Curry served in bowls with rice

Cooking courtesy of Degustabox

Mr M and I are notoriously disorganised. Our fridge is either full to the gunnels when we’ve had a grand day out in the supermarket, or it’s empty and we’re scraping together meals from bits and bobs or resorting to yet another meal out. So, when I was offered a chance to try out Degustabox, I thought it could be exactly what we needed.

Basically, it’s a monthly subscription surprise tasting box. You sign up for a monthly fee of £12.99 and for that, hey presto, a box of food products appears on your doorstep. There’s no minimum term, so you can stop whenever you like, you just have to remember to cancel it!

The month we tried had an international food theme. So, on the day of arrival (you get helpful emails and texts telling you when to expect delivery which is quite useful so you can make sure you don’t miss it) we eagerly tore into our box of goodies.

An unopened Degustabox

A Degustabox packed with goodies

Our Degustabox packed with goodies

It certainly was diverse, from microwaveable rices, curry powders and spicy crisps to chocolates and cookies, and herbal energy drinks to a Kingfisher beer )I’m told that not all boxes come with alcohol, so don’t be assuming you’ll get it in your box), it did sort of feel like a surprise gift. The full list of products is at the bottom of this post, but there’s a mixture of ready-to-eat foods and store cupboard ingredients that you can use to create a recipe.

The contents of a Degustabox

The array of Degustabox goodies – no the wine in the background isn’t included, that’s mine.

While they could have been used in a myriad of ways, one thing leapt out at us – a nice, simple after-work curry. So, here you go – the Mannings’ easy Degustabox Balti.

Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
2 gloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh green chilli, chopped (remove seeds if you don’t like it too spicy)
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 pepper, cubed (I used red, but only because that was all we had in the fridge)
1 sachet Schwartz Balti mix
1 tin Cirio tomato fillets
1 small can Cirio tomato paste

Directions
1. Fry the onion, garlic and chilli in a pan until the onion is softened.
2. Add the chicken and fry until it changes colour. Then add the Balti spice mix and cook for a few more minutes.
3. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste and red pepper. Stir thoroughly.
4. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20ish minutes until the flavours have permeated the chicken and are wafting through the house.
5. Serve with Veetee microwaveable rice (again from the Degustabox).

Onions, garlic and chilli frying for an easy curry

Fry onion, garlic and chilli until softened

Making an easy curry with Degustabox ingredients

Add cubed chicken and the balti spice mix

Adding tomatoes and peppers to an easy Degustabox curry

Add peppers, tinned tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer until cooked.

Degustabox curry served up

Serve with microwaveable rice – an easy after-work curry

There you have it, an easy, tasty after-work curry in half an hour or so, with minimum fuss and effort. For a packet mix curry, it was pretty tasty, and the microwaveable rice was a lifesaver for me who is usually removed from rice-cooking duties after several pudding-like efforts. It was uber-easy for us, since we tend to have onions, garlic and chilli in anyway, then add that to the Degustabox ingredients and all I had to think about was making sure we had some chicken.

So, am I hooked on Degustabox? Is it a must-have in the Manning household? Well, it certainly is a lot of fun, getting a surprise box of food-related yumminess. It’s useful for recipes like the above, as well as the treats like Kinder Choco-Bons and Nando’s crisps that Mr M roared through in about three days. For what you get, I don’t think £12.99 is unreasonable, and the ability to try it once then cancel it with no minimum contract is certainly appealing.

But for us, it doesn’t quite solve the problem of our chaotic food planning and preparation  – after all,  you’re still going to need to make sure you have your fridge stocked with fresh ingredients. You’re not getting a meal in a box, with all the ingredients included, but that’s not what Degustabox claims to be. What you’re getting is a box of treats that can be used in all sorts of different ways. If you keep this in mind when you sign up, then you’re on to a winner, just don’t be thinking you’ll be able to cook an entire meal from only the ingredients in this box.

Needless to say, if it appeals to you, I’d suggest giving it a go for yourself – after all, you can always cancel after one month when you’ve tried it.  If you fancy giving it a try, use the code DSILJ to get a £3.00 discount when registering.

Happy cooking!

I received a complimentary Degustabox to try. I was not required to write a positive review and, as always, everything in this blog is my honest opinion.

The April international Degustabox I received included Veetee microwaveable rice, Barry’s Tea, Cirio tinned tomato fillets and tomato paste, Kinder Chocolate with Cereals, Kinder Choco-Bons, Kingfisher beer, Schwartz cooking sachets, Nando’s crisps, Debeukelaer Cookies Bakery cookies, Scheckters OrganicEnergy, Wonjo hibiscus drink, and iDrinq.

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