Food Blogger Julian Wolfe tell you as it is
It’s a VERY GOOD sauce base, simple to use and HEALTHY – Julian Wolfe
This post is a bit unusual, you will notice 1 jar of cooking sauce and only one spice (and that was only because I could only get a ‘medium’ and I do like my food spicy)! My usual posts included loads of ingredients and lengthy cooking processes, here is a simple and seriously tasty dish you can produce in no time at all. I work in an interesting and dynamic industry, and one that from time to time, forces people to change direction and do something different, or move to a similar company and carry on (that’s me).
I was really delighted to hear a friend for over 10 years, had taken the plunge and decided to set up his own company, making a range of Indian sauce bases. To be clear from the outset, I purchased this sauce in a retail store with no discount (well 2 actually), and have not been paid, or asked to favour. I don’t write bad reviews (a recent case of a lady in France that ended up in court with big fines is an example of why you have to be careful), If I don’t like something I move on to the next….and ignore. If it get to print, it good; simple as that.
For me, the impressive is that the sauce is already stocked in Morrisons, has a stamp of approval from Heart U.K. So here’s what i did. Luckily, I had planned a trip to my local Oriental Supermarket See Woo to get some ingredients for a mothers-day special I was cooking, Weeping Tiger Salad, I also grabbed a bag of Tiger Prawns, which was to be the protein in my quick curry. Just around the corner there is a Morrisons so a chance to pick up a jar of Mums Masala sauce base, something I have been keen to try since hearing of my friends new venture. Wanting to add a bit of texture to the dish, a Green Pepper was chopped and a fried with some Onion before adding the sauce. You DON’T have to add these ingredients, but it just that way I do things! The mixture was gently fried for 2 -3 minutes, just to take the harshness away before adding the jar of Mums Masala sauce base. So, let’s get to the point. I DON’T use jars of cooking sauces (until now that is!), the proliferation of brands that fill the supermarkets shelves leave a lot to be desired. I have tried numerous over the years and they are; Bland, Too Salty, Too Sweet, Stuffed with Saturated Fats, Too much Tomato, full of stuff I don’t recognise as a food, disgusting, horrible.
Rant over, this is the reason I started my blog in the 1st place, to try and encourage people to cook, I am not a professional, but cooking from scratch is a relaxing break from my daytime, ‘Generation Y’ world of Tech…… This was going to stretch me a bit as it’s all a bit ‘simple’. So whats in the jar; Onion, Diced Tomatoes, Rapeseed Oil, Ginger Puree, Water, Red Chilli Puree, Garlic Puree, Garam Masala (Ground Coriander, Ground Cumin, Ground Cassia, Ground Black Pepper, Ground Star Aniseed, Ground Ginger, Ground Green Cardamom, Ground Pimento, Ground Black Cardamom, Ground Cloves, Ground Bay Leaf, Ground Nutmeg), Turmeric Powder, Salt, Tomato Paste, Cumin Seeds, Concentrated Lemon Juice, Acidity Regulator: Acetic Acid, Cornflour, Dried Fenugreek Leaf.
If you are wondering, Acetic Acid is the pure name for Vinegar, and an Acidity Regulator is used to ensure Bacteria does not grow. I recognise ALL the ingredients in Mum’s Masala so that is 1 BIG tick in the box. If you compare the ingredients to other sauces there are some subtle nuances, the use of the word ‘Puree’ instead of powder. Real Ingredients!
So, after 5 minutes of cooking I added the bag of Tiger Prawns, and gave the mixture a thorough stir to coat all the Prawns, then following the instructions on the jar, added just under half a jar of water, to slacken the mix. I also added 1 Teaspoon of Kashmiri Chilli Powder, which is why the dish changed colour to a deeper red. The ONLY reason I did this is I like a spicy curry and could only get a medium version of the sauce base. As this was to be a quick meal, I had got a couple of Coconut Rice Pouches, some Geeta’s Mango Chutney (which is really good), some ready-made Poppadoms, and knocked up a quick Onion Salad. I have a thing about Onion Salad, and feel another minor rant coming. On the occasions where an Indian Takeaway is used, there is never enough Tomato, or Fresh Coriander in the Onion Salad. Mine is packed with both, alongside some subtle cucumber and a sprinkling of Cumin. So, to my good friend Narinder, the brains behind Mum’s Masala you really challenged me when I found out about your sauces. I was really sceptical, and wasn’t sure what my fussy palate would think. I was also worried that if I didn’t like it, things might be ermmmmmmm awkward…. But hey, you have NAILED IT buddy, bloody well done. The Boss is equally as fussy as me, sometimes I think more so. In fact, when I said what I was going to do, she questioned my utter madness based on both our previous experiences and disappointment with jars of ready-made sauces and did take some persuading before going along with my plan. It’s a VERY GOOD sauce base, simple to use (great when you don’t have hours to prepare a meal), it’s VERY healthy and if you don’t believe me, just read the article below. I am going to develop some recipes using the sauce as a starting point so watch out for future postings, and in the meantime, hunt out your local Morrisons and get a Jar or two of Mums Masala for yourself, you will be eating quick, tasty AND healthy in no time at all.