Saffron Road Food was kind enough to send me four of their wonderful simmer sauces.
The first simmer sauce that I tried was their Tikki Masala Simmer Sauce. I stared at the package and I read and reread the instructions- oil, add vegetables and meat, stir. Could it be that simple? I am happy to say that yes, it was that simple and this momma was surprised, full and even had some leftovers for lunch the next day. Score! Just a small amount of cooking for two meals! I chose to try the Tikki Masala using some already-cooked chicken, broccoli and carrots. A smidge of olive oil, saute the vegetables, add chicken and sauce and done. It literally took more time for me to prep the vegetables than it did to cook the meal. And as you can see from the photo, the sauce is more than enough to cover a large amount of add-ins and still gives you the ooey-gooey effect...ooey-gooey, I am sure somewhere that is a very technical cooking term. The taste was good- it had a slightly spicy kick to it but not overpowering. I would say it resembles a form of Chinese Chicken and Garlic Sauce perhaps? The ingredients for the sauce are water, tomato paste, sugar, canola oil, cream, salt, modified corn starch, spices, lemon juice concentrate, yogurt powder (cultured nonfat milk), dehydrated garlic, paprika, soy lecithin, natural flavors, lactic acid, turmeric, sunflower oil, xanthan gum and natural smoke flavor. This mix does contain milk and soy.
The second sauce I tried was the Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce. Again, just as easy and fast to prepare so I was thrilled. I mixed in some already-cooked chicken, baby shrimp and snow peas. I also tried using coconut butter with this recipe but I do warn anyone who is using coconut to start with This mix does contain soy.
less and add more if need be. I used too much and my serving was just a tad too oily, which then ruins the good taste experience. The Lemongrass Basil was a milder taste but it was pleasant, not too plain. I had mine over some quinoa and (again) still had leftovers for lunch for hubby. After all, I can't be the only one who gets to eat these delicious foods, can I? Well..maybe just sometimes. The ingredients include water, desiccated coconut, green chile puree (green chilies, citric acid), sugar, garlic puree (garlic, vinegar), canola oil, modified corn starch, salt, lemon juice concentrate, lime juice concentrate, natural flavors, soy lecithin, spices, garlic powder, maltodextrin, xanthan gum, dextrose, turmeric, sunflower oil and natural smoke flavor.
Rogan Josh Simmer Sauce. This sauce was similar to the Tikki Masala but a bit more barbeqey and tomatoey (again, very technical cooking terms). I do have to admit that my preparation may have sabotaged the full flavor as I overcooked my beef. I used grapeseed oil and also added broccoli and green beans and that too, I would rethink next time. I think the green beans didn't do the sauce justice. Still, I have no complaints about the ease of the sauce and the amount that you get from one packet. The ingredients for the Rogan Josh are water, diced onion, tomato paste, sugar, canola oil, diced red bell pepper, garlic puree (garlic, vinegar), onion Juice (onion juice, salt), modified corn starch, salt, red pepper puree, lemon juice concentrate, diced green bell pepper, spices, soy lecithin, dehydrated garlic, turmeric, paprika, natural flavors, sunflower oil, xanthan gum and natural smoke flavor. This mix does contain soy.
Moroccan Tagine was almost like a mixture of the Tikki Masala and the Rogan Josh- it starts out a bit milder but then sneaks up on you and is just spicy enough to get your attention. For this mix, I used olive oil, carrots, roasted brussel sprouts and a combination of beef and chicken. This time, I noticed the cooking instructions said to use a tiny bit of the simmer sauce while sauteing the beef to keep it tender and it came out perfect...wish I had paid closer attention for the other dish I used beef in. Live and learn, right? This simmer sauce contains water, date paste (dates, water), sugar, white honey, tomato paste, canola oil, salt, modified corn starch, spices, tamarind puree, lemon juice concentrate, dehydrated garlic, paprika, soy lecithin, natural flavors, turmeric, xanthan gum, sunflower oil and natural smoke flavor. This mix does contain soy.
Did I mention they also included three of their crunchy chick peas? These little buggers are crunchy, flavorful and very addictive! They come in Falafel, Wasabi and Bombay Spice.
Falafel is like a mini, crunchy version of hummus. The flavor was good but not too strong and still has enough flavor to eat alone. I even got a thumbs up from my daughter who has recently decided that she hates all foods, even those that she has loved since birth. The ingredients are organic chickpeas, expeller pressed canola oil, cane sugar, tapioca dextrin, spices, salt, black bean powder (black beans, sugar), onion powder, garlic powder, lemon juice powder (lemon juice concentrate, maltodextrin), paprika, granulated garlic, turmeric and yeast extract.
Wasabi is listed as a "hotter" product as seen on the heat meter that is on each of Saffron Road's packages on the front. I was surprised that they were not just a bit hotter. Don't get me wrong- they were really, really good and I could eat these by the handful but the hot factor was somewhat mild. Just a heads-up for those who are afraid to try spicy foods- don't skip this one because you will be pleasantly surprised. The ingredients are organic chickpeas, expeller pressed canola oil, cane sugar, modified food starch, salt, yeast extract, dehydrated vegetable powders, onion powder, natural flavorings (horseradish powder,spinach powder, mustard flour, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavoring), garlic powder, spices and citric acid.
Bombay Spice is (to me) hotter than the Wasabi. This was definitely my favorite out of the three varieties. The perfect combination of crunch, spiciness and flavors. I found myself having to hide them away so that I didn't consume the entire bag in one sitting. Not a pretty site finding your spouse passed out on the couch with remnants of Bombay Spice on her face and two fingers. Yes, two fingers because everyone knows you only use your thumb and pointer finger to pick them out of the bag to get that crusted build-up of taste which you then secretly lick off of your fingers. Ingredients include organic chickpeas, expeller pressed canola oil, cane sugar, salt, spices, paprika, black bean powder (black beans, sugar), onion powder, garlic powder, tumeric, yeast extract, citric acid, extractives of paprika and annato.
The Plus Side- Saffron Road Foods, as a company, is halal and their livestock is 100% vegetarian-fed, certified humane, antibitoic free and 100% natural. They use milk from cows not treated with rBST (rbST is the acronym for recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of a protein hormone that is produced naturally in the pituitary glands of all cattle, including dairy cows. rbST is used to stimulate milk production in dairy cows). They also support local farmers as well as boasting that all of their facilities and workers are right here in North America.They are enrolled in the Non-GMO project and their line of products also include gluten free and vegetarian items.
The Downer- Many of the products contain soy and yeast which have become off-limits ingredients for many. They also have products that contain peanuts, cashews, wheat and dairy which may pose a concern for those who cannot consume foods that are manufactured with allergenic foods. I highly recommend that you contact the company for specific questions or concerns as they are extremely helpful. Their website can be viewed at http://www.saffronroadfood.com/.
All in all, I would definitely recommend these products. They are great tasting and (again) so easy to use with whatever you have. A fast meal does not have to be unhealthy and Saffron Road Foods has proven that.