I had been following Mandira’s Kitchen on social media for a while and every time their photos popped up on Instagram I kept thinking, I must try these curries. So imagine my glee when their PR team asked me to get involved with a review!
Mandira’s Kitchen was indeed created by Mandira who, in her 40’s, gave up her well-payed stable job to start her own food business. She built it from the ground up and the team behind her are made up almost entirely of women. When asked to ‘put her money where her mouth is’ by a friend after she complained about the lack of authentic Indian food around, she did just that. Mandira’s Kitchen was born.
Mandira’s Kitchen is not only a great team but also an ethical food producer, buying local ingredients wherever possible. They do not use any single use plastic and support young enterprise.
So with all that in mind, lets dive into the food.
Above is the review pack I was sent (thank you Mandira!), the pack included:
- Chicken Xacuti
- Lehsuni Dal
- Lemon Rice
- Vegetable Samosa
- Spiced Indian Crackers
- Naan Bread
- Pineapple Chutney
- Orange & Gin Chutney
Each of the box meals contains 2 portions and are generous in size.
I’m not a fussy eater, by any stretch of the imagination. As long as it’s not Turkish delight (who on earth actually eats that stuff?!?) I will eat it. However, I don’t agree with, nor do I like, spicy heat for the sake of it. I love heat, I happily eat raw chillies and super hot chicken wings, but I like heat with flavour. So when I see a curry that contains chillies I am always a little dubious that it will just have unsubstantiated heat with no real reason for it being there. I need not have worried as this is something Mandira’s Kitchen does exceptionally well because anything that has heat, also has flavour.
I wouldn’t say that any of the curries are particularly hot (spice wise), but they are packed full of fragrant flavour. You can taste every ingredient and each mouthful is well rounded and fulfilling.
The Chicken Xacuti has a spice that warms the back of your mouth and throat, not too hot by any means, but beautifully warming. The flavour is aromatic and delightful with good sized pieces of tender chicken.
The Lehsuni Dal is probably the best dal I have ever tried. I adore dal and sadly I think it is underrated in the UK as many takeaway dals are watery or flavourless. Mandira’s Lehsuni Dal is comforting and deep with flavour. A must try for dal fans out there!
The naan breads were pillowy soft with a slight crispiness around the edge and to me, the perfect naan.
The Vegetable Samosa had crisp pastry and were filled to the brim with spiced peas and potatoes. Delicious and if you know me well, you know that my favourite vegetable samosa’s of all time are from Gujarati Rasoi in Borough Market, London, but Mandira’s Kitchen gives them a run for their money!
The chutneys are decadently sweet and juicy. Delicately spiced and extremely fruity, both were the perfect accompaniment to the spiced Indian crackers which were crunchy and savoury. The pineapple chutney has an almost tropical flavour and the orange and gin chutney was equally fruity but with a luxurious taste profile.
The one thing that really impressed me was the ingredients lists on each of the products. No preservatives or chemicals. All natural ingredients. The parcel also came very well packed with ice packs to keep the frozen meals completely frozen.
The highest rated review I can give Mandira’s Kitchen is that a couple of days after trying all their products, I placed a large order with them personally and filled up my freezer for my family. And now, you all know how picky I am about quality… that HAS to be the biggest compliment I can give.
You can find Mandira’s Kitchen here <– click the link. Please do give them a try. If you like authentic Indian food, then you won’t be disappointed. And the best bit…. not a chicken tikka massala in sight!