Friday, September 25, 2009

Curry in a box, for the box

Generous screenings of Masterchef: The Professionals mean there is barely time to cobble dinner together in time to throw it at Gregg 'pudding face' Wallace and his nonsensical talk of citrus lemon and deep rhubarb.

Nonetheless, we persevere.

This week's duff-looking curry comes courtesy of Michelle Hart, a Manchester PR who persuaded Danny Moore of Intafood to send me something nice in the post. Now, freebies or no freebies, H'n'H does not endorse rubbish names, and Intafood is most definitely one of those. But they have had a good idea which is especially useful if you live in the land that integration forgot. Away from the urban whirl, we're no more likely to be able to score lime leaves than a bag of brown, so Intafood's Thai green curry recipe pack (£2.99 inc postage) is a marvel.

You get a pack of little sachets containing green curry paste, fish sauce, palm sugar, Thai holy basil and lime leaves, and a shopping list for bits like coconut milk, aubergine and whatever protein you fancy. Follow the instructions on the back, adding the contents to the pan in order, and you end up with a curry that has the correct tangy whiff of fish sauce, lime and unswept streets which Tim recognises from past Thai holidays.

The greens won't like it – there are too many bits of plastic – but we did, especially because, unlike a lot of off-the-shelf curry action, it has a bit of poke to it. The Inta dudes also do packs for teriyaki, Sechuan and other dishes, and they all include at least one ingredient that's hard to find. It's a business plan with a natural end, of course – it wasn't too long ago that coconut milk was a mystery to most supermarkets, and baby, just look at us now – but for the moment, it's not a bad idea.

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