“There are three things, and three things only, that can lift the pain of mortality and ease the ravages of life,” said Spider. “These things are wine, women and song"...
"Curry’s nice too" pointed out Fat Charlie” (Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys)
We rarely have "proper" takeaways, as I prefer to cook our meals myself. But I do love my culinary shortcuts, especially on a week day. Grinding my own spices for a curry night might be very gratifying if you have lots of spare time. If you're a busy parent, a jar of a sauce or a packet will do nicely, especially if a recipe mix comes from such experts as Schwartz. I have reviewed Schwartz products many times on my blog (if you fancy reading any of my older reviews, just click on the label Schwartz on the left), and was pleased to extend my cooking repertoire with a new Schwartz Authentic Indian Recipe Mix Range.
Available in four rich and aromatic flavours, this range will appeal to curry lovers. Each recipe mix packet allows you to have a cooked meal in 25-30 minutes, and has 4 servings.
We have tried three out of four flavours: Korma, Balti and Biryani.
Korma is my favourite curry, and this was the first dish I have prepared, using a Schwartz Authentic Indian Mix Range. This is the mildest curry from the range. A 222g serving made according to the recipe printed on the packet, contains 223kcal (which was a surprise for me, as I expected a korma to have more calories).
This recipe mix is ideal with chicken or prawns. It so happened that all the curries I cooked with this range were with chicken. Korma is a creamy and mildly-spiced dish, made with coconut, cardamom and cumin. Looking at the list of ingredients, it includes sugar, onion powder, salt, cumin, garlic powder, ground coriander seed, chilli powder, ground ginger, cream powder, coconut milk powder, ground cinnamon, cardamom, paprika, turmeric etc.
I followed the recipe suggested on the packet. The list of ingredients is pretty short, you need 1tbsp of oil, 1 onion, finely chopped, about 450g diced boneless chicken and 300ml semi-skimmed milk. The milk keeps the sauce rather light, but of course, you can add some single cream for a richer version. I have also added a carrot to bulk up the curry and a handful of ground and flaked almonds. I served it with rice and a bit of chopped spring onions. It was a tasty korma, which both my husband and I enjoyed (my young men don't eat curries).
Balti is a medium-heat recipe mix. Ingredients include ground coriander seed, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar and salt, black onion seed, ground ginger, ground fenugreek, dried crushed chillies, ground cinnamon, turmeric, coriander leaf, rapeseed oil etc.
The recipe on the packet asks for oil, onion, chicken, tomato puree and a tin of chopped tomatoes, plus a sweet pepper. The Balti looked very colourful and bright. I found it a bit too spicy (and so did my husband). For those curry lovers who love to breathe fire, that might be not hot enough, but we are weaklings when it comes to hot spicy food.
Biryani is another medium hot curry from the range. This curry is bursting with flavours, and would work with both chicken or lamb. You will need an onion, butter, chicken, tinned chopped tomatoes and frozen peas. The main ingredients in this mix are dried onion, salt, ground coriander seed, ground cumin, brown mustard seed, ginger, dried garlic, ground fennel seed, bay leaves, turmeric, black pepper, dried crushed chillies, cinnamon and more.
From these three lovely curries Korma was our favourite, but all of them taste authentic. And if you make your own Indian "takeaway", it will definitely be less expensive, plus you will know what goes in your curry.
All of these spice mix flavours contain no hydrogenated fat, artificial colours or flavourings, added preservatives or MSG.
Disclosure: I received a selection of Schwartz products for the purposes of testing and reviewing. All opinions are mine.