BY Natalie Cooper
In the busy modern world, good home-cooked meals are often viewed as something of a luxury, which not everyone has time to enjoy.
Almost gone are the days in which families spent hours or even days slaving over complex meals for everyday enjoyment – a study in 2014 found that the average UK household now spends just 34 minutes cooking per day, a figure which has more than halved since the 1980s. With more and more families having both parents out at work and the range and availability of ready meals and takeaways ever increasing, cooking for long periods seems to have fallen out of favour in Britain.
Convenience can only go so far against cravings for home-made goodness, however, a sentiment which creator of new Yaadgaar curry sauces Zahid, can sympathise with greatly.
Zahid came up with the idea for a healthy and simple jarred alternative to traditional home-cooked curry when he realised just how many takeaway meals he and his work colleagues had been eating in lieu of having time to cook properly. After employing a chef to cook for their offices in an effort to improve on this, Zahid realised that the time taken to prepare a good curry – not to mention the cost of all the ingredients – made eating good food rather expensive, and unsustainable in the long run, meaning a return to junk food. Armed with this desire to eat more natural and healthier foods, he retreated to his home kitchen and began experimenting with the perfect blends of spices and tastes to create convenience without compromise.
Zahid commented, “Whatever I create, I create with my kids in mind, as I won’t feed them any rubbish. We use freshly ground spices that are not brought in from India or Pakistan, but are crushed and ground in house, so it’s fresh and I know exactly what’s going into it. It’s also healthy, and there’s been no tummy upsets! Even a young child can make a good curry with these sauces – it’s just that simple!”
Yaadgaar’s new range of sauces is unlike any other on the market today, designed to make the preparation of tasty and complex curries a quick and simple process. All the convenience loving home chef needs to do is add chicken, meat or vegetables – and that’s it! No chopping, spice adding, marinating – cooks can now enjoy the full-bodied taste of a proper home cooked meal from a real Punjabi kitchen with none of the fuss usually involved.
The sauces, which come in a range of mild and hot variations, contain no preservatives, no artificial colours, and no flavour enhancement except the range of traditional spices used within each one. The ingredients list is refreshingly short, with nothing included that would be out of place in a typical kitchen cupboard – and some which might be welcomed, but not necessarily present, in a student cupboard, to reassure some worried parents!
Yaadgaar also offers amazing value for money, with one jar of sauce providing up to eight servings – perfect for feeding a busy family on a budget. After all, time is money!
Yaadgaar themselves have been around since 1983, providing a wide range of savoury and sweet products across the UK, as well as exporting products to wholesale and retail markets in ROI, Belgium and France. Noted for their high standards of food hygiene, relish and customer satisfaction, Zahid and the rest of the team are excited to be launching into this new area of simple, home-cooked specialties.
So for all of the culinary challenged and time poor home chefs out there, rest easy in the knowledge that you are not alone. The world of cooking is adapting swiftly to meet the needs of the modern world, and Yaadgaar’s sauces are no exception to that.
I tried out some of Yaadgaar’s revolutionary sauces to see if they lived up to the hype. As somebody who loves to cook but generally doesn’t have the patience for long-winded recipes with a lot of ingredients (or to be honest, much room in my small kitchen for a very extensive spice cupboard!), I’m very interested in the idea of speeding up the process without compromising on taste or quality.
I tested the Vegetable Mild Curry Sauce at home, figuring that I could probably trick my dining companions into consuming a few more of their five a day if they were paired with some tasty sauces. The instructions on the side of the jar are almost unnecessary, consisting of essentially: simmer the sauce, add your vegetables/meat/chicken, add a bit of water, and leave alone to finish cooking, stirring every so often. In the spirit of saving time and effort, I got my vegetables pre-prepared so I didn’t even have to chop those. Cooking a meat based option would be even easier – just chuck it in and you’re ready to go.
I have to admit, this was probably the simplest curry I’ve ever cooked – almost suspiciously so, leaving me wondering if it could really taste any good after such a short time. I was pleased to discover therefore, that it really did taste fantastic. Mildly spicy and slightly sweet and amazingly moreish, it’s easy to tell in the natural taste of it that there aren’t any artificial ingredients. The quality was fantastic and definitely more than comparable to a dish with a lot more time spent on it. I’ll definitely reach for this next time I crave a simple and tasty curry dish at home, and don’t fancy spending hours and hours on preparation and cooking!