Anjum Anand may be a new name to us here in Toronto but the British-born chef is a well-loved food personality in her home country. As a cookbook author and cooking show host known she’s known for her Indian recipes that are easy to execute at home.
Anand’s latest venture is The Spice Tailor: a line of practically ready-to-eat sauces and curries that represents a much-needed update of Indian food offerings in the grocery store. The Spice Tailor meals come in three separate pouches: dry spices, a sauce and base.
First the spices are heated in oil (or ghee, if available) then add the sauce and meat (or seafood or paneer) and simmer until cooked. Finally, in goes the base. Everything’s ready in five to ten minutes and we were impressed with the quality and flavour that comes out of these plastic pouches and how simple it was to put together. The Spice Tailor rivals some of the Indian food we’ve had in restaurants to the point that we took a spatula to the pot in order to get every last bit of curry in our mouths.
Something to note is that there are whole chunks/pieces of spice in the packet (cardamom, cinnamon bark) and you might accidentally bite into something hidden in the curry. The package suggests grinding the spices to avoid this, or perhaps you can fish out the larger pieces before serving.
If you did want to step your Indian offerings up to the next level, The Spice Tailor can be used to amp up some more impressive dishes. We recently attended an event at Joanna Sable’s Table to discover just that. The venue, which is actually the main floor of Sable’s home north of the Danforth, is a pretty unique spot itself for an event. It’s modern, industrial and eclectic.
The offerings for the evening included veggie pot pies made with The Spice Tailor’s Delicate Korma curry, Mahkani Daal samosas, a vegetable lasagna and tender short rib in a Fiery Goan curry.
While Indian food gets a bad reputation for leaving you feeling heavy and bloated, our meal at The Spice Tailor was anything but and we attribute it to good ingredients used in the sauces and curries.
You can find The Spice Tailor at Longo’s, Foodland and Sobey’s grocery stores for about $6.99 each.