The festive season is upon us, and being made a little spicier thanks to The Spice Tailor!
One thing that we can all look forward to at this time of the year is excellent meals paired with excellent mates. As an Irish person living in Australia, I still haven’t gotten used to the whole “hot summer” thing. Growing up, this time of the year meant hot chocolate, pine trees, frost, and Christmas ham. However, being an immigrant to this country gives me a lot of freedom to experiment with how this time of the year is celebrated. So why not mix it up? It seems I was manifesting festive customisation as an opportunity came into The Plus One’s inbox to try traditional Christmas meals, with an Indian twist. I love Indian food so was happy to give it a go.
This year The Spice Tailor is mixing it up in their recipe options, creating a mash-up of “traditional” Christmas fare and Indian cuisine. On their website, you can peruse a lot of fun and easy-to-accomplish recipes this festive season, like A Christmas Spiced Turkey” (made with butter chicken sauce), Glazed ham with Fiery Goan sauce, and BBQ prawns with Malabar paste – a nice nod to traditional Australian Christmas food! Seeing as my partner and I are mostly vegetarian these days we didn’t have any meat on hand when the recipes and sauces arrived so we opted to try their recipe of spiced chickpea stuffing (stuffing was always my favourite part of Christmas!) and the spiced sprouts. Who doesn’t love sprouts on Christmas?! Turns out most Australians are because they aren’t in season at this time of the year. So they are not cheap. Something to note if you’d like to recreate this recipe yourself.
The instructions for each of the recipes were very easy to follow. However, the stuffing one did baffle me a little. For me, a classic bread stuffing was made with slow-cooked onions with sage and butter. This recipe has that…but also dried cranberries, cashew (which I replaced with walnuts because that’s all I had!), and eggs as well as the chickpea masala. When I finished cooking the masala it felt like a crime to mix it with eggs and breadcrumbs. I ate a little out of the pot. It was delicious and took like 10 minutes to make. But I trusted the process and what eventually came out of the oven was a moreish spiced stuffing. It wasn’t to my taste (I am not convinced about the cranberries) but it wasn’t bad. Check out the Recipe!
Next up was the brussels sprouts. Back home these were always made a little bland by simply steaming them. Now after many moons of cooking myself food (no shade to my parents) I know how to make sprouts tasty. Fried up with some garlic, or some soy and sweetness, sprouts are the perfect side dish to any cuisine – or have them in a bowl, I’m not judging (although be warned about potential … air disturbance). The sprout recipe combined shredded sprouts (so we are already in new territory, halved or quartered is my usual prep go-to), with the korma curry recipe and cranberries. However, I did run out of cranberries for this recipe. This was surprisingly my favourite dish. I did not believe it would make sense, but it did. It was essentially a korma made with sprouts so the whole “Christmas” thing was a little lost. But you could omit the shredding and add the cranberries and maybe that would add a little more festive cheers.
Finally – because I didn’t think that was enough for two people and for the record I was wrong – I also made biryani with some veggies and kept it to the usual packet instructions. I paired the whole meal with a nice crisp Riesling from SA and it was delightful.
While the stuffing wasn’t to my taste, I loved the biryani and the sprouts. I found the quality of the Spice Tailor sauces to be excellent and I loved that each packet had its own dried herbs, spices, and aromatics so I could get a deeper flavour for the dishes. I love cooking from scratch, but these recipes and the sauces would be excellent to enjoy while camping or on holidays with family or friends, or even if you’d like a meal quickly but don’t want to sacrifice flavour. Definitely worth checking out at your local supermarket – whether you try their festive recipes or not!
Food & Beverage Specialist. Usually seen with a flat white in hand or on her way to a whiskey tasting. Needs to stop acquiring books and start reading them.
Where: Your home!
When: Whenever you like!
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were gifted Spice Tailor products by Rocket Communications.
Photo Credit: Orlaith Costello