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Vegetable Curry

Curry for Christmas From Karen’s Spice Kitchen

Looking for a last minute Christmas gift? Not sure what to get that person on your list who has everything? Typically, when faced with this issue, defaulting to edible presents is a sound idea. Something that can be consumed and enjoyed by the receiver – like chocolate, wine – or curry. Yes, you heard right. Curry.

img_3084Karen’s Spice Kitchen is a local company that is dedicated to spicing up your life – quite literally. Entrepreneur Karen Paly created her business in early 2016, using locally sourced spices and herbs to create unique blends of curry powders that are fit for any type of meal. The preparation and consumption of food is a very individualized process, and Karen’s unique blends give you plenty of opportunity to customize the meal to your exact tastes.

Our writers sampled several of Karen’s Spice Kitchen Blends. Each spice blend comes with a recipe and shopping list to take the guesswork out of meal prep. Varieties of spices are available for chicken, beef, tofu, shrimp, lamb, and veggies – simply pick the blend that sounds most enticing to you. If you’ve never tried curry before, Chicken Tikka Masala is a favorite. We chose to sample the Tikka Masala, Indian Shrimp,  and South Indian Veggie curries.

The back of each spice packet outlines the ingredients and quantity necessary to prepare your meal. A quick shopping trip at a local grocery store required us to pick up the necessary items to prepare the meals. Each spice packet can season a meal that can feed 4 or more people. We had delicious curry leftovers for days, after preparing 2 of the curry packets and feeding 6 test subjects. Preparation is quick and easy, and prep and cook time are clearly outlined on each spice packet.

Shrimp curry (right) and Southern India Veggie curry (right)
Indian Shrimp curry (right) and South Indian Veggie curry (right)

Opening up your spice packet reveals the spices within, and step by step cooking instructions. These instructions are easy to read, understand, and follow – ideal for someone new to cooking curry, or someone not entirely comfortable in the kitchen. While cooking you can easily customize the meal to make it better suited to your particular tastes. Don’t like it too spicy? Ignore the extra packet of chili powder included. Want to make your meal go a little farther? Add extra veggies or protein. Are you vegetarian or vegan? The recipes on the spice packets can easily be modified to suit any diet.

We prepared the meals exactly as instructed, and acquired 5 subjects to provide feedback. The curry was served simply over rice. The results? A resounding thumbs up from every one of our taste testers, who promptly went back for seconds once their bowls were empty. A few seasoned cooks in the group had ideas on how they would mildly alter the recipe to better suit their tastes – more chili powder, extra veggies, a pinch of extra masala spices. These complete customization option is what impressed each of our taste testers. They also praised the easy prep and quick meal – most meals are ready in 45 minutes or less, prep included.

Karen’s Spice Kitchen offers 12 variety of spice packets. You can find your next meal at a variety of places in Asheville, including the French Broad Food Co-Op, Lee’s Asian Market, Mtn Merch, and more. These packets are perfect for your foodie friends, and at only 5.50 each, make a perfect stocking stuffer or secret santa item for your holiday celebrations.

Find out more about Karen’s Spice Kitchen: http://www.karensspicekitchen.com/

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