I discovered these sauces a year ago at a London food festival, and I was really impressed with the quality and taste of the product. Normally, I find Indian cook-in sauces to be bland (and mild) or lacking in fresh ingredients with complimentary and authentic spices. These sauces impressed me because of the nice blend of spices and flavour (while keeping the ingredients fresh and natural). They are also quick and easy to cook with, with very little clean-up. This means that I don't have to do all of the work preparing the sauces, and I can eat a tasty and flavoursome curry in about thirty minutes.
"Rustic Indian" includes four different curry flavours made with traditional Indian recipes, which I have photographed below: Shahi (the most mild of the sauces), Fiery Mirchi (the most spicy of the sauces), Jeera (mild to spicy sauce), and Tharka (mild to spicy sace). Each sauce is its own unique blend of spices and ranges from very mild to spicy. Each cook-in sauce can be used to create a vegetarian or meat meal, depending on your preferences.
The backs of the packaging contain recipe ideas, and the front gives an indication of what types of meat or vegetable goes well with the sauce. The sauces are gluten-free, use natural ingredients, and can serve up to four (though I personally found them to be the perfect size for two).
In today's blog entry, I will showcase two of these cook-in curry sauces: Shahi and Jeera. According to the packaging, "Shahi" means 'royal'. The curry is a mild one and has a delicious flavour. For this curry, I used chicken (as it is the only meat I eat) and petit pois (small peas).
I prepared some chicken, which I diced into small cubes. I also put about half of a cup full of peas over to the side to mix into the curry. In addition, I decided to make my Indian rice recipe to go with the curry.
From top: the Shahi curry sauce, diced chicken, spices for the rice, and the opened packet of the cook-in curry sauce.
If you wish to have the Indian rice with your curry, you can make this quite easily too. I simply use the following spices: cinnamon stick, a few cloves, a couple of bay leaves, mace, a few green cardamon pods, and a black cardamon pod. I heat some walnut oil in a frying pan and place the spices in the oil for about a minute so that the spices are released. I then pour in some grains of white rice (I normally use just over 1/4th of a coffee cup of rice for two) and make sure that each grain is coated in the oil. I keep the spices in the pan. I add water and let this simmer with a lid on top for around twelve minutes. (I do keep testing the rice to see if it is cooked but not too cooked. I like my rice with a little 'bite' to it.)
The Indian rice is cooking with the spices.
When the rice has finished, simply remove the rice from the heat. Then, remove the spices from the rice and put the rice to the side while the curry finishes cooking. (Make sure you do not let this get too cold.)
The bowl of Indian rice.
To use the cook-in curry sauce, simply add the chicken and sauce together into a frying pan or wok. Mix this up and add the peas. Let this simmer and place a lid on top. The cook-in sauce makes the chicken very tender and delicious. Keep checking that the sauce does not overcook. Water can be added at any time if you feel that the sauce is getting too thick. However, by simmering it with a lid on, it should not 'dry out' as much.
The chicken and peas are mixed with the "Rustic Indian" cook-in curry sauce.
Make sure that the curry is not over-cooked, and test that the chicken is thoroughly cooked and not pink inside. The package indicates that about thirty minutes is roughly the time it takes to cook when simmering. Keep an eye on this and make sure that the sauce doesn't over-cook, especially if you're simmering with a lid on the pan.
The curry looks and smells delicious, and it's nearly ready to remove from the heat.
Once the curry has finished and the chicken is cooked, remove from the heat. On slightly-heated or warmed plates, add the rice and curry. In the photograph below, this was one of two equal portioned servings. Doesn't it look delicious?
Serve up the curry and rice.
The Shahi curry has a wonderful blend of spices using a tomato base. I loved the delicious flavour of this curry, and the "Rustic Indian" cook-in sauce was so easy to prepare. It also did not take long to clean up the plates, wok, and spatula that I used. The cook-in sauce is perfect for busy people who lack the time to prepare delicious curries.
The second curry I will write about is the Jeera curry, which means "cumin". I've included the packaging photograph below. According to the packaging, the curry is mild but perhaps not quite as mild as the Shahi curry that I cooked above. I personally thought it was more mild than the Shahi cook-in sauce.
The Jeera cook-in sauce awaits.
For the Jeera curry, I cooked with chicken. I took a very yummy-looking photograph of the curry while it was cooking.
The Jeera curry cooks with chicken.
For this curry, I also served rice and a couple of Indian 'starters' (from one of the supermarket chains) with the meal. The below photograph shows one of two plates that made the meal.
Jeera chicken curry with rice and starters.
The Jeera was also delicious, although I preferred the Shahi cook-in sauce when comparing these two. I still have the other two cook-in curry sauces to discuss, so keep checking back for another blog entry.
Have you ever had or tried the "Rustic Indian" (formerly "Heavenly Curry") cook-in fresh curry sauces? Let me know what you think by leaving me a message.