This is a bit of a plug for a semi-new product, and it's a great one. I love exotic, ethnic food, but cooking it at home can be intimidating. Where can I find authentic recipes, and where can I buy the spices and ingredients? I know my way around a Chinatown market, since I grew up going to Oakland and SF Chinatowns with my grandma and mom, but how do I find what I need for a good Indian meal? Or Thai?
Then I found Destination Dinners (http://www.destinationdinners.com/), a recipe kit that provides you with all the spices, a recipe, a trivia card with information about the culture from which your meal originates, and tea. There's also a short shopping list of ingredients you need to buy, like the meat, for instance. And it's a recipe kit, not just premade food in a bag, so you actually get to make it yourself. I've made the Chicken Garam Masala, and it was excellent! Super easy directions to follow, and if you know a little about cooking, you could easily adapt the instructions and use different cuts of chicken. You could also measure out the spices, in hopes of finding these at a market near you, so that you could repeat the recipe on your own in the future. And the taste? Excellent. We really loved this, and all of the kits would make an excellent gift for coworkers, friends or family. Next one I'm going to try is the Green Chicken Curry With Puffy Cups - I have the kit at home, all I need to buy is a can of coconut milk and chicken!
Check it out and decide for yourself - http://www.destinationdinners.com/
It's a startup based in SF, and they're just starting to get some local attention. I, for one, am a fan, and am happy to tell you all about it!
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