Regular readers of my blog will know that I'm a fan of the Spice Kits created by Diane Prince. Since I blogged about the first kit I tried (Andhra Chilli Chicken), I've had the opportunity to try quite a few more of the kits, so wanted to give some of those tried a mention! I've not listed everyone that I've tried, but in general, they have all been brilliant. The instructions on the pack are always clear and easy to follow (although I do confess that sometimes I tweak them a little to suit my tastes and what's in the fridge - plus I rarely ever follow a recipe in its entirety!). The results are always delicious.
Cochifrito - I'd never heard of this before seeing Diane's list of kits, but it was described as a Spanish smoked lamb casserole, so I thought I would try it. This is now one of my absolute favourite dinners. It's a delicious stew, that tastes really rich and smokey. I've served it with both mash and pasta, and found it works brilliantly with either.
Jamaican Casserole - This is a newly available kit, which I tried on Friday evening using beef. Again, this was delicious. I'm a big fan of beef stews, but tend to keep them quite British tasting normally, and use herbs such as rosemary and bay. This stew had completely different flavours, but was equally delicious, and only half a syn per serving!
Beef Madras - I'll start by saying I did this with chicken, as on the day I used it I had some chicken needing used up! However, this is one of the beauties of Diane's kits - whilst the kits may be for one type of meat, you can change this is you wish. Madras is one of my favourite curries, but something I'd never been able to get quite right before, but this kit did what it needed.
Kheema Curry - Despite being a huge curry fan, I only discovered this curry earlier this year when out at an Indian Tapas. It was very different to the curries I was used to but I really enjoyed the curried mince and wanted to try it at home. This kit gave me the opportunity to do so, and again was fantastic. It felt like there was a real depth of flavours with this one.
Chicken Biryani - This one deserves a mention simply because it is delicious both hot and cold! It's an easy one pot dish that contains chicken, veg and rice, all cooked together, which means that all the flavours combine perfectly. When I had this, I had leftovers for the next day, to which I added more salad-style items such as red onions and tomatoes, and it was amazing as a filling lunchtime cold salad.
Southern Fried Chicken - This is a must! With this kit, you get a bag full of the spice mixture but only need 1 tsp per use, so the bag will last a while. It is designed to just be sprinkled on chicken and then roasted, grilled or stir-fried. I will admit to being sceptical about this one at first - as it doesn't seem like you're adding a lot - but the flavour contained within that tiny amount is incredible. The first time I used it, I just sprinkled it over the chicken and cooked it in the oven. This was easy and very nice. The second time I used it I decided to experiment a bit more, and stir-fried it with chicken, pepper strips, chili, garlic and onions. I then added a small amount of passata to make it a southern fried sauce. This was incredible. It got some extra superfree vegetables involved, and my fiance wouldn't stop going on about how amazing the sauce was.
Given the number of kits I have now tried, I can honestly say that they have become a staple in my cupboard. They are great value and easy to use. It is also obvious the Diane has put a lot of time and effort into getting the blend of herbs and spices perfected for each kit, so that it really does feel like you're having a delicious takeaway without all the unnecessary calories and fat. If you haven't tried any of Diane's kits yet, I would urge you to give them a go! The full list of kits available can be found on the Sugar & Spice facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Sugar-and-Spice/186323524735312?sk=info