Bit Spicy – Malay Curry Mix

by David Kelly on July 12, 2012 · 1 comment

in Product Reviews

Bit Spicy - Malay CurryBit Spicy provide a range of unique pre-mixed spice blends covering a range of Indian, South East Asian and Mexican dishes. Their ready-made spice blends, in conjunction with a simple recipe, allow you to recreate various well known dishes. Each packet of spice blend comes in a small carded box (the design of which is quite simplistic yet clean & stylish) containing a recipe card & sealed bag(s) of their home prepared spice mixes.

Even before I’ve opened the seal of this box for the Malay Curry mix I can clearly smell the fragrances from the spice blend, with top notes from star anise, cinnamon and cardamom are clearly apparent. As I open the box to remove the spice bag and the recipe card the aroma intensifies. Looking at the spice mix, which comes in a clear sealed cellophane bag, I can clearly see crushed peppercorns and various other crushed seeds within the mix.

Malay Spice Mix ingredients: Coriander seeds, Turmeric, Fenugreek seeds, Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds, Dried Chillies, Black Peppercorns, Ground Rice, Szechwan pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom pods, Cloves, Star Anise, Cayenne pepper, Salt.

Secret Sauce Ingredients: Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Water.

Main Dish Ingredients: Malay Spice mix, Vegetable or Groundnut oil, Secret Sauce, Chicken, Coconut milk, Desiccated Coconut, Pineapple, Birds Eye Chillies (optional).

Packet kindly provided by Bit Spicy

The recipe serves 4-6 people and is nice & simple to follow with bullet points detailing each stage required. There are two main stages to the making the Malay curry: the first is to create Bit Spicy’s ‘secret sauce’, which forms a basic stock from which the main dish can be created by adding further ingredients and the spice blend during the second stage of the cooking process.

The creation of the secret sauce is very straightforward and simply involves boiling the ingredients and then liquidizing them to a puree. The recipe makes a sufficiently large quantity of this sauce, that you’ll have enough remaining for use in several other curries. The next stage of the process involves heating the spice blend in some oil. This is always a key step in making any curry as it helps to intensify the flavours and aroma of the spices. Unsurprisingly at this point in the cooking process my kitchen fills with wonderful rich scent. With the presence of ground rice in the spice mix, the combination of heat and oil makes the blend quickly coagulates into a paste but at this point stirring in the secret sauce gives you a basic body of the sauce. Following the rest of the steps involved in the recipe and adding the remaining ingredients plus the required cooking time (at least 1 hour), results in an authentic looking and fragrant curry being achieved.

Although the recipe method is very easy and straightforward to follow, one thing it does omit is to clearly indicate the cooking time required for the secret sauces and main dishes. These are mentioned further within the recipe but I feel it would be better to have a cooking time clearly indicated upfront as a heading.

Tasting the curry gives typical flavours of a Kari Ayam (Malay Chicken Curry). The combination of the coconut milk and pineapple (inc juice) give a contrasting sweet and tangy flavour intertwined with the flavour of the aromatic spices. The use of coconut milk rather than coconut cream ensures that the coconut flavour isn’t overly sweet. I can also clearly taste the strong pungent flavours of pepper and cardamom. It’s a rich combination of flavours and with each spoonful I begin to detect more of the other spices in the blend such as the coriander and cumin. As the spice mix isn’t ground to a complete powder there is are also some texture and bite within the sauce from the seeds and peppercorns.

Only a small amount of dried chillies are present in the spice blend so the heat from this curry comes from the (optional) chillies added to the dish. For authenticity birds eye chillies (‘cabai burung’ in Malay) are suggested but you could add whatever chillies you wanted depending on your heat preference. I split the curry instead two batches one without any additional chillies and one with the addition of sliced birds eye chillies (hence the dual heat markings).
Like any good curry of course it’s always good to try some leftovers the next day, which lets the flavours intensify. Interestingly the day after the tanginess of the pineapple has lessened and the coriander and cumin flavours are more dominant. Still tasty of course!

Available from Bit Spicy for £3.50, this spice blend allows anyone with some basic kitchen skills to easily recreate an authentic Malay curry and well worth trying.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(4/10) (with birds eye chillies)
(0.5/10) (without bird eye chillies)
Packaging
(7/10)
Value
(7.5/10)
Overall
(8/10)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Wholesale Spices July 13, 2012 at 8:09 am

Quality blog, keep up the good work.

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