Anyone who knows me, will be well aware of my love for curry. I took an Indian Cookery course whilst at college many many years ago and that ignited my love of cooking with fresh spices in order to make a taste explosion.
More recently having lived and worked in India, my love of the cuisine grew, loving the authentic flavours, rather than the usual UK Curry House sauces, as for jars of ready made sauces, I just cant stand them.
As my love for authentic flavours grew, my dislike of eating them out also grew, with a few exceptions – Mowgli Street Food for one which gives great taste and authenticity.
I still very much love to cook a curry and my cupboards are full of spices – I do tend to make a generic curry however, one that I have adapted over the years, with flavours that I love. But sometimes its nice to try something different and I use a couple of Indian Cookbooks, I love ‘The Spice Tree’ – although sometimes its the little ingredients that I don’t have and substitute as I go.
So having received a Hari Ghotra Curry Kit from Tried and Tested to review, I was over the moon and it was one if the first things I opened.
I have never cooked a Madras before, this was going to be a new one. I have also never cooked with fresh tamarind, despite seeing it sold on stalls in many countries that I’ve lived in.
The best thing about the kit, is it contains all the spices that you require for each dish, measured out and packed with the other spices that you add at the same time – each pack numbered in order that you use them.
The first Pack contained some whole spices, these needed to be ground, giving the best aromas. I did gently toast mine first to bring them to life, although this wasn’t part of the instruction.
The first pack, now ground are added to the meat along with pack 2 – you can use any meat that you choose.
Putting the meat to one side, I peel and chop an onion. For this I continued testing out a Furi Knife (Also being tested for tried and tested). I love the knives that I have already and they still remain my firm favourite, but I found the Furi to be easy to use and sharp, at its price point it seemed an amazing knife and very good for everyday use in kitchens at home.
Pack 3 is then added to a hot pan with oil… the aromas coming from the popping mustard seeds is addictive.
The Chopped onions are then added and cooked until golden brown.
Whilst these cook I add pack 4 (Tamarind) to hot water, mashing it and allowing it to steep to make a tamarind water.
I finely chop fresh garlic, ginger and green chilli’s (The Furi makes easy work of this too). These are added to the onions – cooked gently and then I add a tin of tomatoes and the strained tamarind water.
After cooking this sauce through, I use a hand blender, this again is not part of the recipe, I like a smoother and slightly thicker sauce – but this is totally optional.
The meat which is marinating in Pack 1 and 2 of the Spices is now added to the base sauce and then allowed to simmer until the meat is cooked.
I served my Madras with some Basmati Pilau Rice (Cooked with Cinnamon, Cardamon and Bay) and a Paratha.
I found this kit amazingly easy to follow and use, it used fresh spices in just the right amounts, taking all guess work and mess out the equation. I loved the finished dish which was fragrant and bursting with flavour – I am definitely tempted to try other options and see if they are as good.
Hari Ghotra curry kits and other spices are available on amazon here
Hari also has her own app available on I-tunes or Google Play
Furi Knives can also be found on amazon here
Both the Furi Knife and Hari Ghotra kit were sent to me by Tried and Tested UK to try and review – all comments and thoughts are my own and are my honest opinion of the products.