Monday, 30 March 2015

Spice Tailor Chicken Tikka Masala

I recently took part in a BzzAgent campaign to try out the pairing of a Spice Tailor curry with Kingfisher beer.

The Spice Tailor put together packs of spices, pastes and sauces so you can make an easy-peasy super-fast mid-week curry. I love things like this- it seems more authentic/like you're doing some cooking than a jar whilst still being quick and easy.

I chose to go with a classic Chicken Tikka Masala but it would also work with other meats, fish, veg or paneer.

First fry the contents of the spice sachet for a short while. Next, add in the chicken (or whatever you are using) and brown off for a couple of minutes.

If you have time, marinade the meat in the paste, but it's fine if you don't- I didn't and it still tasted great.

Add the paste if you didn't use it as a marinade.

Finally add the sauce and simmer for around 15 minutes or until cooked through. This gives you time to get your rice and/or naan ready!

As well as the sauces and spices, I was sent a naan too. This was a really good quality shop-bought naan. It's never going to compete with my favourite peshwari but it was great for mopping up the curry.

I added a sprinkle of fresh coriander on top and had some mango chutney too.

I was also sent a voucher for money off Kingfisher beer and a cool branded pint glass. This was actually the last one on the shelf so it must be popular. It's quite a large bottle so Edd and I shared it between us. I'm not a huge larger/beer drinker, but straight from the fridge I appreciated how cool, crisp and refreshing this was with a curry.

The curry itself was not too spicy or too heavy on the stomach. There wasn't an over-abundance of sauce and cooking the spices separately gave a good warmth to the dish. I'd definitely recommend marinading the chicken first!

Check out The Spice Tailor website for stockists and more recipe ideas- loving the look of the PLT Sandwich.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

New opening: Amantia, Birmingham City Centre

 I love Spanish food and we're not overrun with Spanish restaurants in Birmingham. So I was pleased to hear about Amantia, newly opened on Bennetts Hill in the city centre.

I was lucky enough to get myself on the list for their opening party last Sunday. I joined a group of food bloggers to drink Sangria and try some of their food.

It was very busy- the party wasn't just bloggers or press, there seemed to be lots of family and friends there which gave a nice buzzing atmosphere.

I liked the white and purple colour scheme and the statement bar. The menu is a mix of tapas, crepes and main meals like duck in brandy sauce and mussels. 

We tried some samples from the menu and some off-menu which owner Marta told us could be specials in future.

Sangria and nibbles

Gazpacho topped with Spanish ham

Manchego, cured meats, olives, Spanish omelette 

Delicias de Morcilla

These were one of the highlights of the evening. Puff pastry filled with black pudding goats cheese, caramelised onions and apple marmalade.


We tried these filled with tuna and then the veggie option of blue cheese and truffle. These were extremely moreish with a beautiful golden coating. I spotted on the menu that they also have a salted cod version which sounds splendid.

Dates stuffed with almonds wrapped in Spanish ham.

Not on the menu- sob! These were ridiculously moreish- I could happily eat a whole plate of these. Please put them on the menu Amantia.

A busy night!

I liked what I tried and will definitely be back to try out the main meals on the menu. Marta told us they hope to have Paella evenings in future and Spanish stews in the winter. Fabulous!

Thanks for having me along to your opening event Amantia! With thanks to Alvaro of British Local Food for organising.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

My Winter Coat

Well it's now Spring but I'm not ready to let go of my Winter coat yet!

Coat: M&S, Boots: Bertie via Asos

I spent September to December trying to find a winter coat and hating everything I tried on.

Finally I spotted this in the sale at M&S and knew straight away that it was the coat for me!

It makes me feel instantly smarter and more pulled together.

I still need a more casual coat but I haven't seen one I like- and hopefully soon I can go back to my mac!

I haven't done any personal style pictures for a while (not outside anyway) so I felt a bit awkward!

Luckily I'd had a cocktail at Marmalade which you can read my review of here.