1 March 2015

Food We Love - February 2015 - Indian Food Festival

Although I cancelled all non-food related boxes in 2014, I am still a faithful subscriber to the wonderful boxes of Food We Love. This month's box featured one of my favourite themes : Indian Food. :o)

I absolutely love curries and the whole range of herbs and spices which give Indian cuisine their mouthwatering smell.  The downpoint though is the spiciness.  I have learned through trial and error not to stray from the mild options in the restaurant menus and to be very weary of any dish the waiter describes as being even slightly hot. :o) Luckily when you make Indian food at home, you can adjust everything to your own liking and the contents of this box will help in that regard. Find out all about it after the jump.

First the usual little recap on the practicalities of the Food We Love Box.  The monthly theme is announced on the first of each month, so if you want to play it safe, you can wait until it has been made public before ordering your box. But in the end, we are talking food here, so whatever the theme, it can't possibly be bad. :o)

About the pricetag, for Dutch residents, the box costs 27.50 EUR for a single box or 24.95 EUR for those who opt for a monthly subscription.  For Belgian residents, the shipping costs are making it a few euros more expensive i.e. 30 EUR for a single box or 27.50 EUR for the monthly subscription.  It's also good to know that should you change your mind,  cancelling your subscription only requires one month's notice.

This month's theme is "Indian Food Festival", a colourful and spicy breeze to warm up the dark and grey days of February.  India evokes images of holy cows, Bollywood, stunning women in silk saris and of course a whole range of curries, chutneys, naan breads and dosas.  India in a box, how could one not love this theme.

Let's take a look at the contents :

* 500g red lentils from Green Age (Price online : 2.69 EUR)

Green Age is the business of Addy and his partner Sasha, who won the Masterchef Netherlands television show in 2011.  They market organic products, balancing sustainability as well as fair revenue for the farmers they work with.  These lentils can be used in the Dosa recipe that accompanies this box, but you could also eat them in salads the way I usually do.  The visual eater in me prefers red lentils to the green or beluga ones.  These will be put to good use.

* Mango chutney from Sharwood (Estimated price : 3.95 EUR)

I use mango chutney sparingly as I am not a big fan of mangoes, but I never bought the one from Sharwood.  My usual supermarket only carries the one from the Patak's brand, but Sharwood requires no introduction.  If I get to choose, I'll aways pick one of their products as they pride themselves in never using artificial colours or preservatives.  A big plus in my book. 

* Plain natural pappadums by Patak's (Estimated price : 1.50 EUR)

I think this needs no explanation. :o) 

* Ghee by Ghee Easy (Price online : 3.75 EUR)

In Indian Ayurveda culture, ghee has been the main cooking oil for thousands of years.  This ghee is prepared according to the traditional Indian method but with butter from grass-fed cows grazing at organic fields in the Netherlands. Ghee is advertised as a great cooking oil as it can withstand high temperatures without smoking. The burning point of Ghee Easy is no less than 250°C. Moreover Ghee Easy is packed with essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-9 and contains vitamins A, D, E and K. Not added in a factory, but straight from nature.  That sounds interesting, doesn't it?  I never cooked with ghee as I usually use either butter, olive oil or coconut oil, but I look forward to trying this out. 

* Mild curry paste from Sharwood (Estimated price : 4.25 EUR)

A wellknown staple that doesn't need any introduction.

* Bombay Chicken from The Man with the Pan (Estimated price : 1.99 EUR)

This was a new one for me but a quick look at The Man with the Pan website learned that they have several spice blends besides this Bombay Chicken. It seems quite easy to whip up a tasty meal using this little package. Something I will need to try out soon.

* Mango juice from Maaza (Estimated price : 1.01 EUR)

Maaza is the Indian word for enjoy and although they advertise themselves as being the largest juice company in the world, I never heard of them before finding them in this month's box.  I know that straight up mango juice will not be to my liking, but it can be used in the lassi recipe FWL provided.  Maybe mixed up with cardamom and yoghurt, this mango juice can be a hit after all.

* #40 Tropical Tutti Frutti from Bites We Love (Estimated price : 1.24 EUR)

I discovered Bites We Love last year and used to have a subscription to the healthy snack delivery service until they decided to stop any deliveries to Belgium. :o(  I really loved the little bags of snacks with nuts and dried fruits, but truth be told, the delivery system was a bit erratic.  A week would go by without any delivery and the next week, two boxes would arrive at the same time. That's why I was stoked when I saw this little pack in the box. I hope that they'll be able to resume the deliveries to Belgium one day.

* Three ginger herbal tea from Pukka (Price online : 6.20 EUR)

This is not the first time that FWL puts Pukka tea in one of their boxes.  I gave the previous box away because it was a licorice tea and if there's one thing I dislike it's licorice. Ginger on the other hand, is high up on my Like list. :o)  There is a little bit of licorice root in this herbal tea, but luckily, it isn't noticeable in the final drink.  I find the Pukka teas quite expensive and wouldn't buy them for that reason, but they do make nice herbal teas.

* 500 ml Apple/raspberry soda from Holy Soda - Sourcy (Estimated price : 0.53 EUR)

A low calorie, 100 % natural soda, sweetened with stevia.  Stevia is all the hype at the moment, but I had a stange reaction (tingling throat) after the first time I ate a Stevia cake and ever since, I have been weary of this new sweetener.  As I am not into raspberry neither, I am not sure that I will try this soda, but maybe I can make someone else happy :o)

Verdict for this box?

As I come to expect from Food We Love, the variety and quality of the selected items are top-notch. I look forward to trying out the recipes they provided.  I made the Chai Massala concentrate today using the recipe on their blog and will be putting that one to the test in a Chai Latte tomorrow. If the test is conclusive, you can probably expect a post on the subject. Meanwhile,  I can't wait for the new theme to be announced tomorrow and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my next Food We Love Box.


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