Skip to main content

Karen’s Spice Kitchen is Truly Curry in a Hurry

Karen's Spice Kitchen
Image used with permission by copyright holder
If Karen Paly’s husband ever got tired of eating curry five nights a week, he never let on. It was all part of her strategy to create a business to make it easy for others to cook awesome dishes in a short amount of time.

Originally from South Africa, Paly visited her dad in Australia and friends invited them to dinner. The friend said she was going to prepare a curry dish and Paly knew from her own cooking experience that dinner probably wouldn’t be served for a couple of hours. When dinner was ready to serve 45 minutes later, Paly was amazed and wanted to know the secret. She found out it was prepared using a pre-blended spice packet created by an Australian company. She and her husband bought dozens of their blends and then inquired about being the U.S. distributor—they were now living in Asheville, N.C. The company declined, but invited Karen to develop her own, so that’s exactly what she did.

chicken-tikka-masalaAfter months of developing recipes, grinding spices, and using her husband and friends as taste testers, she debuted Karen’s Spice Kitchen in January 2016. She works out of her own production facility and hand packs the spices herself, including putting the mixes in bags and pasting the labels on the front. It’s labor intensive, but necessary as she grows her business to the next level, which she hopes will include machine-automation that can perform many of these tedious steps for her.

She currently sells 12 varieties online and in several retail stores in North Carolina. They include Butter Chicken, Mango Chicken Curry, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken and Chickpea Curry, Lamb Korma, Lamb Rogan Josh, Thai Chicken Satay, Beef Madras, Indian Shrimp Curry, South Indian Veggie Curry, Bobotie (South African Curried Meatloaf), and Massaman Chicken/Beef Curry. Each retails for $5.99. All recipes serves four to six people.

Paly encourages at-home cooks to be creative and customize the recipes. “It may call for chicken or beef, but you can also use fish, tofu, or just vegetables,” she said. “Or, if it calls for heavy cream, you can exchange with coconut milk.”

Here’s how it works: Each packet of pre-blended spices features a specific recipe on the back. Prep time is around 20 minutes and involves dicing an onion and cooking the ingredients in a pan until they turn translucent, add garlic and cook for another minute, and then add the contents of the large spice packet (there’s a smaller hot chili pepper packet included, if you want to make your dish spicier). Cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly. Then add the other ingredients of the specific recipe you are preparing (listed on the back of the package). It takes about 40 minutes total (less for the shrimp recipe) to put a home cooked meal on the table. It’s also a great to wow friends or unexpected dinner guests.

Here’s the recipe for the Chicken Tikka Masala. You can also see the step-by-step process on Karen’s Spice Kitchen’s YouTube Channel.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp butter or cooking oil of your choice
  • 2-3 pounds of boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 or 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream (substitute with yogurt or coconut milk)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (plus extra sprigs for garnish, if desired)

Three easy steps:

  1. Chop and saute onion, garlic and spices
  2. Add protein and other ingredients
  3. Simmer (cook time on front of each package)
Topics
Marla Milling
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Marla Hardee Milling is a full-time freelance writer living in a place often called the Paris of the South, Sante Fe of the…
Coca-Cola used A.I. to create its next big drink because that’s ‘what the future tastes like’
We wonder if the future tastes like a dystopian hellscape
Coca-Cola

If you’re anything like us, you’re still a little wary of artificial intelligence (also known as AI). Maybe it’s because of movies like I, Robot or Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but we don’t think it’s so wrong to be at least a little cautious about artificial intelligence. The last thing we need is a robot uprising that eventually leads to the downfall of humankind, right? Well, clearly, Coca-Cola doesn’t share our fears of an impending AI-led apocalypse because it just launched a cola made with artificial intelligence. Well, co-created with AI.

It's called Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Y3000, and it was co-created by humans and artificial intelligence by “understanding how fans envision the future through emotions, aspirations, colors, flavors and more,” according to a Coca-Cola press release. It was created by Coca-Cola fans around the world as well as “insights gathered from artificial intelligence.” If that sounds kind of sci-fi, that’s because it really is. Robots and humans working in unison to create…cola? We’re sure that’s what people envisioned when they created artificial intelligence.

Read more
The pros and cons of a gluten-free diet, according to an expert
Looking for a gluten free diet list? Read this first
Gluten free cereals corn, rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, pasta and flour with scratched text gluten on brown wooden background,overhead horizontal view

Nowadays, everyone is a self-proclaimed nutrition guru. The real question is, who can you truly trust? With so many myths and misconceptions, finding the right path for your personal wellness journey can feel like a corn maze of confusion.

To help you navigate the maze of gluten-related questions, we've turned to an authority on the subject, Dr. Abigail Raffner Basson, RD, LD, a distinguished nutrition instructor at Case Western Reserve University. Together, we'll unravel the mysteries and set the record straight on gluten. There is a lot of information out there when it comes to nutrition, so let's get to the bottom of it.

Read more
MLB star Mookie Betts travels with his own portable kitchen so he can eat healthy no matter where he goes
All-Star MVP candidates gotta eat right, too
Mookie Betts playing baseball

 

Even a short road trip poses challenges to eating well, with tempting drive-through windows and enticing gas station snacks at every turn. Even the most disciplined can be lured by the alluring aroma of fast food. For MLB superstar Mookie Betts, veering off the healthy eating path while traveling isn’t an option.

Read more