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On my journey to making dinner time more interesting and bringing more exotic and healthy dishes to the table, I have found a clever little sauce made by the famous Masterchef host, Loyd Grossman. Mr Grossman quotes 'Creating a great Thai curry is about fusion of aromatic ingredients: like the way lemongrass, lime leaves and corriander marry with the green chillies in this sauce for a wonderfully fragrant taste'. Well, we can't let him take all the credit, after all he didn't help me prepare the meat or stand over the stove. The sauce comes in a clear glass jar with a silver lid, and has a push top seal for freshness. On the front of the jar is a label with a picture of the man himself with his name boldly printed next to him. Underneath in italics is the words 'Green Thai'. I'm quite pleased to read on the label that half a jar contains 202 calories, not too bad for a curry at all. There is also cookng instructions suggesting to add diced chicken to a pan, fry until brown then stir in the sauce, let it simmer until the meat is cooked through. Upon opening the jar I am hit with a vibrant yet zesty fragrance, I can smell coconut, the kick from the chillies and the light spicing from the corriander, it smells fresh and unique to other sauces I have experienced in the curry variety. The sauce looks creamy and the colour is brilliant, we can tell this is going to make for an interesting dinner already. We cooked up the curry, adding sugar snap peas to give it a bit more substinance and served with jasmine rice. The flavours pass over the tongue and my taste buds are tingling, it has a fresh lemony taste, with a slight pepper feel. The warmth from the chillies and slight bitterness come through and rounded off well cleansing the pallet with the lemongrass. We love this sauce, we wouldn't have it weekly but it makes a nice change if you fancy something different. It retails around £2.49 for a 350g jar which would happily feed the whole family.
I have been to Thailand a couple of times, and despite my intentions of trying to sample as large a variety of authentic Thai dishes as possible during my visits, I was very often unable to resist the Green Curry on menus as it is one of my favourite meals. I decided to try the Loyd Grossman Thai Green Curry cooking sauce, to see how it compares. This sauce is currently priced at £2.19 in Tesco. ~ ~ Packaging ~ ~ The product comes in a 350g clear glass jar with a green lid. The jar has a slightly elongated neck, which helps to make it stand out as a more expensive-looking option against the other versions on the shelf. The label on the jar has a picture of Loyd Grossman bringing a spoon to his mouth, alongside the quote: "I love the combination of green chillies, lemongrass and coriander in this medium, aromatic curry sauce", which you can almost hear him saying in that famously odd accent. Some very brief and easy-to-follow cooking instructions can be found on the side of the jar, and the ingredients and nutritional values on the reverse. ~ ~ Ingredients ~ ~ Water, Coconut Cream (20%), Green Curry Paste (11%) (Garlic, Green Chillies, Lemongrass, Onion, Salt, Ginger, Galangal, Yellow Chilli, Coriander, Cumin, Kaffir Lime Peel, Rice Vinegar, Coriander Seed, White Pepper), Bamboo Shoot, Green Bean, Sugar, Creamed Coconut, Fish Sauce (Anchovy, Salt, Sugar), Modified Maize Starch, Concentrated Lemon Juice, Milled Lemongrass (1%), Garlic Puree, Vegetable Bouillon(Salt, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Flavouring, Onion Powder, Leek Powder,Celery, Ground Celery Seed, Turmeric,Pepper), Ground Lime Leaves. ~ ~ Nutrition Information (values per 100g) ~ ~ Energy - 481kJ/115kcal Protein - 1.5g Carbohydrate -10.6g of which Sugars - 6.7g Fat - 7.4g of which saturates - 6.7g Fibre - 1.6g Sodium - 0.9g Salt Equivalent - 2.3g ~ ~ My Opinion ~ ~ Most Thai Green Curries I have tried in Britain, whether in restaurants or out of a packet or jar, have tended to be a toned-down, milder version of those in Thailand, often using alternative vegetables due to availability. But, I do find that most of them successfully capture the authentic flavour. This was not, however, the case with Mr. Grossman's jar of sauce. As soon as I removed the lid from the jar, I knew something wasn't right. All I could smell was a strong aroma of lime juice. The lime overpowered any other flavours, and I couldn't detect even a hint of the typically Thai coconut flavour which should have been instantly apparent. I cooked the meal anyway, although I had a strong suspicion from the smell that I probably wasn't going to like it that much. As directed on the jar, I fried 300g of diced chicken and then stirred in the sauce and brought it to the boil. I then added some peas and chopped runner beans to add texture. As the sauce simmered, I was hoping that perhaps some other flavours would come through and the lime would calm slightly, but by the time the meal was ready to serve it smelt the same as it did when it was still in the jar. I served it with Jasmine rice, and the first few mouthfuls weren't too bad. I noticed straight away that the consistency of the sauce was different to that of most other green curries I had tried, in that it was more syrupy than creamy. I found that after a few mouthfuls though, I was tending to pick at it, avoiding getting too much of the sauce on my fork. As long as I had more rice and chicken in my mouth than sauce, it wasn't too bad! I did leave quite a lot of it, as the lime flavour just became far too sickly. This product just wasn't Thai Green Curry as I know it, and as I was eating it I kept thinking 'this isn't green curry!'. Overall, I was very disappointed. I had paid more than double the price of cheaper alternatives (both Tesco and Asda do their own versions, both priced at 97p), expecting to get a product that was far superior. What I got was a product that is difficult to compare to other versions, as it has a completely different flavour. It would be more suitable to name the meal 'Lime chicken' in my opinion.
