Authenticity in a box

Now it's easier to create Indian flavors at home
JERRY ANNE DI VECCHIO

Four simple grain mixes from Neera's Spice of Life collection bring the bold, rich flavors of India to your table: Indian urad and channa dal (8.5 oz.; 7 servings), Indian shahi pilau (9.5 oz.; 4 servings), Indian dal with chaunk (7 oz.; 5 servings), and northern Indian biryani (8.5 oz.; 5 servings).

They use many ingredients and seasonings that are rarely found in everyday markets. Interestingly, though, the mixes do not include salt (overused in so many packaged products); instead, you add it to your taste.

I prepared each of the four as directed; then, on a second round, I cut back on the oil by about half and found the results equally satisfying. Don't ignore the instruction to rinse the grains well, however; it's an important step. While the mixes are slightly more costly than instant risottos and pilafs, they bring you dishes that are still much easier than those prepared from scratch. To order, call (800) 824-4563 or go to www.cinnabarfoods.com.