It's a big one this month with 5 entrants into the world famous staff testing...
Dan - Meat Free Magic - Egyptian Koshari
This month I thought i’d try something completely different, an Egyptian dish called Koshari. I can't say Egyptian cuisine is something I know much about but as a food lover (and someone who’s always wanted to visit the country) I thought this particular kit would be fun to attempt! (minus the washing up that is!)
Disaster struck midway through cooking when I noticed I forgot to buy vinegar for the pickled veg. I decided to wing it and substitute for water but all in all i found it went down a treat. I always love how simple the Spicery yoghurt salads taste, they seem to go with every dish and always have a different taste to them so I was really happy that this particular salad went perfectly alongside the dish.
This kit was really simple and fun to make and both myself and my girlfriend really enjoyed eating it! I’d definitely make this again!
Alice - Friday Night Curry Discoverer - Goan Pork Balchao
Often the first to be snapped up from the staff testing box I swooped in when saw that one of my favourites curries - balchao, a hot and tangy pork curry from Goa was up for grabs
The curry spreads usually amply feed 4 but I had an extra mouth to feed so delved into the Curry Legend book for a bhaji recipe to make the whole thing go a little bit further. I also tried the pancakes with gluten free flour which worked well.
Chris - Indian Restaurant Favourites - Chilli Garlic Chicken
We we're pretty stoked for this one, it includes 3 of our favourite things. Chilli. Garlic. Chicken. Great.
Prep was easy (and of course we used 8 cloves of garlic) and the double team effort on our part made short work of all the sides. Steph isn't a fan of deep frying so I was on bhaji duty. After practicing (fairly frequently) with the Curry Legend bhajis this was a breeze. Watch out for the crispy chillies, they turned a darker red after about 10 seconds and we're very close to burning! Some quick tong action saved the sprinkle. All together the meal was delicious, the relish was tangy, the raita - simple yet cooling, the curry was creamy and aromatic and the rice and bhajis were the perfect pairing. Expert pairing advice - Chilli garlic chicken with Stranger Things. Match made in heaven.
Maisie - Food Truck - Carnival Curry Patties
I love this kind of ‘hands on’ food, so I was excited to make this one.
I started prep really early, as I knew a lot of things would end up happening at once and I wanted to be prepared and not the sweaty mess I usually end up being when I don’t give myself enough time “ah, it’ll be fine”.
Turns out pretty much everything here can be made in advance, which was great! Though i’d recommend making the gravy last minute as it reduced a whole lot in the time between finishing everything and serving it all- and yet I think the gravy got the most compliments of the meal so I must have done something right there.
I had a vegetarian come round to join us so I switched up the filling and used a can of black beans rather than the mince. It was absolutely delicious and a great texture in the patties- I’ll definitely be using this as a substitute again.
I had a very proud moment when bringing these to the table as they looked so impressive with the cumin seeds sprinkled and really stuffed with spiced bean filling.
I’ve had a few trials with pastry before, so was only slightly scared of the patties going horribly wrong and falling apart. It was surprisingly really easy and fuss free- I was left with some extra dough which in hindsight I should have just made an extra patty as it would have been eaten!
The hot sauce was really hot! So we all took varying spoonfuls of it- i’m a big fan so I took a lot but we had a few runny noses around the table.
Overall a success and the most fun i’ve had making a Spicery meal, and empty plates all around!
Andrea - World Kitchen - Persian Kuku Sabzi and Kebabs
WKE Kuku Sabzi and Persian Kebabs
As well as having a snazzy name, the starter for this meal is simple and very easy to make. Simply whisk a few eggs, chuck in some herbs and walnuts, grill for a few minutes and presto! Delicious starter ready for my hungry guests (aka housemates). This allowed time for the saffron rice to steam away and create the delicious crust which thankfully no one ended up fighting for.
The main as well felt so easy to prepare that I was beginning to wonder if I really was making a Spicery meal! Until I was instructed to open the bags of spices to add in. After the starter came out from under the grill, in went the chicken kebabs and they were ready just after we finished the starter. Perfect timing!
Definitely recommend this one if you're looking for something straightforward to make with a delicious end result - would be excellent for a midweek meal to share.