I have had so many takeaways (a pretty unusual occurance for me pre – covid) since the start of lockdown (back prior to the Big Bang) and I am always looking for something a bit different to assuage the boredom. When I got an email from the team behind Mattancherry (whose takeaway offering I have very much enjoyed) about a new venture involving frozen Indian food delivered to the door I, therefore, immediately checked out the website.
Very interesting it was too, with the offer of rather enticing looking and sounding ready meals which can be kept in the freezer and cooked straight from frozen.
Many a time Mrs. SF and I (well really just me) have forgotten to take something out of the freezer and a supply of quality cook from frozen meals is a very useful back up for such occasions or when I simply can’t be arsed to cook or order a takeway.
A sort of “three quarter” way house between home cooked and takeaway.
The website is easy to navigate and an order was duly put in.I politely declined the offer of a free, no strings attached, “Welcome Pack”. Not really the way the blog works, as I like to pay my way (pretty much everyone else has to, so why shouldn’t I) and opine on what I have actually applied my hard earned cash towards.
Delivery was quick (next day) and all nicely packaged up in a well insulated box with cool packsAll ready to pop in the freezer for future use.
Railway lamb curry
Each of the curries are stated to serve two and at 640g are over 50% bigger than the 400g size of an M&S curry for 2 and the even smaller Waitrose curry for 2 (360g)
So to the food.
First up was the railway lamb curry, a favourite of mine (as I am a bit of a chilli wuss) that used to be served to the pith helmet brigade on the Indian railways in colonial times with the heat dialed down to cater for the sensitivities of the Western palate.
Very good meat to gravy ratio I thought and the smell coming off it was very enticing – heady with spice this stuff.Despite its billing as not too spicy, I found this quite hot, with the chilli heat and the spices really coming through. The lamb was plentiful and beautifully tender, with the gravy full of flavour and plenty of curry leaves in the mix.
Oddly my only slight qualm was I would have happily had a few more potatoes in the mix, even if that had been at the expense of some lamb chunks.
Based on the plate above being a half portion, this was just right in terms of size and I was fully sated after eating my half (with a half portion of their rice)
Grandma’s chicken curry
Pretty much every cuisine in the world reveres the cooking of Grandma/Nonna/Bubbee et al and India is no different with most Indian’s seemingly having fond memories of Nani’s curry.
The My Local Indian’s version of Nani’s curry is a meaty number with plenty of chicken, in a pretty loose gravy.There is enough heat to tickle the tastebuds, but not so much as to obliterate them. As a result, the robust spicing comes through nicely, with loads of cardamon, clove, curry leaf and cinnamon bark (no powdered versions used here)
Big chunks of the tastier thigh meat,luxuriating in the rich gravy. This was a really satisfying curry.
This had an real abundance of cardimon, a spice I love, which imbued it with a lovely fragrance.
Definitely enough for two if you have rice and/or bread with it. I ate it all with two porottas and was absolutely stuffed to the gills – way too much for one if I am honest, but it was so good I couldn’t stop eating it. As such decent value for the £9 price tag.
Syrian beef curry
An old takeaway favourite from the likes of Salkaara, I approached this curry with some trepedation as unlike the other two (which were billed as medium, but both of which I found quite hot chilli wise) this was stated to be hot.
Very pleasant curry, with a pronounced chilli hit. It was, however, not too aggressively hot so may be a tad tame for chilli fiends.
Good ration of beef to gravy, with the meat spoon tender and the gravy loaded up with spice (the clove element really came through).
On top of the curries, my order included a medley of side dishes.Porottas, had with the Grandma’s Chicken Curry, were easy to cook straight from frozen (I loosened them up with a minute in the microwave and then cooked them off for a couple of minutes each side in a hot dry pan).The result was a nice flaky exterior and good layering to the interiorPerfect for mopping up a curry.
Pilau rice was again cooked straight from frozen,with good separation of the grains and bang on seasoning.
The chilli and coriandar naan had a good flavour to itbut due to me being stuck on a call gone 19.00 on a Friday night (perils of being a lawyer), Mrs. SF had to keep my portion warm in the oven past its stipulated cook time . This resulted in it losing its elasticity. Shame, but Mrs. SF said hers (cooked as per the instructions) was bang on in terms of both the texture and flavour.
A second naan cooked (as per the instructions) with the beef curry was much more elastic and got the thumbs up.
So what to pair with these curries booze wise? I wouldn’t push the boat out wine wise if I am honest, but there are certainly plenty of options
With the chicken curry, I would go for a riesling. This German one,with just a touch of sweetness would work with the heat (think the Bottleshop has this in stock, as do Asda), so would a Loire rosé and a dry tokaji (the latter one courtsey of Mumbles Fine Wines).For the lamb and beef, this Portuguese number (picked up from Viader Vintners) would work well I think (quite apt with Portugal’s historical links to India),as would this cheaper Aldi number.There is, of course, always a sherryor two.Sherry goes with everything and curry is no exception.
As it happened I had a beer with all three Sours may not (as far as I am aware) be a traditional pairing with curry, but I though they worked rather well.
Really impressed with the quality of this stuff, bearing in mind you can cook it straight from the freezer. Couldn’t be easier, with it simply being a case of piercing the film and popping it into a hot oven for the requisite time period (40 mins for the curries).
Great spicing and no skimming on the main ingredients or any padding out here. I would be very happy if I got stuff that tasted this good from an Indian takeaway or even in a good Indian restaurant.
It ain’t cheap, but I think it is decent value bearing in the quality and quantity.
Would I order again? Absolutely – have already had this lot delivered.
I have a feeling I am going to be ordering more, with mid May at the earliest for pubs and resturants to open properly – indoors (if there are any left to reopen by then that is)!!!
Hopefully here in Wales they will follow previous and go against this English timetable, by opening them up a bit earlier (rather than later).
My fear is we will probably have an added critera or two. Each pub/restaurant having to be consecrated by the Pope (in person, subject to Her Holiness being married with 4 kids at the time of the consecration) and then only when the Moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars…… – altogether now “This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius“/”This is the opening of the pubs in your area”.
Order on line on their website at: click here
There hubs are in Taunton and (soon) Cardiff, where I believe you can/will be able to pick up from on top of the home delivery option.