I stumbled across this place on the world wide web, that did Curry packs. As it happens, co-incidentally, it is based in my home town of Carlisle - not that that makes a difference as they sell online :)
Anyway, after searching through their website for more details as to what a pack contains, I have to say I was a little confused. I mean, what do you actually get? The bumph states....
In your curry kit, you will receive a number of spice packs that are individually packed to suit your chosen curry, saving you the cost of purchasing the many spices required which often end up unused taking up valuable kitchen storage space.
Clear? Hmmmmm, so presumably just spices?
But on browsing through the curries on offer, the vegetarian ones were quite a bit cheaper, so did that mean the meat ones actually contained meat? Surely not - not for that price. And if they don't contain meat, why called it a 'Chicken Tikka Massala', or a 'Lamb Rogan Josh'? As I said, I was a little confused.
Added to that, none of them actually state that they are suitable for vegetarians, so I wasn't going to take the risk and order one with a meaty name - just in case.
I decided to plump for the "Freedom Curry" - sounds unusual, not one I have heard off before.
It arrived like this.....
Cute packaging, nice quality paper bag with a sticker. Inside was the recipe and 3 bags of ingredients. 2 bags of spices, obviously ready mixed for the recipe and the third was a bag of salt!
Now, I couldn't make the recipe as given as I was short on ingredients, yet craving curry (see what I did there?) So I thought what I would do was to use half of each bag bashing up a quick tasty tea, and leave the rest for when I can do it properly.
I fried off some mushrooms and added the Spice mix in bag 1. Wonderful smells wafted through my kitchen.
Chucked in some spinach and a small tin of chopped tomatoes and Spice bag 2 with some of Spice bag 3 (salt)
Cooked it until it reduced a bit.
And served it on a Stuffed Paratha which I got from HDM Spice Shop in Carlisle.
Right then, conclusions.
Beautiful curry, a real good kick to it, you can add yoghurt to make it milder though.
Easy to follow recipe, gorgeous smells right through the house. Would certainly make an impressive meal if having visitors over for dinner.
Price wise, not great for me, but that's because I have an extensive spice rack of my own already. Some of the spices are quite expensive to purchase now, you can pay quite a bit even for one spice, so if you do not make curries often enough to keep your spices up to date and fresh, this could be the way to go.
Plenty of spices in the pack, generous amounts.
Still confused about the meat options being dearer than the veggie ones though, perhaps I could invite someone from Craving Curries to clear that up for us? I am presuming different, more expensive spices, but clarification would be great.
Also, clearer labelling on the website would be good - marking the 'meat' labelled dishes as "suitable for vegetarians", would help a lot ;)
When I have made the proper version, I will be back to tell you all about it :)
In the meantime, if you fancy having a go yourself, you can find the website HERE.