Curry Flavour with Spice Drops® this Curry Week
The 20th National Curry Week runs from 9 -15 October, celebrating over 200 years of Indian Restaurants in the UK. But while Indian cuisine remains the nation’s most popular style of cooking with two thirds of all takeaways in the UK being Indian food, in a more health conscious society, healthier versions of our favourite dishes are being sought.
We’ve cooked up a classic Indian restaurant meal using fresh ingredients and Spice Drops®, a range of highly concentrated natural extracts of herbs, spices, fruits and flowers for flavouring. Made in Kerala from largely local, natural ingredients with no artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives and no added salt or sugar, they provide intense, authentic taste and aroma to any dish with just a couple of drops. The extraction process, which has been perfected over 20 years, also ensures the natural goodness of the raw or fresh ingredient is retained. The Spice Drops® are dispensed using a dropper incorporated into the 5ml bottle so they can be used quickly, accurately and with no need to chop, grind, grate or peel the fresh ingredient, so you have consistent, delicious results every time.
Chefs, Cyrus Todiwala and Atul Kochhar are fans while Vivek Singh, Executive Chef and CEO of The Cinnamon Club said: “We use Spice Drops® in some of our food and drink recipes. We find them to be of the highest quality; extremely easy to use and the flavour is completely authentic - just as if using raw ingredients."
Enjoy this restaurant quality meal in your own home:
Paneer Love Bites
Paneer is the vegetarian option for barbecued meat style dishes and works well with spice. This recipe is a northern Indian preparation which is generally prepared in a clay oven but comes out just as tasty under the grill. These tasty morsels make a great starter.
Total Prep Time: 10 mins
For the marinade:
200g coriander leaves, washed and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp ginger puree
4 green chillies, coarsely chopped
4 drops Fennel Spice Drops®
2 drops tbsp natural yogurt
1 tbsp gram flour (besan)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
500g paneer, cut into cubes
2 red onions, cut into pieces
2 tbsp butter, melted
- For the marinade, put all the ingredients in a blender and grind until smooth.
- Place the marinade in the bowl and mix well. Add the paneer pieces and mix thoroughly.
- Cover and put in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Thread the skewers with the paneer. Brush the tikkas with butter and place under a grill for 6 to 7 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve with the chopped red onion and a mint chutney.
Quick Chicken Masala
Data shows that one in seven curries sold in the UK is a chicken tikka masala making it the UK’s most popular Indian dish. Try this quick Chicken Masala instead for a healthier alternative. This recipe also tastes great using fish.
Total Prep Time: 30 mins
3 tbsps. sunflower or olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 – 3 chicken breast fillets, skinned and chopped into bite size pieces
2 tbsps. tomato puree,
¼ tbsp. sea salt
3 drops Turmeric Spice Drops®
4 drops Coriander seed Spice Drops®
3 drops Red Chilli Spice Drops®
2 drops Cumin Spice Drops®
4 drops Garam Masala Spice Drops®
1 drop Garlic Spice Drops®
1 drop Ginger Spice Drops®
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- Heat a pan on medium heat and then add the oil.
- Put in the onion and fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken and continue to fry for 7-8 minutes until the chicken is white on the outside.
- Stir in the tomato puree and fry for another minute.
- Add 6-8 tablespoons of water. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 2 minutes more.
- Cut a piece of chicken in half to check that it’s cooked through. If not, add a little extra water and cook for a few minutes longer.
- Stir in the salt and add all the Spice Drops® and mix well together.
- Serve with hot pitta bread or plain Basmati rice and garnish with the fresh coriander leaves
Vegetable Biryani Rice
As an alternative vegetarian main try this Vegetable Biryani Rice.
Biryanis appear to be lavish affairs, however, there are simply four stages to most: cooking the base sauce, partially cooking the rice, assembling the sauce and rice in layers and then baking it.
Total Prep Time: 10 mins
400g Basmati rice
2 onions, sliced
5 tbsp butter or ghee
250 ml/1 cup natural yogurt
4 drops Cinnamon Spice Drops®
4 drops Cardamom Spice Drops®
2 drops Clove Spice Drops®
6 drops Cumin Seed Spice Drops®
1 drop Garam Masala Spice Drops®
2 drops Red Chilli Spice Drops®
500g/1lb vegetables: peas, green beans, cut into 2cm/1 in pieces, and carrots, cut into batons or a pack of frozen mixed vegetables (thawed)
8-10 cashew nuts
1/4 tsp salt
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons milk
5 drops Saffron Spice Drops®
Mint leaves, chopped
- Boil the rice in just over 675 ml/2¾ cups boiled water for 10 minutes.
