Saturday night is more often than night curry night in our house. We draw the curtains, light the fire, choose a film or some Saturday night TV, and snuggle down. My husband has something like a Madras and some pilau rice, whilst I have a daal, onion bhajis and a Peshwari Naan. We rarely deviate from this tried and tested formula, but recently (duh duh duhhhhh!) the kids have been staying up and having it with us. They are at that age now where we can’t fob them off with a seven o’clock bed time because one is nearly 11 and the other is 8. Our time together as a couple has shrunk but actually, Saturday night curry is starting to be a wonderful family routine. We started the girls on pappadums (aka giant crisps), before progressing to Naan bread and then chicken tikka. They have yet to embrace my tarka daal or even a bhaji, but I actually caught my eldest eating cold curry from the fridge the other day, and whilst mildly annoyed she was tucking into my leftovers, I also thought she had all the hallmarks of becoming a fine McDonald.
We have experimented with our local takeaways but on a recent dash around Centerparc’s supermarket I grabbed some Cook frozen curries, out of desperation really. I had low expectations, but was confounded and the frozen food chain (they deliver and have fairly good animal welfare credentials) has bumped my local takeaway Peppers off the top spot. The Chicken Korma and Beef Madras felt fresh and just spicy enough and most importantly they didn’t have that greasy film some curries have over them, the rice cooked well with no clumps or crustiness and even the Naan bread got the thumbs up from the kids. One minor tragedy is that they don’t do pappadums and I thought I would miss them more than I did, but it turns out I didn’t. They cost about the same as a takeaway and need about 50m in the oven. So for the immediate future, instead of rustling up a curry from scratch (check out Uncle Tristan’s here and in our cookbook) or reaching for the phone, these days I have a freezer full. Practically curry on tap.
PS I promise this is not a sponsored post. Just genuine enthusiasm!