Loyd Grossman Thai Green Curry Price: £1.75 Ingredients - Water - Coconut cream (20%) - Sugar - Creamed Coconut - Lemongrass - Herbs & Spices - Fish sauce - Green curry paste (11%) - Bamboo shoot - Green bean Nutritional value - Energy - 115 kcal - Protein - 1.5g - Carbohydrate - 10.6g - of which sugar - 6.7g - Fat - 7.4g ...of which saturates - 6.7g - Fibre - 1.6g - Sodium - 0.9g - Salt - 2.3g Packaging: Naturally this, like most other Loyd Grossman products has a photo of the man plastered on the front looking very chef like putting a spoon to his lips. Then it has a quote by the man himself; "Creating a great Thai curry is about the fusion of aromatic ingredients..." etc etc. Followed by very basic cooking tips along the lines of "put chicken in pan, fry chicken, put sauce in with chicken, put on plate with rice and eat". Personally I feel this is a total waste of time and totally unimaginative. There is so much you can do with Thai cuisine, so these extremely dull pointless tips are a little insulting to the food in my opinion. Aside from this, the lid and colour scheme all look simple but colourful with a distinctly 'green' and white theme (duh...*green* curry). Taste So all the 'technicalities' out the way, now the important thing; How does it taste? If you are looking for 'authentic' then you are obviously going to be dissapointed; You can get original Thai curry paste in most Asian food stores across the country shipped in from Thailand. But even for those people who don't care about 'authenticity' and just want a sauce that is tasty, this doesn't really deliver that much. Don't get me wrong, it's not bland or unpleasant, it just lacks the essential ingredients of the other Thai pastes and the quantities of the ingredients are quite off. I know not everyone likes spicy sauces and pastes, but this sauce has absolutely no spice to it whatsoever from what I can taste. I wouldn't even call it 'mild', i'd say it was rather 'spice free'. Perhaps i'm a bit of a food snob, especially when it comes to Asian cuisine, but the whole point of Thai food is the subtlety of the different flavours. The coconut should blend with the lemongrass and balances the chillies spice nicely so neither becomes overpowering. In this sauce that balance is totally absent, the coconut sauce seems to cancel out the chillies somewhat. However, all these faults aside, it's still a tasty sauce, but those who like chillies and 'authentic' tasting Thai cuisine may be a little dissapointed. Still, it's possible to add your own chillies to 'spice it up' and modify the sauce. But really why should you bother when you could buy genuine Thai curry pastes from Asian food stalls and markets that ultimtately save you money as you only need to add coconut milk to a tiny spoonful of paste and end up tasting nicer? The pastes last for literately months due to being so potent. This makes the price at £1.75 very steep. Overall, it's definitely not a bad sauce, if you can't be bothered or don't have the time to use the pastes and put more effort into your currys then it's probably one of the best out there. 3/5 from me.
