We like Rafi’s Spice Box a lot. Aside from being a great place to get fresh spices and ingredients their curry kits are superb, for only a few pounds giving you a personalised spice mix that takes minimal effort (and indeed skill) to turn into a cracker of a curry. Us Brit’s can be a funny bunch about Indian food in summer though, assuming that it’s all as over spiced and heavy as our anglicised version taught us in younger life. In their latest attack on those preconceptions Rafi’s are selling a ‘Summer of Spice’ pack comprising nine foodie treats and a branded frisbee to help work up an appetite. When Rafi’s offered us one to test drive it looked like a great excuse to gather up a few of the YoaF gang on a Friday night and get cooking.
By the time the gang arrived I’d made sure that all the required ingredients were available along with a suitable selection of cold beers to liven up the cooking process as we tucked into the spicy crisps and started prepping. I’ve got to admit at this point to a bit of dictatorship coming out as I employed Des as my sous chef and started issuing forth commands to get the Tandori Masala chicken marinading and tomatoes prepped for roasting with chilli flakes. Next up was grating a fair bit of carrot for the salad with freshly squeezed lemon then readying the kebab masala mix with lamb mince. So far so good as Des continued to tolerate my ‘suggestions’, we didn’t make any timing mistakes and the instructions were producing accurate results. Encouraged, we moved on to getting the Bombay potatoes ready without even over boiling the potatoes before combining them with some tomatoes and the spice mix.
Thankfully now free of chopping, weighing, boiling and mixing, Des was released to actually enjoy himself while I put finishing touches on and had a bit of a tidy before settling down with the team as we waited for our feast to cook and kept an eye on the three YoaF felines resident at this house who were, oddly, very interested in the chicken earlier spotted.
After not much longer the food was all ready to go and had taken impressively little faffing so I handed plating up duties to the gang and retired to admire the results. It hadn’t taken much skill to prepare all this and the results were absolutely successful. The chicken was moist and well flavoured and and the masala kebab meat bound neatly into patties to serve with fresh coriander. The lemon sharpened grated carrot deliciously sharp and the juicy tomato spiked through with the dried chilli. My personal favourite was the bombay potato. Well balanced spice and tomato really brought the potatoes to life and made them beautifully moreish.
With chapatis and a delicious chilli sauce, featuring a reassuringly tiny ingredient list, there’s plenty in this pack to keep you going and create a lovely evening. The kit is only £11 too and, thanks to contributions from the team adding to the table, gave some lovely leftovers too. This decidedly enigmatic British summer isn’t cooperating for extended periods at the moment but that’s no excuse to get cooking!