Curry. Curry curry curry. Curry curry. Curry. I like curry. In fact thinking about it, I don’t know many people who don’t like curry. Do you? I bet you don’t. It’s so popular that it’s even got it’s own week. Which, by any measure is utterly ridiculous. Well ridiculous and at the same time, completely and undeniably delicious. I know it’s difficult to sometimes pull yourselves away from your regular Chicken Tikka Masala on a Friday night at the Spice Shed, but if at no other time, this should have been the week to go all out and try to investigate new tastes, flavours and, dammit, maybe even a new part of the menu!
I don’t cook much on this blog, but the truth is I cook a lot. When I’m not doing reviews here, there or pretty much anywhere, I’m in the kitchen cooking for Mrs P, The Child, The Child’s Sister or in fact anyone who happens to be in the house at the time. So when Tyga asked Suburban Gent and I to try out their DIY subscription curry deal and then threw in a crate of Kingfisher to sweeten the deal, there was no way I was going to say no.
Curry in a Tyga Box
The Tyga offer is based on a box of curry spices posted through your letterbox once every month, two months or quarterly depending on how regularly you want to get yourself some homemade curry action and at £10.99 per box, there’s enough in there for two meals for four people, plus two side dishes. Given the fact that it was National Curry Week and we thought that as there was no way a ‘feeds 4’ on the instructions ever actually means that, we decided to hell with it and smashed out the whole lot, plus extra naans and pakora/samosa.
Leaving aside the critical Schoolboy error of buying these extras from Tesco rather than planning it properly and getting them from somewhere local like Safs Kitchen or the MK Samosa Company, the process of bringing the food to table was relatively unproblematic. The box contained all the information needed to follow the recipes and also included your shopping list per dish so we knew what we had to buy in addition to the contents of the box. Mine gave me step by step instructions to create a Chicken Chettinad, Lamb Dhansak, Mushroom Bhaji and some Cumin Potatoes. The recipes aren’t available on the website which might be a bit of a mistake, especially if (like me) anything happens to your recipe card. I can’t see why they shouldn’t be available as the key individual factor is the spice box itself so increasing peoples ability to cook a good curry should only encourage people to try more packs.
Lets take a closer look at that box; it looks good and contains various pots of spice blends, oil, puree and pastes all labelled up and ready to go. It’s a great size to fit perfectly through your letter box and generally professional and well considered. I say generally because there was one point that started badly and ended with me shouting various obscenities and attacking the whole thing with a sharp knife (which in retrospect is probably why both Mrs P and Suburban Gent didn’t offer to get more involved in the cooking). That small issue was the pots themselves – firstly the garlic oil split in transit and when it arrived I had a very pungent box with oil tide marks all over the paperwork. And secondly, every single pot I tried to open refused to do so, and left me with little bits of thin plastic wrap everywhere, hence the knife.
But having successfully worked out the frustration of my week we moved onwards to the cooking itself and its true to say that the flavours were really good and for a first effort, the whole thing turned out pretty well. In all fairness there were a couple of errors, such as the Dhansak not being reduced enough and dumping too much chilli in the mushrooms but these were more due to the fact that I was cooking with unfamiliar recipes/ingredients and down to me rather than the instructions provided. The flavours were powerful, deep and easily achieved which is a hard won achievement considering the competition of all the hundreds of ready made curry sauces and pastes available in your local supermarket. And yes, one point to note is that one recipe plus sides really does feed 4 people because we had tonnes of leftovers.
Can Tyga replace your takeaway?
So let’s summarise; the blog is going through a few of these subscription food packs at the moment and Tyga absolutely deserves it’s place. Being able to make a half decent curry that isn’t out of a jar has previously been the reserve of the types of organic Alpaca milk drinking, foodie friends who tuts at anyone who doesn’t buy fairtrade single estate 90% chocolate and who probably own a Joseph Joseph flavour infusing spoon. But no more, now you can take the fight to them and make yourself a bang-up dinner in the process. At £5.50 per meal for 4, it’s pretty good value even when considering you have to add all the other ingredients too, although that can push the price up if you’re not careful. Plus the delivery options are surprisingly flexible so replacing your regular takeaway once a month with something that isn’t going to increase your cholesterol level by a factor of 10 and improves your cooking skills at the same time can only be a good thing.
To be honest, I think that unless you are already a curry making master, the first one you try probably won’t be amazing, but with a couple of these under your belt, you’ll be smashing out some serious flavour. Just do me a favour and stay clear of the ready made supermarket ‘party ready Indian snack selection’, because you will only end up regretting it all evening.