By Karen Carruth

If you have a foodie fan to buy for this Christmas you can thank me later, as this is the perfect gift for anyone who loves good food, and particularly for those that like  a little spice in their life. 
It’s a self contained curry feast experience all wrapped up in a box, which is produced by Scotia Spice – a small company run by Yasmin McDonagh and her business partner, from her home in Balfron. 
Yasmin has been running a Punjabi cookery school for many years and realised there was a need for people to have access to authentic curry cooking in their own home.
Yasmin says: My family comes from the Pakistani Punjab where facilities were basic but food was abundant. It was grown on the family farm, cooked simply and spiced with the creativity that comes from generations of understanding flavour. It’s one pot cooking of the very best kind. 
“I’ve always taught authentic Punjabi food the way I learnt from my mum, my aunties and Ammi-ji, my gran.
“Your Authentic Punjabi Curry Kit is a cookery kit which gives you everything you need to cook the food I grew up with yourself. Just add fresh ingredients.”
I promised Yasmin I would give it a go and let her know how I got on. There are three types of box you can buy, one with chicken-based recipes, a lamb box or a vegetarian option. 
First off, the box is a thing of beauty. Inside there are cards which give the history of Punjabi cooking, and various recipe cards. The chicken box gives recipes for the following: chicken curry, tandoori chicken, bihari chicken kebabs, whole masoor dhal, cucumber raita, mint and coriander chutney. 
The box contains all the spices necessary to make these recipes. My box had cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, chilli powder, paprika, ajwan seeds, and green lentils. All you have to add are the fresh ingredients. I was making the chicken curry, so all I needed was chicken, a pepper, one onion, some garlic and a little ginger.
Don’t think you know how to make curry, if you have every opened a jar and plopped it in – you don’t. 
This recipe calls for the vegetables to be sweated in water for five minutes before the spices are added also for a few minutes. Then the chicken is added for a 15 minute cooking time and that is basically it. It is incredibly simple. The spices are all of the highest quality and the recipe is a dawdle to follow, but the curry was so tasty – it wasn’t at all heavy, and the spice combination was a taste sensation. 
My plan is to work my way through the box making all the recipes. 
Yasmin hopes that her customers make everything in the box and create a feast for guests  to enjoy, which is how she joyfully remembers her family meals. 

Available from at £24.95 for each box. 
Tel. 01360 449 399