If you haven’t discovered Rafi’s Spicebox, let me introduce you. Rafi’s put together packs of spices to which you add your own main ingredient – say vegetables, chicken, lamb etc. to make an authentic curry.
The family business was started by Rafi Fernandez in 1989 and is today carried on by her sons Kevin and Lee with shops in York, Leeds, Newcastle and Sudbury in Suffolk.
I’ve known the York shop for years but last week was reminded just how good it is at one of their cookery demonstrations that are being rolled out across the branches.
Lee Fernandez and Marketing Manager Ian Lea reminded us that an Indian meal is made up of three or four dishes of different tastes and textures usually including a crunchy fresh salad and a pickle.
The demonstration showed us how to put together a complete meal with a main dish of Goan green chicken and rice, a side dishes of south Indian sambhar – lentils, toasted coconut, curry leaves and mustard seeds brightened with a dash of tamarind and a salad of cucumber and moong dahl with a spring onion and mint chutney.
There was plenty to taste and we all went home with the curry packs, which I suppose was the point, but what really impressed was not just how to make a curry, but what a decent, happy and ethical company they are. They have begun to offer their spice mixes in bring-your-own-jar, are working to eliminate plastic bags and involve the staff by sitting down and eating together every week.
For information on upcoming demos click here.