I grew up in a Lebanese family in which food played a starring role. Before we could finish one meal, my mom was already asking what we wanted for the next one. Despite working all day, my mom always had dinner on the table every day at 5:00- a feat I did not appreciate until I was much older.
Eating dinner together was a non-negotiable in our house. No matter how busy our lives got, the one thing we could depend on was a home-cooked meal. Even if it meant my mom being in the kitchen until 9 pm preparing dinner for the next day.
Like my mother, I understand the importance of a home-cooked meal. Unlike my mother, I do not plan my dinners three days in advance, sometimes even one day ahead is pushing it. This usually results with me scrambling for ideas only to realize I am missing half of the ingredients. Not ideal.
Recently, I discovered Patak’s 3-Step kits. Most of the time, I’m reluctant to try something new, but I’ve always been a fan of Patak’s products and it’s a brand I trust. If Jamie Oliver is endorsing it, you know it’s good.
Here are the five things you need to know about Patak’s 3-Step kits:
- You can find them in almost any grocery store with the sauces and condiments, or in the international aisle. They are available in Butter Chicken, Tikka Masala, and Korma.
- Patak’s does (almost) all of the prep for you. Each pack contains whole spices for fragrance and aroma, a spice paste for some depth of flavour, and a base sauce to complete the dish. All you have to do is decide which protein or vegetables you want to add. The ingredients are pre-measured, which means no waste and no need to buy large quantities of spices you’ll never finish before going stale.
- They are quick and simple to follow. The outcome is a flavourful meal that will not disappoint, which is amazing considering how easy it is to follow. Each kit follows the same steps.
- Toast the whole spices (step one).
- Add the spice paste with 50 mL of water, then your chosen protein or vegetables (step two).
- Stir in the spice paste and simmer for 15 minutes (step 3), and voila – your meal is done in as little as 20 minutes, depending on which protein or vegetables you use.
- Complete the meal with a side. Rice and naan are the obvious choices here, but quinoa or cauliflower rice are also good options, especially if you want something low carb. You can also change it up altogether- butter chicken flatbread anyone?
- Go beyond the basic formula. One of my favourite things about these kits is experimenting with different proteins and vegetables. They are incredibly versatile. Traditionally, these dishes are prepared with chicken, but lamb, shrimp or any firm white fish also work well. Chickpeas, which are a staple in our house, are great if you are looking for a vegetarian option. Of the three kits, my favorite is the Tikka Masala. It is rich and creamy with the perfect amount of heat. Below is the recipe for one of my favorite creations to date. It is my version of spinach curry with toasted cashews and paneer cheese.
Speedy Spinach Curry with Patak’s 3-Step Tikka Masala
Patak’s 3-Step Tikka Masala
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely sliced
50 mL of water
400g paneer cheese, cubed (I like to buy the pre-cut frozen cubes, but fresh works just as well)
2 cups of baby spinach (I use fresh, but frozen will work too)
1/4 cup unsalted cashews, toasted and crushed for garnish (optional)
- Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add Patak’s Whole Spices and gently fry for 20-30 seconds. If you are not a fan of spice, remove the whole red chili for a milder taste.
- Add the onion and cook until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add Patak’s Spice Paste and water. Stir for about one minute or until the water has almost evaporated. Add the paneer, and pan-fry until browned.
- Stir in Patak’s Base Sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. You may need to add more water during this time, depending on how hot your pan is.
- Add the spinach and stir until it wilts. Sprinkle the cashews over top. Serve with rice and naan or your sides of choice. Yum!
This post was sponsored by Patak’s but chrissymeetsworld.com remains unbiased in our content.