Make the festive period a little less stressful with some batch cooking and with a little help from Spice Pots, things really couldn’t be easier. When you’ve had enough of turkey and pigs in blankets, what could be more comforting than a curry served with fluffy rice? The only thing you have to remember though is to take the curry out of the freezer, allowing enough time for it to defrost.
With an office based on the edge of the canal, there’s not a huge choice of places to go for lunch and the daily sandwich man delivery really doesn’t do it for me. So, I’ve long been a fan of batch cooking, and will often cook up a selection of chicken curries, Thai or Indian, and vegetables, box them up with rice, which I then eat for my lunches during the week.
The secret to batch cooking
There’s some quick ways to crack batch cooking
- If you’re going to make one dish, double it up to two, which will means you have one to eat now and one to eat later.
- Use frozen vegetables and herbs, which are a life-saver and just as nutritious.
- I tend to pre-pack my lunches in reusable boxes, which are easier for taking to work but if batch cooking curries for the family or a larger group, buy some seal-able freezer bags, and freeze everything flat, which means you get so much more in your freezer and the meals then defrost really quickly.
Spice Pots – the perfect gift for any foodie
Spire Pots are definitely the spice of life and provide a shortcut to making deliciously simple curries and Indian-inspired food. Their perfectly blended pots of spices can be used to make big pots of curry, used as seasonings in soups, salads and samosas or added to yoghurt or oil to use as marinades. They also have a sweet blend to add to baking and desserts.
Their blends are 100% natural (salt, sugar and gluten free) and will keep for up to a year, even after opening. They are 16 teaspoons of perfectly blended spice in each tin, so you will be able to make about three family meals with each pot. They recommend using roughly 2 teaspoons per person, per curry.
The perfect Christmas gift
Spice Pots has recently launched a luxury gift tin, which contains five pots of their Indian spice blends, their cookbook and a chef’s candle and costs £40.
Their cookbook is so easy to follow and there’s some great time-saving tips and the candle smells beautiful.
Onions – the most time-consuming thing when making a curry is peeling and cooking the onions. Take a short-cut by buying frozen chopped onions. I always have a supply of these in my freezer. And make sure you cook them until they are lovely and soft and browning.
Garlic – Crushing garlic is quicker than chopping. You can also buy frozen chopped garlic if you are short on time.
Ginger – Grating ginger is quick and easier than chopping. Peel ginger with a teaspoon and freeze in small pieces and simply grate directly into the pan, without defrosting. Alternatively you can also buy frozen, chopped ginger.
Store cupboard supplies – Spice Pots recipes use really basic ingredients. Just make sure you have tinned tomatoes, tinned coconut milk, red lentils, chickpeas and stock in your store cupboard. And if my fridge is rather devoid of fresh vegetables, I always have a selection of mixed frozen vegetables like peas and sliced green beans ready to add to my curries. Then all you need to add is some fresh meat, of your choice.
Chicken Korma – Super Quick
I recently adapted one of Spice Pots’ recipes to prepare a delicious, healthy curry using their Super Quick Chicken Korma recipe and adding some chickpeas at the end of cooking. Ok, so it wasn’t a traditional Korma, but it was so tasty and was ready in a flash.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped (or cheat and used frozen onions)
- 4cm piece of ginger, grated (or again cheat, and use frozen)
- 400g tin of tomatoes
- 5 tsp Korma Spice Pot
- 4 chicken breasts (or veggies), chopped
- 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
- 40ml tin coconut milk
- Salt, to taste
- Fresh coriander, to garnish (or use frozen, chopped)
- Heat the oil and cook the onions, ginger and garlic until soft and browning.
- Add the tomatoes, and reduce for 5 minutes or so.
- Add the Korma spices. Cook for a minute then add the chopped chicken and mix well.
- When the chicken has taken on a wee bit of colour, add the coconut milk and salt.
- Cook gently for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through.
- Add in the chickpeas and heat through.
- Garnish with some chopped coriander and serve with some fluffy rice.
So be inventive this Christmas and either get ahead by batch cooking or using up any leftover turkey, adding some Spice Pots flavouring and your catering worries will be no more.