- Fry the onions in the butter or ghee for 7 minutes in a saucepan till golden brown.
- Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Tip in the vegetables and cashew nuts and fry for 5 minutes.
- Leave some of the fried onions for garnish. Put the remaining onions along with the yogurt, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove, Cumin Seed, Garam Masala and Red Chilli Spice Drops® along with the salt and garlic and blend till it becomes a coarse paste. Add to the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.
- Put the milk in a bowl and add the Saffron Spice Drops®. Mix well and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease with butter or ghee, a deep oven proof casserole with a lid.
- Place a layer of vegetables on the bottom of the dish and cover it with a layer of the cooked rice and sprinkle about a teaspoon of the saffron milk on top.
- Repeat until all the ingredients have been used up ending with a layer of rice.
- Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Garnish with chopped mint leaves and extra fried onions.
- Serve hot with cucumber raita.
Peas Pulao Rice
An authentic Indian pulao rice with amazing spice aromas. A great side dish that goes with any curry.
Total Prep Time: 20 mins
200g Basmati rice
175g frozen peas
3 drops Clove Spice Drops®
2 drops CinnamonSpice Drops®
2 drops CardamomSpice Drops®
2 drops Cumin Spice Drops®
Or if you like the idea of the whole spice then you can use 1/2 tsp. of the whole spice instead
1 tsp. ghee
juice of 1/4 lime
Handful of fresh coriander leaves
salt to taste
- Rinse the rice and set aside. Put the ghee in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once hot add the cumin seeds if you prefer whole seeds.
- Once the cumin starts popping add the rice and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes. Then add the peas and 600ml of water. Pour in the lime juice (it helps to keep the rice from sticking) and add salt.
- Leave it to simmer on a medium heat, either uncovered or covered and if covered leave a gap to let the steam out. Once it starts to simmer, add all the Spice Drops®.
- Turn the heat to low and cover with a lid. Allow the rice to cook according to the time on the packet.
- Garnish with cashew nut pieces which you can first toast lightly in ghee if you like, and coriander leaves. You can replace peas with any other vegetable.
A classic side dish served in Indian restaurants up and down the country.
Total Prep time: 35 mins
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large potatoes, cut into small cubes
400 g baby spinach leaves
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
5 drops of Garlic Spice Drops®
2 drops of Cumin Seed Spice Drops®
4 drops Turmeric Spice Drops®
4 drops of Garam Masala Spice Drops
1 drop of Nutmeg Spice Drops® (optional)
4 tbsps. olive oil
salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and sauté the potatoes, on a low flame, until lightly brown. Take the potatoes out and keep them aside.
- To the remaining oil in the pan, add the onion and fry until it starts to brown.
- Add the potato and ginger and fry until the potato starts to soften.
- If you are not using a non-stick pan, you may need to add 1/4 cup water and cover to keep the potato from sticking and to help them cook.
- Add the spinach and cook covered for 3 minutes.
- Add in all the Spice Drops® and salt and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Serve hot with Pulao rice or naan bread.
Vermicelli Kheer (Vermicelli Pudding)
This is a traditional Indian pudding made at most special occasions and festivals in India. The saffron, cardamom and nutmeg gives it a beautiful flavour and will remind you of India.
Total Prep Time: 45 mins
2 -3 nests of rice vermicelli noodles broken into small pieces
1 litre of semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp. ghee or unsalted butter
1/2 tin sweetened condensed milk
6 drops Cardamom Spice Drops®
4 drops Saffron milk masala Spice Drops®
Almond flakes for garnishing
- Heat the ghee in a non-stick pan on medium heat. Add the broken vermicelli and sauté till it turns golden brown.
- Pour in the milk and cook the vermicelli, stirring continuously until the milk starts to boil. Reduce the heat.
- Once the vermicelli becomes soft add the condensed milk and cook on low heat for 10 minutes, continuously stirring the mixture.
- Turn off the heat and add the Spice Drops®. Mix well and serve warm.
- If the kheer seems too thick add a bit of milk. Garnish with almond flakes.
A sumptuous spice-filled feast fit for National Curry Week; the perfect restaurant quality meal for all curry lovers to enjoy at home. For these and other mouth-watering recipes visit www.holylama.co.uk
Spice Drops® can be bought online at Amazon, Ocado, Not on the High Street and at www.holylama.co.uk and in store in selected Sainsbury’s and Whole Food Markets for around £4 (except saffron).
If you’re thinking of joining the Veganuary movement this year but are worried by rumours that vegan food can be bland, Holy Lama Spice Drops are here to allay that fear; these aromatic natural drops add instant, intense flavour to any recipe, simultaneously removing the need for heavy salty seasoning.Read now