I am sat watching Masterchef, and there are fish balls being served with roast potatoes and tinned tomato sauce. It reminds me just how far Dhruv Baker has come since he competed in the 2010 series. Back then, he too was mass catering in a random staff canteen, a few weeks later he made an incredible posh fish and chips and a few weeks after that he was crowned champion.
3 years later and he has come up with some “British Curry Rice” in a pouch. The rice is a collaboration with Tilda and is “limited edition” so I don’t know how long it will be around for. My hunch is that “limited edition” means, let’s see if this sells well and we’ll keep making it, if not we’ll pull it from the range and nobody will bat an eyelid as it was only “limited edition”.
The packet says gently squeeze the pouch to separate the rice, tear the corner and heat upright for 2 minutes. I did my best, but when I opened the microwave door the rice was no longer upright, it was horizontal. Luckily there was no spillage, but I was concerned that I hadn’t done enough gentle squeezing and that the rice had become one large congealed lump.
As it happened I was safe. It tipped out just fine and after a quick fork fluff it looked like a lovely plateful. The packet says ” Dhruv has combined creamy coconut, curry leaf & coriander with fragrant cinnamon, sweet apricots and star anise” so it was time to see if all his work paid off.
It kind of did – I got the creaminess of the coconut, a waft of coriander and a bit of spice from the curry leaf. I could see tiny chunks of orange stuff mixed through, I assumed that was apricot but it didn’t taste of much. Overall the flavour was a bit underpowered, but then rice is an accompaniment and if it tasted stronger than whatever curry you coupled it with, you’d be in trouble. The strangest thing about it was the texture, it was al dente but at the same time oddly spongy – I have no explanation as to why that would be.
It seems a shame that after being put through the Masterchef mill, all we get to see from Dhruv is a packet of rice. Rumour has it there is a restaurant in the pipeline, fingers crossed he’ll serve spongy rice there.
Dhruv Baker British Curry Rice £1.59 for 250g pouch