I left Amrik armed with seven pots of produce; unable to taste them all in one setting without inducing excess intake related nausea I called upon a willing helper.
We had in front of us:
- Gosht ke Kofte (lamb meatballs)
- Jinga Masala (prawn masala)
- Masoor Dal (red lentil dal)
- Bibi ka Saag (greens)
- Kadi chawal (a yogurt and potato preparation)
- Gajjar Salad (carrot salad)
- Mattar Pilau (pilau rice with peas)
- Cucumber raita
First up were the meatballs, we didn't get the overwhelming smack of intensity that we expected, the balls were almost confusingly light in flavor and texture, almost airy, whereas the sauce was slick and velvety with out all the oil.
The Prawn Masala that I had stuck a spoon into and sampled the day before was a revolutionary balance of bitter tang and creaminess. The tails on the prawns, large shards of cinnamon bark, cardamoms and cloves were flavorsome hurdles stopping us fork huge steaming mouthfulls in. The coconut undertones gave the masala a buttery feel without the richness of a dairy alternative.
The Red Lentil Dal was completely overshadowd by the first two dishes. We thought that it was underseasoned and a bit bland. In its defense though, dal is meant as an everyday healthy dish meant to be simple and light.
The Saag or Mother's Greens as Holyfood have dubbed it was a triumph. As I mentioned in the first Holyfood post Saag is not purely a spinach based dish and here we see savoy cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, spinach all being used. This is heady mix with the strength of the sprouts shining though and the first dish that had a really distinctive warmth of spice that builds.
Holyfood's carrot salad is like nothing else i have ever tried. Without reading the ingredient list i thought that it was perhaps some sort of ground cashew mix. The finely grated carrot, lemon juice and spices blend into a sweet and savory accompaniment that is tangy fresh and unmistakably pure.
We thought the Kadi chawal was one of the best dishes. An unfamiliar mixture of yogurt thickened with flour and added spices presented a light, sour lemony sauce with perfectly textured potatoes. Despite being an initial shock to the palate kadi was a real hit and along with the greens a dish that I will definitely investigate further.
The rice was as tasty as can have been expected, the addition of peas, caramalised onions and cumin seeds was an added bonus but with the advent of inexpensive domestic rice cookers I would never buy pre-prepared rice and neither should you.
Overall we agreed that Holyfood had achieved their aim of producing clean, healthy and everyday Indian convenience food. We put away more food than is advisable and certainly more that is possible in a ghee heavy, cream ridden curry house. This is certainly testimony to Holyfood's healthfulness and with no over-spicing it is the type of food that I could eat day in day out if it were not for the cost issue.
I know full well the cost of good food and Holyfood is undeniably expensive, while the large price tags should instill in the (affluent) customer a huge sense of quality lets just hope that demand continues and we see Holyfood on shelves well into the future. After all it is worth saving for.
Expect to find HOLYFOOD in your local premium food store soon!!