Curry Club's very own probation-flirting, devil-may-care hellraiser Ewan may routinely misunderstand the simplest of instructions, but sometimes that can work to everyone's advantage. During our recent excursion to the Spice Garden, he brought along two Secret Santa presents... and when he belatedly realised that no-one else had bothered, he pledged the gifts to the Club's founders and de facto mascots Trampy and The Tramp.
Seeing their boyish faces light up in wonder as they tore the wrapping paper from their curry-related gifts was one of the unexpected highlights of the evening. The Tramp found it difficult to contain his glee after revealing his four-pack of Cobra lager. And Trampy eyed his brace of ready meals hungrily. So what were they actually like? Time for a Glasgow of Curry recap...
At less than 3% fat and featuring no hydrogenated fats, artificial colours or flavourings, I was immediately intrigued by the Sainsbury's Be Good To Yourself range of curries. Helpfully, the packaging indicated how many Weight Watchers points are contained in each ready meal-for-one, although it should be pointed out that these values have been calculated by Sainsbury's for information purposes only - these products are not sponsored or endorsed by Weight Watchers International in any way.
While I usually enjoy the spicier end of the curry scale, I decided to start with the Chicken Korma and Pilau Rice, mostly because it's Use By date was approaching fast. The korma sauce was created with low fat yogurt, ginger, garlic and coriander and perhaps betrayed a little of its inherent healthiness by not being totally kickass awesome. However, it was a nice change.
A few minutes later, I decided to try the Chicken Tikka Biryani which, although it had a marginally higher salt content, was only 5 Weight Watchers points compared to the Korma's 6 (just to reiterate, though, these products are not sponsored or endorsed by Weight Watchers International in any way). This was definitely a spicier feed, and while it occasionally felt that there wasn't quite enough sauce to sufficiently drench the accompanying pilau rice, it was generally fairly satisfying. Would I plump for either of these curries the next time I was loitering in the readymade curry aisle of Sainsbury's? It's tough to say. The presumed healthy eating benefits would probably not be quite enough to stay my hand; especially if the normal curries were running the same 2 for £5 offer. Still, what a thoughful gift. Thanks Ewan!
The Tramp writes:
As soon as I returned back to TT HQ in deepest Partick after the last Curry Club jaunt to the Spice Garden, I carefully cleared space in my fridge and nestled my surprise Secret Santa gift of a Cobra lager four-pack in to chill. Just over a week later, having judged them to be suitably cooled, they were placed into my coolbag and transported back with me to the family home, EK Mansions, to be sampled on Christmas Eve.
Santa has come to expect a healthy tumbler of Islay malt, along with the obligatory carrots for the reindeer, when he makes visit to EK Mansions... this year would be a little bit different; why not share my Cobra with him? - two for him, two for me. So, with the clock approaching midnight, the fire stoked, carrots placed by the hearth and my finest slippers donned, I relaxed into my favourite chair, Cobra loaded coolbag by my side, and waited for Santa to make his entrance. After several minutes of nervous tension I decided to crack into my first beer - in part to pass the time while I awaited the arrival of the legendary night flier but also to check that beer was up to the standard that he would expect. It was. Following the satisfying hiss as the cap popped off I was pleased to find that the icy cold lager was crisp and refreshing and decidedly smooth. I'm usually not a big fan of lager but I could definitely see myself enjoying more than one Cobra when I have a thirst on.
Surprised at how quickly the first bottle went down and, with no sign of the big man yet, I decided to crack on with the second. The second bottle went down as smoothly as the first and I certainly felt much more relaxed about finally meeting the man in red. As the clock edged towards 1am I started to become concerned that the coolbag might start to lose it's chill and the Cobras would cease to be at the optimum temperature for maximum refreshment. Surely Santa wouldn't want to share a warm beer in the middle of his busiest night of the year? With that in mind I quickly downed the last two bottles and set about digging out the Lagavulin for Ol' Saint Nick.
After a quick taste to check that the whisky was up to standard I stoked the fire once more and settled back into the chair to continue my wait. Somehow the four Cobras and a few Lagavulins conspired against me and I feel asleep in the wee small hours. Unfortunately Santa didn't get to enjoy the Cobra but it seems that he did visit the Mansions and it looks like he polished off my malt.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the Cobra which was a fantastic secret Santa gift. Thanks Bawsaag.
Happy Christmas to all Curry Clubbers from Trampy and The Tramp
What would you have liked the Secret Santa to have brought you? And have you been naughty or nice? Comment to let us know.