Looking after a constantly on the go and curious baby is hard work and there is little time for anything else. On the rare occasions she is asleep in her cot I have a choice: do something I want to do or be a good wifey and clean, cook etc. Like thousands of women out there (and a much smaller number of men) sacrificing quality time that could be spent on social media or watching tv to do domestic chores gets little recognition. That's not to say my husband doesn't notice, or even appreciate it. When I say "look I cleaned the kitchen" I get a "yes I saw, well done". But unless I point out my efforts it's likely that nothing will be said.
I guess I'm lucky. We are a messy household and the house is only in a presentable state half the time because we have a cleaner an hour a week and having a crawling baby dictates a certain level of cleanliness (and putting all mess on surfaces she can't yet reach). More successful domestic goddesses than myself who have the house constantly tidy, do washing, ironing and dinner every night are more likely to get receive recognition from their partners if they don't do something.
My cooking choices this week have been inspired by the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook (reviews of these recipes are on my to do list for my other blog) and the delivery of 2 curry sauces. I was sent the sauces to try and review and I'm glad to say they were very nice, because this would have been a struggle to write otherwise.
The first curry was Mangalore Herb Curry. This isn't a curry I've heard of before, but looking at the ingredients it is largely coriander leaves. As my husband said "it's not the nicest looking curry in the world, but it's tasty". The Spice Tailor curry packs by Anjum Anand come with a spice mix and sauce. They encourage flexibility with a suggested approach to cooking as well as alternative things to try. You can choose what meat or vegetables to add allowing you to tailor it to your taste. I made the Mangalore Herb Curry by frying the spices (including the optional chilli for extra heat) then adding sliced chicken thighs and then finally the sauce. The resulting curry was runnier than I like so I cooked it longer than stated to thicken it up. The end result was a mildly spicy, interesting tasting and delicious curry.
The second curry I was sent was the much more recognisable tikka masala. This curry has a spice mix, and 2 sauces. It says that you can use one of the sauces to marinade your meat then grill it for an added flavour, so I did. I used chicken thighs on the bone (because that's what I had in the freezer). The grilled marinated chicken was delicious and I could have stopped there, but I cut it off the bone and added the chicken to the fried spices and the other sauce. The end result was a very tasty and recognisable chicken tikka masala.
By having fresh spices that are fried before adding sauce it adds a depth of flavour that you don't always get with shop bought curry sauces or pastes. I love that there are suggestions of different ways to cook each dish eg different meats (or vegetables), slow cooking, marinating etc. It makes you feel that you are being brilliantly domesticated yet you can make an appetising meal in less that 15 minutes (including preparation and rice cooking time). Handy for a mum with so little free time. I will definitely be trying some others in the range.
The curry kits are £2.89 rrp and are available from Waitrose or the Spice Tailor website
More information is available on the website: http://www.thespicetailor.com/