You know how some nights you are just too tired to even think of cooking and will raid the fridge to eat anything remotely edible? Well, here's a way you can avoid that
Mumbai-based company Chef's Basket recently launched a range of gourmet recipe kits that gives you an option to eat gourmet meals whenever you want. And the best part? You'd think you're making a meal from scratch. On their website they call the Recipe kit, "a complete set of premium and authentic ingredients, to prepare dishes from across the globe."
The ingredients are handpicked from their origins including Italy, Spain and Morocco and Mexico for an authentic culinary experience and an impeccable taste. Every product is 100% Natural and has NO artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.
Currently you can order it all online here.
The good people from Chef's Basket send me three recipes kits to sample - Olive and Basil Pesto in Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Creamy Tomato Penne and Thai Green Curry with Jasmine Rice.
I loved the packaging. It was pretty much leak proof and the boxes were so attractive. And when you opened them out everything was so neatly packed and labelled well. All you have to do is follow the instructions to cook a meal for two. Price between Rs 250 to Rs 350, these kits are worth a try.
I'm reviewing each product on the basis of taste, authenticity, ingredients and cooking time. So here goes
Olive and Basil Pesto in Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Box content: Whole wheat spaghetti, sea salt, cracked pepper, pesto, pine nuts and basil-seeped extra virgin olive oil
Making it: So basically, you have to boil the spaghetti with the sea salt for 10 to 12 minutes and then toss it with the basil-seeped olive oil once cooked. Then, add as much pesto as you'd like and then add the pine nuts and cracked pepper.
Taste: This dish was wayyyyy to salty. The pesto has too much salt and no matter how much I washed the pasta, it wouldn't come off. The whole wheat pasta, unlike durum wheat pasta is a lot more stodgy and so it feels like you're eating cardboard. But that's true of all whole wheat pastas so I won't fault Chef's Basket for it. Portion size wise, I think atleast 3 people could have eaten from this box (which is meant for two) so that's a win-win.
Authenticity: The salt was an overkill, making this my least favourite of the three recipe kits. The pesto needs a lot more nuts and it left a bitter aftertaste.
Thai Green Curry with Jasmine Rice
Box content: Jasmine rice, bell peppers and baby corn, green curry paste, extra virgin olive oil, kaffir lime and dried herbs, coconut powder and a cup
Making it: You measure out the water and start the rice which comes with a piece of star anise. Whilst the rice cooks you mix your coconut milk with the help of the paper cup. Then you make the curry - the curry paste, the dried herbs and the vegetables are all added into a saucepan and then add the coconut milk as per taste.
Taste: The curry paste was a little raw, and needed to be cooked out for at least another five minutes. The instructions also talk about adding additional vegetables, which is not a bad idea at all. I felt the dish needed a bit of sugar and some lemon to balance it out. But here's what I LOVED - the jasmine rice. It turned out to be most perfect sticky rice and I saved some to make a bit of mango sticky rice with a bit of leftover coconut milk.
Authenticity: The curry paste needs a little bit of work, otherwise this quite a decent rendition of the Thai curry. And ready in under 15 minutes.
Creamy Tomato in Penne
Box content: Penne pasta, olives, sea salt, creamy tomato pasta sauce, dried herd and extra virgin olive oil.
Making it: Because I was so skeptical about the salt, I boiled the penne without the sea salt. Which was a great idea, since I thought the salt could have overpowered the sauce. Once the pasta is boiled, too it in the olive oil and then mix in the pasta sauce according to taste. Add the herbs and then add the olives on top.
Taste: I really liked this pasta sauce. You could make out that it was made from good quality tomatoes. It had a nice sweetness to it. So you had to use just a bit in the pasta. The olives were a good addition too.
Authenticity: The one thing missing was some Parmesan cheese, I think with that, this would have been a perfect recipe kit. But this was definitely my favourite of the lot. Again there was a lot of food - you could easily feed three people with small appetites for a good meal.
You can go through the range of products here. And you can order your gourmet recipe kit from Amazon over here.