Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Stonehouse 27 Indian Sauces
I'm not big on convenience foods in general, but I like the idea of an Indian "simmer sauce" to create a quick meal at home with whatever meat, seafood, tofu or vegetables I happen to have on hand. Unfortunately I never found a brand of Indian sauces that really delivered. The flavors were not great or they were too oily. Well, problem solved. Stonehouse 27 makes a line of Indian sauces that are very high quality with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. They even use agave syrup in place of the more common corn syrup and are gluten-free and vegetarian (and mostly vegan).
The sauces are not necessarily what you might find at a typical Indian restaurant. They are inspired by the Portuguese and Anglo-Indian heritage of the company’s founder, Sharon Fernandes. I was given samples around the time of the Fancy Food Show earlier this year and recently had the chance to try the Tamarind and Garlic, Cilantro and Coconut and the Cashews and Cream sauces with various fresh ingredients. I was really struck by the bright freshness of the flavors. The tamarind was nice and tangy, the cashew and coconut was creamy and rich. They are very flexible and easy to use. If you use meat and vegetables they make a very tasty one dish meal. Frankly they are better than the Indian food I can get delivered.
They are a bit more expensive than other sauces I've seen at about $8 for a jar, but for the quality and convenience I think they are well worth the money. Half a jar and half a pound of shrimp or chicken plus some vegetables made enough for at least three servings.I do think you need a bit of cooking sense to use them. The time necessary for simmering depends on the size you have cut your meat or vegetables. And I like that they are unsalted so I can season to taste. But even when I am bleary-eyed making a satisfying meal with these sauces is a breeze and a nice change of pace from jars of spaghetti sauce. Keep your eyes open for them stores near you or purchase online.