Back with a bang

Running Buffet has been away. We have been busy moving house, decorating and we even managed to get away for a holiday (but more on that in the next post). But now I am back with a bang. Or, rather, a boom.

Curries and Devon go together like, well, like two things that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of combining but which, when you think about it, are pretty good together. A bit like Charlie Brooker and Konnie Huq. But Devon boasts at least two companies both providing the home cook with everything they need to whip up a spicy supper. Boom Kitchen started life as recently as October 2012, growing out of a North Devon kitchen and spreading like wildfire, which could in fact be one of their curries, across the county. Darts Farm, near Exeter, was one of the first to pick up their products and this is where I recently picked up their Bhuna Indian Restaurant Kit.

Every one of their kits starts with their Boom Base (yes, really) from which you can build up four different curries, depending on the kit you have bought. We mixed some green beans into the curry along with the chicken, onion, tomatoes and peppers, and I am pleased to report that it was really good. So good, in fact, that I had gobbled most of it up before I remembered to grab my camera. So, instead of a nice photo of a curry, you will have to put up with a photo of their label, which is pretty good in its own right.


You do need to provide the meat and vegetables that you would like to use, as well as rice or naan, but the kits do all of the hard work in terms of the flavour and spice you need for your curry. There’s a handy shopping list on the back of the label, so you will know exactly what you need; or you can use the kit as a jumping off point and make up your own curry.

The second company has been around for quite a while longer. Chimans was founded in Barnstaple (they like their Indian food in North Devon) in 1990 by Chiman Agarwal and they now have an extensive range of Indian spice packets that are available across the county and further afield. The first that we tried was a Kofta Bhoona spicy meatball mix.

Chimans packetsHaving made up the meatballs using some of the spices, we then added the rest into the sauce that they were cooked in. I have to be honest and say that they were not a huge success, however this is quite likely to be down to my inattention rather than the fault of the spice packet itself. I didn’t really read the ingredients that closely and we ended up using a lot less meat than was recommended; the outcome being that the meatball-to-spice ratio was way out of kilter. They were very intense.

Spicy meatballs

Wrecking ballsOur second attempt was much more successful. Their Bombay Potato mix worked a treat, particularly because I made sure to read the instructions properly, and we ended up with a delicious bowl of spicy potatoes.

Potatoes in a pan

It’s a simple dish and you could argue that you don’t really need a packet of spices to help you cook Bombay Potatoes. The same could probably be said for all of the spice kits. But, on the other hand, if you don’t have all of the spices in your cupboard or if you are not confident in mixing up the hundred and one ingredients that go into a curry, or if you just don’t have the time to spend creating one from scratch, then working from one of these kits will allow you to cook your own curry at home. And it’s pretty much guaranteed to taste good as well. Just make sure you read the instructions properly!