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And having tried that one, I needed a resupply of Vindaloo and a sample of some of the other sachets in the Curry Traders range. Fortunately, they have a web-site and while they’re not cheap and you’ll need a rather lengthy list of extra ingredients, if you’ve got the time and inclination they’re definitely worth investigating.

Having ordered one of everything that interested me (Rogan Josh, Lamb Madras, Butter Chicken, Beef Vindaloo and Chicken Korma) and purchased a decent sized mortar and pestle on a visit to Townsville, I had a go at the Butter Chicken on Saturday night.

Opening the sachet brought a favourable comment from the other end of the building (“Smells nice!”) which is something you don’t quite get when you just open a jar. And, yes, the aroma from the kitchen did reach that far.

The result, after a good hour and a half cooking time, was quite superb, producing a hearty endorsement from ‘Er Indoors. I’ll obviously be rocking over to the website for more in the future.

A couple of observations, though. 

For a start, yes, you could do this all yourself, buying a swag of ingredients and putting them together to taste, but these mixes seem to work well, and they’ll save you the time and effort involved with experimenting.

You may, on the other hand, enjoy experimenting.

Second, there’s the issue of price. At $6 plus postage they’re dearer than the “off the shelf” options and you’ll need a significant investment in other ingredients, so the whole meal’s going to be rather expensive, though you’ll get six to eight serves out of it, which ain’t too shabby.

The cheapest option as far as postage is concerned is to buy at least seventeen packs (!) which is a substantial investment in anybody’s language, but you’d be best advised to try a representative sample before going that far.

Having done the Vindaloo and Butter Chicken, I’ll definitely be back for more of both, and once I’ve tried the rest of what I have on hand could well be trying the Malaysian Rendang and Sri Lankan Curry, though I’m not so sure about the Bangladeshi Prawn or Goan Fish options. We don’t buy a lot of seafood, and I suspect that these would be too hot for certain palates in the vicinity.....

In summary, Curry Traders are well worth investigating, and I expect they’ll be getting plenty of business out of the Little House of Concrete. That web-site again....

 © Ian Hughes 2014