Green curries, red curries, yellow curries, I love all variants. We have curry at least once a week for dinner - more often twice. Unfortunately preparing a curry takes quite a long time with chopping all the vegetables and preparing the sauce. So when Loyd Grossman offered to do this part for me I was delighted and tried it the very same day that I bought the sauce from the shop. Having lived and travelled in Southeast Asia I tasted so many different curries that I lost track of them. But the general rule is: yellow - mild; red - spicy but ok; green - hot, hot, hot. I was quite confuse when I tried the Loyd Grossman curry, it was a lot milder than any other curry I've ever tried or cooked myself. ------------------ Packing The curry comes in a 350g jar with the Loyd Grossman label around it. With the green and grey background is looks rather nice - almost too good to bury it in the cupboard. The sauce in the jar looks really light green with a few herbs in it, other than the pasta sauce it doesn't have a layer of oil on top which is a bit strange, I normally expect a curry to be a lot more oily than tomato sauce. I don't like the colour of the curry, it's hard to describe why. It doesn't look artificial (which is good) but also it doesn't look like the green curry I'm used to have in Thailand. The translucent jar is definitely a better packing than one with a label all over. ------------------ Ingredients & Nutrition The ingredients of the Thai Green Curry are: - Water - Coconut cream (20%) - Green curry paste (11%) - Bamboo shoot - Green bean - Sugar - Creamed Coconut - Fish sauce - Lemongrass - Herbs & Spices Thanks to the Fish sauce this curry is not suitable for strict Vegetarians & Vegans. When I read the 11% Curry paste I expected it to be quite spicy, if you've ever coked with real curry paste you know that a tablespoon is enough for a huge bowl of curry. Nutrition per 100g are: - Energy - 115 kcal - Protein - 1.5g - Carbohydrate - 10.6g - of which sugar - 6.7g - Fat - 7.4g - of which saturates - 6.7g - Fibre - 1.6g - Sodium - 0.9g - Salt - 2.3g The coconut cream makes the curry quite rich with a high percentage of sugar and fat. Surprisingly the curry also contains quite a lot salt. The Allergy advice informs us that the product contains fish and celery, nuts were handled in the same factory but not used in the sauce. ----------------- Look & Taste Upon opening the jar the curry smelled really good and tempting, you could smell the sweet coconut milk and the refreshing smell of lemongrass. I didn't follow the instruction on the jar (basically to fry 300g of chicken) but added the curry sauce to stir fried vegetables in a wok to let it simmer for 5min. Now I expected to smell the chillies but the smell state the same. The colour looked a lot better in combination with the green vegetables than it looked in the jar. A really nice green that shouts: 'No artificial colourings used'. Now to the taste, frankly speaking it was a bit bland. Not spicy at all although on the packing it's classified as medium. No, this was mild, very mild indeed. To be fair, you could definitely taste the lemon grass and the herb mix. It's an ok-isch sauce you ca try when you want a really, really mild curry. It doesn't taste bad at all, it's just not flavoured enough. ----------------- Price and Value One jar is 1.75 Pound which is an ok-isch price for curry sauce. I really liked the LG pasta sauces so I thought the curry would be well worth its price. 350g are enough for 2 - 3 servings (2servings when you like lots of sauce) and you can store the open jar in the fridge for several days - 3 days if you go by the packing. So yes, the Thai Curry is quite expensive, has not much to do with a traditional green curry and is not spicy enough. But on the other hand they used top ingredients and it's quite a nice combination of flavours. For me it's only 06 out of 10 but give it a try if you are looking for a really mild curry! -----------------
Last night was one of those mealtimes when I was making dinner for five hungry adults with odds and ends out of the fridge - you know the type of thing, where you have three quarters of a pepper, starting to wrinkle just a little bit, some "rubber" brocolli and floppy cabbage that was left over from Sunday lunch, a box of button mushrooms that I had meant to make a mushroom omelette with (except I had no eggs) - that type of throw it all together and make something with it that us disorganised working mothers are so good at! I also had some leftover pork, but not enough to make anything worth having as a standalone meal, so this was added into the mix. A rummage in the cupboard produced, amongst the various tins of chopped tomatoes and packet mixes, a jar of Loyd Grossman Green Thai sauce, so our meal suddenly became a Thai pork and vegetable curry..... After heating some oil in our trusty wok until it was hot, we threw in the pork and vegetables and gave them a good old stir fry for just a few minutes, the sauce was then added in, and the heat turned down. After 5-10 minutes simmering we had a wonderful meal ready to serve with rice or noodles. This is a sauce that I would certainly buy again - it has 20% coconut cream and 11% green curry paste, to give it a real Thai flavour, together with additional spices and veggies which include bamboo shoots, peppers, and green beans. It smelled very tasty as we dished up, and the general opinion was one of the "clean plate" and mmmmmm noises - even from my fussy teenage daughter. A 350g jar of sauce says that it will serve 2-3 people but we fed 5 with ample sauce for our meat and assorted vegetables. I would not say that this sauce was spicy, but was very flavourful - it comes with a "medium" spice rating, which I think personally is not necessary, but perhaps if you are not used to Thai food you might think a medium rating is appropriate. There are suggestions for recipes on the Loyd Grossman Sauces website at www.loydgrossman.co.uk which is an easy site to use and worth a visit. Another jar will be purchased next time I am in the supermarket, as I am sure the "throw it all together" meals will be on the menu in this household again! This sauce is not suitable for vegetarians as it uses fish sauce, and it is produced in a factory that handles nuts, although it does not contain nuts itself.