Piquant Post is a monthly subscription box that offers a variety of freshly ground, small batch spice blends with their very own chef developed recipes that feature a new region each month.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Piquant Post
The Subscription Box: Piquant Post
The Cost: $11.99 a month + free US shipping. Save with 6 and 12-month subscriptions.
ACTIVE DEAL: First Order 10% off. No coupon needed - just use this link.
The Products: 4 spice blends from a single region or country, 4 chef-developed recipes showcasing each of the spice blends, plus online access to recipes and ingredient substitutes.
Ships to: Worldwide
Piquant Post September 2018 Review
Each box comes with four spice blends and coordinating recipe cards. Let’s get into this month’s Indian spices!
Madras Hot Curry
I’ve tried my luck with curry powders before but never found anything that measured up to the deliciousness of Indian takeout. They were either too mild, oppressively hot, or generally forgettable. This Madras hot curry has a classic sweetness to it, and a lovely spice that crescendos into a nice heat. With a blend of turmeric, coriander, cumin, black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, fenugreek, mustard, and curry leaf, this seasoning is one I can’t wait to try with its coordinating aloo gobi recipe.
Aloo Gobi Recipe
I don’t cook with meat very often, and try to eat vegan when I can, so this recipe was an exciting find. The ingredients are items I typically have on hand, and the directions are straightforward and simple. The potential for customization is also alluring. I’ll likely add some frozen peas for color. Also, who doesn’t love a one-pot meal? I can see this dish going from experimental kitchen caper to meal rotation staple.
This chaat masala has a lot going for it! A combination of sweet, salty, sour, and umami tastes with a medium heat that pleasantly lingers, this spice blend is a real sensory experience. It’s intended use is to dust small tapas-like dishes for added elevation. I appreciate that there’s no salt added, so when cooking, the blend can be adjusted to my taste. With robust flavor from the cumin, coriander, dried green mango (amchoor), spearmint, black pepper, ginger, cayenne, and fennel seed, this mix likely doesn’t even need salt! Why mess with a good thing, you know?
Sweet Corn Chaat Recipe
The minimal ingredients and easy instructions for this recipe make for an impressive dish you can whip up right quick. Grilled corn is so delicious, but what’s someone to do without a grill for this recipe? The card recommends using a broiler. Simply microwave a few ears of corn, broil carefully for a light char, and sprinkle each ear with the Chaat Masala blend, salt and pepper, cilantro, and freshly-squeezed lime juice. Ooh, it sounds so good! I’m a little neurotic about eating corn right off the cob because it makes my teeth feel terrible, so I’m considering roasting corn kernels and tossing those with the listed ingredients for a unique topping or salad.
I was a little less excited to explore this Garam Masala because I already had some in my spice rack that I very rarely use, but still managed to keep an open mind. This particular blend is layered with coriander, black pepper, cumin, fennel seed, star anise, cinnamon, smoked paprika, cayenne, cloves, green cardamom, and nutmeg. It’s beautifully balanced. I couldn’t help but compare it to the Garam Masala I already had on hand, and the Piquant Post mix blew mine out of the water! It’s far more flavorful and unique. What was I even doing with that other stuff? A nice surprise, indeed!
Chana Masala Recipe
Another vegan winner! For as much Indian food as I’ve had in my life, it’s surprising that I’ve never had this dish before. The recipe card touts it as one of the most popular dishes in the world, so with an endorsement like that, I had to make it for myself.
I started out sauteeing some onions in a little bit of oil over medium heat for close to ten minutes until they were soft and translucent.
Then, I mixed in minced garlic, ground ginger (in place of fresh), salt and pepper to taste, and a heaping tablespoon of Piquant Post garam masala spice. One tablespoon was a quite a lot of the packet—almost half! I was a little surprised by that. While all of those ingredients bloomed in the heat of the pan, my kitchen was a fragrant heaven.
After a minute or two of letting the aforementioned ingredients simmer, I tossed in a peeled and chopped sweet potato, a 15 oz. can of low-sodium diced tomatoes, a drained and rinsed can of chickpeas, and one cup of homemade, salt-free vegetable broth. It was then time to let the flavors really develop and meld over the course of 40 minutes with a good covered simmer.
After a lengthy simmer, I stirred in some lemon juice and garnished the chana masala with green onions. The recipe calls for cilantro, but I’m unfortunately one of those people that think cilantro tastes like soap. The bright green onion was a lovely contrast to the earthy redness of the dish.
I filled the bottom of a bowl with brown rice, topped it with the chana masala, sprinkled on some onions, and voila. For how low-effort this dish was, the flavor was superb! Plus, it’s incredibly healthy. The spice from the Garam Masala hangs around between bites, but it’s a very enjoyable heat. To top it all off, this dish reheated beautifully as leftovers for lunch the next day. I’ll definitely be making this again! Well done, Piquant Post.
The hits just keep coming with this Tandoori BBQ spice blend. Paprika, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, garlic powder, beet root powder, cinnamon, cayenne, cloves, cardamom—whew! Just about everything is in here except for the kitchen sink! Earthy and beautifully spiced, this blend will mix in well with yogurt for a tandoori chicken (or veggie) marinade. So excited to try this one out!
Tandoori Chicken Skewers Recipe
Keeping with the theme of simplicity, this recipe only asks for a hand full of ingredients in exchange for a flavorful payoff. Dice chicken or veggies into cubes, marinade them in a mix of yogurt, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, and the tandoori seasoning, toss ‘em onto some skewers, and grill or broil until just charred. So easy, so excited to experiment with the recipe.
Note: These spices are designed so that a little goes a long way, which only adds to the value of the subscription. Almost all of the recipes were vegan, love that.
Verdict: This month’s Piquant Post was fantastic! Despite a lot of ingredient overlap between the packets, each flavor was truly unique and so very fresh. The recipes were incredibly simple and certainly health-focused. I’m not sure why I don’t cook more Indian food, but having these spices and the informative recipe cards on hand will change that right quick. This box knows how to shake things up in the kitchen, and makes new flavor experiences very attainable.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, order by 10/15 to receive the October box!
Coupon - Use code MSA15OFF to save 15% off your first box!
Value Breakdown: This box costs $11.99 with free U.S. shipping, and I received a total of 4 spices. That means that the average value for each of those items is around $3 (not counting the recipe cards). Each spice is very potent, so a little goes a long way, which only adds to the overall value.
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Have you received Piquant Post? What did you think of the September spices?