. Again, I tweaked this, I used a whole tin of toms and reduced the water down to 100ml to compensate for the additional tomato liquid.
- Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes on a low heat.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with steamed rice and naan breads.
If I had one criticism - and this is nit picking - the dish was a little salty. I am a salt monster so I didn't mind but I can imagine some people may find it too much for them. Otherwise - simple and easy to follow instructions and a deliciously authentic tasting curry. For £3.50 this spice pack was a bargain! Ananda is originally from Hyderabad in Southern India but now lives and cooks from Stockton on Tees! If you live in that area, she also sells complete meal kits (which include the meat and vegetables). How cool is that?
*Anandas Gourmet sent me two spice packs to try free of charge but as always, all opinions are my own*