My whole family love curry. Not one of those poor excuses for a curry that you can get out of a jar, but a real, spicy, aromatic curry, made with fresh ginger, garlic and spices.
I've tried to cut corners before and have tried all sorts of curry powders and pastes, but none have come close to the dishes I can cook at home using individual spices, or that I can eat in the Indian restaurants in my neighbourhood.
I was intrigued when I first heard about a new range of fresh curry pastes called Bipin's Masala. They come in various Gujarati blends: Surti Masala, Jeera Masala, Methi Masala, Machi Masala, Garam Masala and a milder Royal Korma range.
"Bipin’s Masala fresh curry paste is natural, pure, fresh and contains no additives, no flavouring, no colourings and no preservatives... All natural, all fresh, 100% vegetarian, gluten free, diary free."
I was lucky enough to be sent a sample of the Surti Masala paste and couldn't wait to try it out and see if it lived up to the claim that it would enable me to cook "...the best authentic curry you've ever tasted." Well, it certainly smelt pretty good when I opened the package. It looked good too, but what would it taste like? I couldn't wait to get cooking.
I improvised a bit with my curry, as I had various vegetables which needed using up, but if you're stuck for ideas, Bipin's website has a dedicated vegetarian section with some delicious-sounding recipes.
I added a chopped onion, a diced bell pepper, some mushrooms, 2 tbsp tomato puree, half a packet of paneer and a tin of chickpeas to a pan, and stirred in the curry paste (no need for extra oil or to pre-cook any of the vegetables). I let this simmer for 20 minutes and then stirred in 100g of chopped spinach and about 100ml of coconut milk. I simmered this for a further 5 minutes and then served with fresh naan bread. While it was cooking, Miss Kahonie commented that it smelt really good "Like a take away."
So to the taste test. My whole family had positive comments about the curry, and mentioned that it tasted better than my normal home cooked curries! The kids thought it was a bit too spicy, but they polished off every morsel on their plates. Both myself and Mr O, thought it was delicious, and agreed that it was up to restaurant standard. The only criticism we had, was that it was a little on the hot side for the average British palate. However, Bipin has created a milder Royal Korma range, which would cater for those who don't like their curries too hot.
I will definitely be recommending Bipin's Masala pastes to my friends and family, and to anyone who wants to create an authentic curry at home. They are so quick and easy to use, that you could make a meal at home in the time it would take to get to the take away and back!
At the moment, Bipin's Masala can only be bought online at a cost of £10 for 3 pastes (plus p&p). Each curry paste pot serves 4+ people and is suitable for freezing.
I received 1 sample of Bipin's Surti Masala to review. I did not receive payment, and the views expressed are genuinely those of myself and my family.
Images courtesy of Bipin's Masala ©