You know when Facebook tells you that you will like a certain page and you click and think ,YEAH! Well that happened with me and BexanCo NZ. I clicked the link to the page, shared the page on my Muffin Mum page to ask if anyone had tried it. BexanCo got back to me and offered me a couple of sachets to try. Us Muffins love our spicy food and buy our rice in bulk, I wasn’t going to say no. Tonight we tried the Cashew Nut Curry.
To be honest, I didn’t expect to be impressed and was wondering why I would buy a sachet of spices? I have spices in my cupboard and can make a good mix. However, my spices are not fresh. I confess I am a spice hoarder and it has to stop.
This sealed packet of perfectly balanced spices and cashews was fresh, very fresh and smelt delicious. To cook I went a little off track from the directions on the packet and used the Pressure Cooker.
I browned the onions, then the chicken, added the spice, a drained tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of coconut milk.
I cooked it in the pressure cooker for ten minutes, did the instant release and added some frozen international vegetables, I simmered for about 10 minutes.
This Cashew Nut Curry was delicious, seriously delicious. I would happily serve it at a dinner party and be proud. That is a very an excellent approval rating from me. BexanCo NZ impressed me and I didn’t expect it. Mr Muffin commented that it wasn’t a curry he would normally order but it had opened his eyes. It was similar to a Madras in a NZ curry house. The spice rating was balanced and Miss ate a good sized portion and no complaints were heard.
All up, yes I would buy the Cashew Nut Curry, it was a great easy dinner in the pressure cooker and we all look forward to trying the BexanCo NZ Curry.
I apologise for the not very impressive photos but we were hungry
I get asked how we eat out so often on a regular basis. The answer is pretty simple really and I will give you a couple of tips. I got thinking about this today when Mr and I were at Gr8 Tandoori Indian in Lower Hutt. Their lunch menu is a main, rice and plain naan for $9.90 , you can pimp your naan for $1. Today we splashed out and had Onion Bhaji for $6. Oh those fried morsels were good, so good. Our two mains and bhaji came to $28.40 and was easily enough for a main meal, in fact we declared our selves Christmas Day full! I sometimes pay that in a cafe for a coffee and breakfast for 1.
Eating out at lunch time can be really cheap. We enjoy Indian and Asian food, often they are the places with the good lunch time deals. The portions are never stingy and always enough for a main meal. Our favourites change and do often base our weekend outing on where to have lunch!
Drink The Water
In New Zealand cold water is put on the tables in most restaurants. If you eat out at lunch time and stick to the water it makes your meal pretty cheap. On occasion one of us might splash out and have something but generally we stick to the water. A beer could nearly the same as your whole meal at lunch time. If you want the beer, have the beer…. I am Emma the Enabler and not a party pooper.
Go for lunch in the place that looks dingy and dark. Walk in the door of the noisy place with picture food. Try things you wouldn’t otherwise pick. If you are not paying full price for an evening meal it is a good excuse to give something different or somewhere different a go. You may find the perfect lunch spot and it may always remain a lovely lunch place but keep you happy.
When we do eat out in the evening we will more than likely choose somewhere in the Entertainment Book. Having the app on our phones has meant we have used it so much more. Using the vouchers is also a way to discover new places and helps with the being brave part.
Go Out Separately
I am the one who eats out the most in our family. We do not always eat out together and when you see my food pics, I am often out with friends. This cuts the cost of eating out and means that as the foodie, I get to eat out more. We do do pocket money accounts and I then have my own food fund.
Joining a group of like minded foodies is also a good way to eat out without your partner or non foodie friends. Wellington Foodies is a great place to start and I have met some fab people through belonging to this group.
I am not going to write a list with links, you need to discover these places for yourself. Ask away on FB if you would like any top tips or have something to add.
February 2016 is New Zealand’s First Watermelon month, the key producer of the great watermelons that are grown in NZ is LeaderBrand and they are the brains behind this idea. This post is a part of a competition to create recipes using watermelon or to use a great pun, to use your melon.
I have had my thinking hat on for a while thinking about watermelons and #NZWatermelonMonth. In my head I have file cabinets full of recipes and ideas I have seen. It took a while for my brain to find this idea and when I did I made it my own and cooked my heart out.
Now, I didn’t make this idea up and it doesn’t look pretty. It tastes mighty fine and is a fab way to use all of the melon. The taste isn’t unlike cucumber or marrow but better.This is based upon an Indian dish which was stored in my vast head files, this dish is called ,tarbooz ke chile ki sabj. It hails from the Rajasthan region which is the region of India that calls me back and I hope to visit again one day.
This dish is more of a side dish and will go perfectly with just about every Indian main I can think of. I have kept the spices to ones likely to be found in your cupboard but feel free to experiment. I am sure my dish is not very authentic but it is the flavours I love. Be brave, use your melon…..your whole melon.
I am sure you can come up with things to do with the normal people’s part. There are many recipes out there for wonderful salads, sorbets and smoothies.
I don’t usually post many pictures with my recipes but I wanted to add a couple here so you can see how to best cut the watermelon. The rind on my watermelon wasn’t huge but it still worked fine.
This amuses me, it looks as if the watermelon is getting undressed.
Spices and Rind cut up.
Cumin seeds and spices.
The rind added to the spices.
Watermelon Rind Curry - Muffinmum.com
400g water melon rind chopped into 2cm rough square (you can increase the spice ratio to suit how much rind your watermelon yields)
1-2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
Salt and pepper
1/4 c water
Heat oil in a pan, you need just enough to cover the bottom.
Add cumin seeds and cook until you can smell them release their flavour.
Tip in garlic and give a good shake and let cook for a minute.
Next add the spices.
Tip in that rind and stir well so it is coated in the spice oil.
Add the 1/4 c water and cover the pan.
Cook for 10 mins on a low heat, give the pan couple of shakes.
Remove lid and cook until the rind is soft.
Serve warm as a side dish and enjoy.