I was so excited when I had the opportunity to try a Starter Kit of Indian spices and lentils from Jaswant’s Kitchen. I LOVE Indian food and often use pre-made curry sauces and pastes to recreate my own meals at home. Sure, these sauces and pastes are tasty, but many of them could be lightened up if you had the ability to make them from scratch.
That is what made the products from Jaswant’s Kitchen so enticing – you can take these Indian spices that have been conveniently mixed and create your own recipes to your liking.
Jaswant’s Kitchen was created by Jaswant (aka Jessie) who grew up in Punjab and was taught by her grandmother to cook with fresh ingredients. Jaswant studied Nutrition in school and then moved to Canada after getting married. After having four kids, she found herself wanting to continuing cooking fresh meals just like back home but found she did not have the time to cook complicated Indian dishes.
She came up with the idea of the spice mixes after working with the clients of her nutrition consulting practice who shared her drive to cook traditional meals but lacked the time. Friends and relatives kept asking for bottles of the spice blends so Jaswant decided to launch them into a business. Her daughters joined her and now they all work together.
I loved chatting with Jaswant about her interest in cooking. She said she gets a lot of inspiration from other cultures and is always trying new ways to use her spice blends. She also pointed out to me that with her spices, you do not really even need to add oil and the blends are very low in sodium. Talking with her got me pretty excited to try the spices at home for myself. I brought home the starter kit and was in awe of what was inside. Two packs of lentils (Nina and I LOVE lentils) to make daal, jars of Tadka Masala, Tandoori Masala, Garam Masala, Curry Powder and Chai Masala. There was also a package of whole spices and 14 printed recipe cards. The package was lovely and very inviting.
I tried the Chai Masala first with some steamed milk and black tea. I’ve become so used to Chai Lattes that are so sweet and artificial that I was amazed by the deep and natural taste of this blend. I also tried the Halibut Masala, however, I used it with salmon. The recipe can be found here: http://www.jaswantskitchen.com/collections/recipes/products/halibut-masala. I loved that you basically made the blends into a paste using only water. It turns into such a healthy dish this way. I found it quite spicy, especially for my two year old daughter, however, with her fish, I got her to dip it in Greek yogurt to tone down the heat a bit. I love spice though, so I really enjoyed this meal. I have also used the basic curry powder for my own vegetarian curry dish and it was very flavourful.
I highly recommend these spice blends for anyone that enjoys cooking Indian food and likes the satisfaction of cooking healthy meals from scratch. Indian blends like Garam Masala can be very complicated to replicate at home because you have to be very precise when combining the various spices together. Having it already mixed and ready to add to your food is so convenient. These would make great gifts for the foodie in your life too.
On the Jaswant’s Kitchen website you are able to order the products and you can also find many recipes in their searchable database. What’s even better is that until December 20 at 3pm EST they are offering free shipping on orders over $40. In addition, they are offering a special Twitter promo which would give people an additional 10% off their orders if they enter the code “Twitter10”.