“ Brand: Sharwood's / Cooking Sauces „
We love a good curry, and we always make a nice madras as we like a nice spicy curry. But sometimes when you've had a busy day, or when you simply can not be bothered slaving in the kitchen for hours, a jar is much easier!!!
We were in Tesco one day and saw the Rogan Josh variety of this Sharwoods sauce on offer for £1 and thought we'd give it a try as it was the perfect size jar for the two of us.
Its great to use with either beef, pork or chicken, we used the latter.
VERY simple to use, just brown off your meat in a shallow pan for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. Simply add the sauce to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
This sauce has everything in it which you need apart from the meat and so you don't need to add anything, onions or otherwise, which is good, but when i tasted it I found it a little bland tasting and so added a teaspoon of onion salts and some pepper and this seemed to sort it out, you may not have this problem, so taste it before serving and before adding anything to the pan!!
All in all I thought it was a nice curry sauce, not as nice as a home made curry of course, but a great little sauce when you don't have much time or when you don't know how to make a curry from scratch or simply can't afford to!
Definitely recommended to anyone :)
Unlike a madras or vindaloo, a Bhuna is not actually a type of curry. It is a cooking process used in curry houses.
Bhuna cooking involves gently frying spices in plenty of oil to bring out their flavour. Meat is then added to the spices and cooked in its own juices which results in deep strong flavours but little sauce.
An Indian restaurant bhuna is a well spiced curry with a thick sauce, therefore whilst the cooking process is the same is not 100% traditional due to the amount of sauce. It is often garnished with fried red peppers and onions. Bhunas are usually medium although I have had some pretty hot ones.
Ready made bhuna sauces
Unlike a vindaloo sauce, there are many different producers of bhuna sauces and include Sharwoods, Lloyd grossman and supermarket own brands. Out of all the ones I have sampled, and I believe that I have tried nearly all of them, the Sharwoods version is by far the tastiest.
Sharwoods Bhuna sauce
Sharwoods has a distinctive corporate brand and logo. It does not have a specific colour scheme associated to it (unlike Pataks which is a variety of purple and pinks) and different sauces come in jars with different colour labels.
When eating a Sharwoods bhuna sauce I find that I can really taste the tomato and red peppers in it.
The Sharwoods bhuna sauce is made from: water, diced onion, chopped tomatoes, diced red peppers, concentrated whole tomatoes, vegetable oil, modified starch, sugar, roasted garam masala spices, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger puree, garlic puree, salt, roast ginger, roast garlic, spices, citric acid.
As with all jar sauces it is not possible to replicate the flavour of this sauce due to the secretive ingredients such as "Spices" (what are these?) and the availability of some of the ingredients.
It should be noted that this sauce is not suitable for people with peanut, nut or sesame allergies.
The nutritional values per 100g is as follows:
Energy - 322 Kj/79 Kcal
Protein - 1.0g
Carbohydrate - 10.9g
Which sugars - 6.0g
Fat - 3.5g
Which saturates - 0.2g
Which polyunsaturates - 0.9g
Fibre - 2.4g
Sodium - 0.48g
The bhuna sauce is very low in calories and, compared to other curry sauces, low in fat. It does, however, contain a lot of carbohydrates and very little protein so it is not suitable for those atkin dieters amongst us.
Like all ready made sauces there is a recommended recipe on the label. The recipe suggests chicken, which seems to be the 'standard' meat in home curry cooking.
Other meats I have tried include:
Turkey - Leaner than chicken and really picks up the flavour of the bhuna sauce.
Lamb - The taste of the meat over powered the taste of the sauce
Beef - The flavour of the beef was way too over powering for the sauce
Stewing steak - Stewing steak in a curry does not work. A waste of a good sauce
If having a meat curry then, in my opinion, you can't go wrong with turkey since it does not have an over powering taste and really picks up the flavour of the bhuna sauce.
Another alternative to use is king prawns. These have got to be the kind without tails on since they are not dipped in the sauce but actually cooked in it.
Cooking with prawns is different to cooking with meat since they take a matter of minutes to warm through and, unlike meat, it is very easy to spoil them. I find overcooked prawns go kind of rubbery and lose the little flavour they have.
To make a prawn bhuna I pour the sauce in to a saucepan and warm through. The prawns are added right at the end, just before serving. Prawns really seem to suck up the flavour.
The Sharwoods bhuna sauce, although classifies as a medium, is not that spicy. After eating it you can tell that you've had something with a bit of a kick but your taste buds will still be intact.
What you get is a really fragrant and tasty sauce that is bursting with tomatoes and red pepper.