Enjoy an authentic Malaysian family meal in the comfort of your own home thanks to local Chester based business, Sakinah’s
As you know, Clued in with kids loves supporting local family friendly businesses so we were super excited to try out an and coming Chester based business run by a local mum of two, Sakinah’s. Sakinah’s aims to put the excitement back into meal times serving fresh and wholesome Malaysian food suitable for the whole family to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes.
Who are Sakinah's and what do they offer?
Sakinah’s creates a number of authentic Malaysian pastes, helping local families to ditch the weekend take-a-way and serve up a freshly cooked and nutritious family meal. The pastes are all freshly made using only the finest fresh ingredients which help to bring a taste of Malaysia to the UK. Depending on the ingredients you add, these meals will also be suitable for families following vegetarian and vegan diets. We tried out the Rendang paste which is a blend of fresh herbs, lemongrass, galangal and ginger with curry spices. Other jars included a Gulai paste which has big coriander flavour blended with aromatic spices such as star anise and cinnamon, and finally there is the Masak Merah paste which is a blend of tomatoes and aromatic spices such as cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and cloves. Jars are priced at £4.50 per jar and make enough for a family of four.
The taste test!
As soon as we opened the jar we were hit with the gorgeous aroma of spices and the more the meal came together, the more we looked forward to taking a bite as our kitchen smelt amazing. You simply cook your meat, add your vegetables, add the paste and a tin of coconut milk. Our toddler enjoyed CAREFULLY washing and adding the vegetables and it was great to get her involved. Ideally you could cook the meal in a slow cooker or in a large dish in the oven to really let the flavours saturate the meat. If cooking for a toddler, we would advise to only use perhaps half of the paste, add the coconut milk, cook and then take the toddlers out to the side before adding the rest of your paste to increase the heat for the adults. The Rendang is the hottest of the pastes so definitely use less and build up depending on your families tastes.
Ok, so what’s the verdict? My husband is a fussy eater and I’ll be honest, he wasn’t looking forward to the meal at all. When we visited Thailand, he practically lived on rice. However, we all really enjoyed the meal and were impressed with how delicate the flavours were. The spices were in the right quantities so you tasted a range of flavours and they were not over powering in any way. We were also amazed at how interesting the flavour combinations were. The meal tasted so fresh and really reminded us (well me) of the tastes we experienced back in Asia a couple of years ago.
Although we initially felt that £4.50 was a little on the high side with regards to price, after cooking the meal we can certainly see that this is priced just right. You honestly do get what you pay for. My friends will tell you, I am not a cook! I am very time poor and so I need something where I can literally add all my ingredients and leave it to sort itself. I often use jars of paste or curry sauce as although I would love to make a curry from scratch, this just isn’t an option. The pastes from Sakinah’s are the perfect solution to this as there is no grainy texture and no unusual after taste that you sometimes get with a jar. As my husband said, you can not tell that you are using a paste! The flavours have been carefully selected to compliment each other well and because the jars are made fresh to order, you know that there are no hidden preservatives etc making this a healthier option all round.
Storage and delivery/collection
It is recommended to keep the pastes in the fridge and use within approximately 5 weeks (giving them a good shelf life). Jars can be frozen which is ideal for those who are concerned about self isolating…. Simply buy an extra jar or two and pop them in the freezer. We have done exactly this as we are currently in this position. Sakinah’s offer local delivery and this will also help those self isolating. They simply rang us to say they were on our door step and they had picked up the cash that we had left hidden in a pre-arranged location.
Alternatively, you can collect from their home. When we arrived to try out our first paste a few weeks back, we were very warmly greeted and given advice on how to get the best out of our paste. You will also be advised on which pastes to start with and how to cook them to ensure that spice avoiding children will also enjoy their meal. This personal approach makes all the difference. We were also able to see that the food preparation areas were spotlessly clean and are pleased to report that Sakinah’s have been awarded a five star food hygiene rating by Cheshire West and Chester council.
So how do we buy?
If you want to experience these tastes for yourself, feel free to place an order by visiting their facebook page on https://www.facebook.com/sakinahspastes/ and send Sakinah’s a private message. You will not be disappointed!
Hints and tips:
* We decided to try the Rendang with lamb, red pepper, onion, green beans, and water chestnuts. You can add which ever vegetables you like.
*Sticky rice really compliments the meal well but boiled rice also works a treat. If you are finding it tricky to get hold of rice, we have heard that noodles are also a good alternative.
*We had some leftovers which tasted even more amazing the next day as the flavours had even more time to soak into the meat.
*Due to government guidelines regarding Covid-19, stock is limited and may not be replenished for a few weeks. Therefore, now is your chance to buy.
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Additional terms and conditions
*These opinions are our own and we feel representative of our experience using these Malaysian pastes. Opinions are unbiased.