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Praveen Kumar, Delivery Restaurant Review

As Covid -19 hits her household, Cat Thomson finds out whether a hot curry delivery from Praveen Kumar, can deliver a taste sensation.

Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • Ambience - It's important that a restaurant is inviting. We rate the decor, comfort and atmosphere.
  • Drink - Is the wine or cocktail list as exciting as the food, or does it fall short? Same goes for soft drinks. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.

For way too long here in sleepy hollow, we have been fortunate and somehow managed to dodge the coronavirus bullet, but it was now our families turn to endure the plague.

We daubed unclean on the outside of the door and pulled up the drawbridge to sit things out. The fella was most surprised when he discovered his asymptomatic status, as he still felt incredibly perky.

I dodged two pcr tests and was intensely proud of my negativity until slowly and surely the virus felled us one by one. We all toppled like dominos. 

It started with a sore throat, a little bit off key and built to a crescendo or all sorts of symptoms.

We have had lost voices, irregular temperatures, vomiting, sickness, unusual aches and pains sneezes oh and the dreaded loss of smell and taste.

'The Day of the Triffids' Universal History Archive/Shutterstock

Now I've seen the Day of the Triffids and know that when you lose one of your senses something monumentally bad is bound to happen.

So although we had no meteor shower warning, I'm keeping a close eye on the herbaceous border in case the plants start moving and start spitting green poison at us.

I can safely say having no sense of smell is more than a little odd, as smell and taste are intrinsically linked.

I can reveal there are however some food stuffs that it makes very little difference whether you can taste it or not; Angel delight for one, and some breakfast cereals and my go to illness food; Heinz tomato soup.

Luckily an assortment of kind neighbours have kept us supplied with life's little essentials; for our family that is bread, wine, painkillers and cat litter.

However during our period of self isolation, it was my turn to review a restaurant. This was going to prove to be a bit of a taste challenge?

 Praveen Kumar
 Praveen Kumar supplies blast frozen curries delivered nationwide which can be reheated at home.

We were all at various different stages of our illness, fortunately some with more taste than others. But what better way to raise our spirits than a boxed curry delivery straight to the front door.

We live in the middle of nowhere so we opted to try Praveen Kumar frozen Curry service. Forget all thoughts of Vesta curries from yesteryear.

Praveen Kumar can deliver their brand of Indian Cuisine to doorsteps nationwide. Praveen and his wife Swarna opened Tabla Restaurant in Perth 2009 and was the first Indian restaurant in Scotland to be awarded 1 Rosette by the AA.

However in 2019, they diversified and launched a nationwide ready made meal service. The chefs make your meal which are then blast frozen and boxed up to be delivered to your door.

The meals are kept frozen with dry ice until delivery the next day, so once it arrives you can pop them in the freezer to eat at a later date, and you can reheat them straight from frozen.

We ordered online and lucked out with free shipping as our order cost more than £39.95.

The whole process was pain-free and the contactless delivery and easy to follow cooking instructions were all straightforward.

To get the full curry house experience we opted for onion bhajis, haggis bonda, vegetable samosas and chicken pakora for our starters.

All were winners but the stand out favourite from the elder daughter was chicken pakora, £3.95 we haven't heard the last of how good they were. Moist marinated chicken breast, fried in chickpea flour batter. She guarded her bowl jealously from any wandering hands.

The crisp battered bhajis, £3.45 were delicious untidy balls of sliced onions and crushed coriander seeds, the texture was firm but to my delight some of the sweet spicy onion flavour made it through to my dulled tastebuds.

The mixed vegetable samosas £3.45 were packed full of flavourful vegetables with gentle spicing, so they unfortunately missed the mark and didn't wow the senses. No matter, i'm sure they would be great when we are all feeling better.

The portion of Haggis Bonda £4.95 were a great novel fusion dish and the portion of chilli tinged hot, Lamb Seekh Kebabs £4.95 which had been grilled on a Tandoor, a traditional Indian oven and got everyone's tongues wagging.

The starters all came with individual pots of pakora sauce, the only problem I had was distinguishing the different dips, the less taste muted amongst us were waxing lyrical about them, but I just randomly took lucky dips from each.

For the main course we all sampled Paneer Makhani, £5.95 a North Indian dish which was an absolute tonic. I will wax lyrical about the texture of firm chewy cubes of paneer cheese all day long, whilst the sweet ruddy tomato based sauce was simmered to perfection.

The fella was feeling hot to trot so ordered an extra spicy version of Lamb Railway Boti, £6.95 it is a classic dish which is traditionally served on the long train journeys across India.

They offered an “homestyle” option which is seasoned more strongly for a more flavoured experience and more like Indians would make at home.

Finally we sampled the stick to the ribs wholesome, portion of Spinach Tadka Dal, £4.95 guaranteed to cure any illness or at least immobilise you so you can't move from the sofa because you are so replete.

The only slight missed noted from the whole order came from the nans, I'm a sucker for freshly prepared moist bread, blistered from the blast heat of a clay oven. Simply nothing can beat it to accompany a curry.

The plain £2.25 and garlic coriander nans £2.75 were a bit of a disappointment and possibly not ideal food stuff to be frozen. However the saffron pilau rice £2.45 was a success.

The verdict: Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our curry in a hurry and a bit like the John Denver classic, "It filled up our senses."

 Praveen Kumar
 Main course: Nans, Paneer Makhani, Lamb Railway Boti, Saffron pilau rice, Spinach Tadka Dal

Praveen Kumar

Unit 1 Islay Place,

Tel: 01738 505111

Catriona is a freelance writer based in the Scottish Borders, and a nominee for Food and Drink writer at this year's Scottish Press Awards.

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