While I am always down for a takeout night, nothing makes me happier than tearing through a bag full of Indian over the weekend, as I can never get enough of the flavorful naan, daal, or saagwala dishes I order on loop. But while a trip to my favorite Indian restaurant is nothing short of satisfying, I do have the misfortune of having to travel long distances for exotic food, as my go-to haunt is a good 30 minutes from my house. The restaurant’s delicious food (and generous portion sizes) definitely makes it worth the trip. However, let’s be real: frequent takeout orders, plus gas refills, are undeniably costly.
In order to cut down on my food spending, I was more than happy to add the pescatarian version of Jaswant’s Kitchen Indian Feast Starter Kit (also available in omnivore and vegetarian varieties) to my Etsy shopping cart. The price is more than my average takeout order, but with these spices at arms reach, I can squash my takeout temptation and they will last me longer than any leftovers could.
Among the items included in the kit are aromatic spice blends, two packages of lentils, and 15 printed recipe cards, which allow you to create different meals step-by-step.
Once the kit arrived, I tried my hand at making the kit’s daal masoor dish on a cold Saturday night, which is a red lentil soup full of mouth-watering flavor. Since I was new to cooking Indian meals, I wanted to start off with something small, just in case the smoke alarms would go off, of course.
The dish’s easy recipe card was very extremely helpful in allowing me to whip up this dish on my own, even as someone that can get a bit overwhelmed in the kitchen. Novice chefs won’t have to worry about screwing things up, especially if you are the type of person who doesn’t even like to boil water without watching a YouTube video first (no judgment here).
Since each step is listed in full, I was able to add lentils to boiling water, successfully flavor them with spices, and let everything simmer for 40 minutes, until the soup’s completion.
Because the kit ensures that you have most items on hand (in exception to the fresh cilantro garnish), I was able to skip out on long prep time, and instead, whip up a delicious soup (with plenty leftover) in less than an hour.
In short, while I still have plenty more recipes (including dessert) to try, there’s no denying that this Indian Starter kit is great for the home cook who wants to brush up on their culinary skills, and of course, learn more about the exciting realm of Indian cuisine.
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