Marion's Kitchen - at home in my kitchen.

Last week, the OTCB crew enjoyed a good old fashioned winter cook up. Heading over to my (Tom) house, Camellia, Nathan and I cooked four curries using Marion Grasby's Marion's Kitchen Food Range. All four curry packs were provided to us without charge for us to sample.

Before the others got to my place, I went for a quick shop for the additional ingredients listed on the packs. I left the supermarket with a $35 bill and armed with 1.3kgs of chicken, a tomato, onions, potatoes, pumpkin, cauliflower, chickpeas, tofu, yoghurt and cream. Bargain, thanks Woolies! I was pretty stoked that I only needed 11 ingredients to cook four curries that ended up giving me a week's worth of food.

Marion's Kitchen Food - ingredients
All we need for a rad night in with mates and Marion.
Being the perfect host in the freezing cold Adelaide Hills, I'd lit the fire, sparked up a few candles and broken out the crackers and dip before Nathan and Camellia arrived. We quickly read the ingredients on the boxes of curry, decided which we'd make with meat and which we'd modify - here's what we decided:
Korma Curry - with chickpeas
Sri Lankan Curry - with tofu, cauliflower and pumpkin
Butter Chicken - with chicken (surprise!)
Malaysian Curry - with chicken

Marion's Kitchen Food - ingredients
Nathan and Camellia study the ingredients to see what I can and can't eat
We all commented how strange it was that we're food bloggers but eat out way more than we cook and we've definitely never cooked together before. Luckily, we all have our knife and pen licenses and knew our way around the kitchen.

Marion's Kitchen Food - ingredients
Nathan handles his breast with ease.
Once the chicken was trimmed and diced and the onions cut, we were ready to start cooking the first curry, Butter Chicken.

Marion's Kitchen Food - ingredients
That meat is too close for comfort #vegan
After all the preparation, we soon realised just how easy Marion has made it for us. The three packets inside the box are sequentially labeled, with instructions printed on the pack. Unless you can't read or don't have arms, you should be sweet to prepare a Butter Chicken for your mates.

Marion's Kitchen Food - ingredients
Add the packs of marinate, spices and liquid following the numbers on the packets.

We added the packets one by one, as per the instructions, chucked a lid on it and got cracking on the next curry.

Marion's Kitchen Food - cooking
Cooking with Marion's Kitchen Food is quick and easy.

Nathan was keen to marinade the chicken for the Malaysian curry, so Camellia and I sat back and Instagrammed some of our photos, ate more dip and chatted about how nice it'd be to have Nathan cook for us errr night.

Marion's Kitchen Food - preparing
While one curry cooks, the next curry is being prepared

So this is Nathan cooking. You get it.

Marion's Kitchen Food - cooking
...and another curry is ready in less than 20 mins.

Speaking of Instagram, we tagged Marion in a couple of pics and she got all up in our Instagrill and had a good chinwag with us. You can see the whole exchange here. Did I mention Marion reposted our pic? You can see it for yourself here - whadda gem!

Next up, it was time to change into some cheesecloth and start the vegan curries.

Marion's Kitchen Food - cooking vegan/vegetarian
Veganising Marion's Kitchen Food curries is easy - just substitute meat for veg/beans

I substituted chicken for chickpeas and then got carried away joking around with the other guys and burnt my curry to the bottom of the pan. Do you even food blog?

Next time you do the same thing, don't try to scrape it off the pan and into a dish, just tip the loose parts in a separate dish, soak the burnt bits in the pan and let your dishwasher do the rest.

Marion's Kitchen Food - cooking vegan/vegetarian
How to burn a curry - step 2.

Following the limited success with my Korma curry, I was on a mission to make my Sri Lankan curry the star of the show. We decided to add tofu, cauliflower and pumpkin instead of meat. With the instructions provided on the box, substitution of ingredients is made really easy.

Marion's Kitchen Food - cooking vegan/vegetarian
Adding cauliflower to the curry is easy and no need to adjust any other ingredients.

It was time to let Camellia shine while I set the table, talked to Nathan about big boy work stuff and took the occasional annoying photo.

Marion's Kitchen Food - cooking vegan/vegetarian
Camellia took the reins of the vegan Sri Lankan curry

By this stage, our house was smelling mighty fine, it was toastie warm, the table was set, candles lit and we were huuuuungry.

Marion's Kitchen Food - cooking vegan/vegetarian
The final (and vitally important) stir.

I'd cooked some brown rice in the Thermomix earlier, bought some naan bread and papadums to compliment the curries. Like any good curry feast, we served each dish in the pan we cooked it in, poured some wine and got stuck in.

Marion's Kitchen Food - dinner is served

Getting together at home instead of in a restaurant is special and something we will definitely do more often. We all know food is one of the things that brings friends together and we didn't expect cooking our own meals from packet curry mixes would be so fun.

The flavours were sensational. Just enough spice, good depth of flavour and having all travelled relatively extensively, we can say they taste pretty darn authentic. The thing we loved the most is how easy it was to achieve a super tasty meal with minimal effort and washing up.

Cooking with Marion's Kitchen Food gave us the opportunity to catch up at home, away from the formalities and expectations of dining out. There's something special about creating delicious, nourishing food with friends - a sense of accomplishment and gratification spurred the conversation far more than being served in a restaurant setting. Try it for yourselves and share photos of your food and cooking via Instagram and Twitter.


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