We have made our fair share of curries from scratch, but some nights when we are working late, we will cheat with a jar of simmer sauce. I have featured many times on this blog how to take something premade, add a little of this and a little of that, and make it your own. The pictures below are a tale of two sauces.
The first one is Patak’s, which is our normal go-to when in a pinch. It usually requires only minimal doctoring, such as a splash of cream, maybe a dab of butter, and a sprinkling of additional spices. This Chicken Tikka Masala was absolutely delicious, and I even added some Korean Gochugaru on top for extra flavor.
Skip ahead a week, and we made a shrimp and scallop coconut curry. Rather than Patak’s, we noticed a different brand on the shelf right next to it called Aruj (which was slightly more expensive). We are fans of their curry powder and figured we would give it a try. It ended up being absolutely awful. There was hardly any flavor and the texture was strange. We spent so much time trying to fix it that we might as well have just made our own. I’ve never had to add salt to a jarred Indian sauce before, so that shows just how flavorless this was. However, we were rewarded for our hard work as the end result was palatable, though far below what we are capable of.