Eschewing days out to avoid catching you-know-what? Self-isolating and feeling a little glum?
It’s important to treat yourself – and the restaurant industry – during this weird old time. We can wholly advocate a finish-at-home feast to cheer things up.
Tried and tested, here’s a handful of London’s very best curry delivery boxes, doing the hard work for you.
For Christmas Day: The Cinnamon Collection
We’ll start with a proper belter: The Cinnamon Collection‘s at-home offering. If you can’t get to London right now, console yourself with a truly stunning Christmas or New Year’s Eve Indian meal kit. Honestly just as good as being there (and what you save on train fare, you can spend on Champagne).
Expect the likes of chickpea gnocchi bhel & bengali beetroot cake, bhel papdi chaat, stir-fried Madras shrimps with curry leaf and black pepper and lamb shank Roganjosh. All to simply heat up or cook off at home.
What you get: Five courses. Five. Courses.
What we like: The sticky toffee pudding with nutmeg custard is, quite simply, the nuts. But if you’re a Christmas pudding lover, star chef Vivek Singh’s take on the classic will knock you sideways, peppered with garam masala and made with home-soaked mincemeat.
Need to know: New Year’s Eve kits must be ordered by 7pm on 21st December. Each kit costs £130 for two to share.
For vegans: Kolamba’s Jackfruit Curry
All cooked using coconut milk, Sri Lankan food is known for its naturally vegan dishes, jackfruit being a staple as locals tend to be vegetarian. We tried out curry made from “Polos”, a young jackfruit cooked in a dark, bold flavoured curry, mixed with cinnamon and onion. Toasted Pol sambol (coconut chilli) adds some sweetness, compounded by a sticky mango chutney.
What you get: A star curry (choose from cashew or jackfruit), plus three additional vegan curries, a sambol, rice and a chutney.
What we like: You get *loads* of food, and we really enjoyed all the little extras like beetroot curry and green bean curry.
Need to know: Their Christmas gifting hampers are particularly beautiful – the perfect present for your favourite foodie.
For getting stuck in: Dishoom’s Home Feast
To visit any of the capital’s Dishoom sites is to fall in love. But finishing off their famed dishes in the comfort of your own home? A nice change.
Bringing together the modern Indian chain’s classics, Dishoom’s Home Feast takes in house black daal, mattar paneer, lamb sheekh kababs, murgh malai, bhel, kachumber, tawa rotis and a sweet, creamy gulkand (rose petal) mess.
What you get: A nice mix of meat, veggies, rotis and dessert dishes. For a total of £80 they’ll throw in a a bottle of Int3gral3 natural sparkling wine.
What we like: You get to feel like you’re cooking up a storm, when in actual fact, the arduous tasks like cooking sauces, blitzing kebab meat in a blender and chopping vegetables has been taken care of.
Warming up and flattening soft balls of dough to make ultra-thin rotis is especially fun, with no kneading or prep involved whatsoever. Plus, you get to keep the posh metal kebab sticks and a mega cute tea towel.
Need to know: Order before 20th December for Christmas deliveries.
For curry purists: Kricket
Dreams of a big Christmas knees up in one of our favourite Soho restaurants might be dashed this year, but we can happily still enjoy Kricket’s modern Indian treats at home.
We chose between Hyderabadi Aubergine Curry (a great choice for vegans) and Butter Chicken. The former’s baby aubergines are roasted and cooked into a rich coconut sauce, served with a tarka dal, spicy onion achaar, coconut rice and flakey paratha.
The latter is a rich butter makhani sauce to coat some delectable Tandoori chicken, garnished with fenugreek and ginger. This sauce is tasty, but super mild – helpful if your guests don’t like their food too spicy.
What you get: Curries and dips. For example, the Butter Chicken comes with Makhani sauce, dal, fenugreek powder, mango chutney, ghee and a pot of whole spices.
What we like: Simmering the pre-made curry sauce in a bag is oh-so-satisfying, intense flavours achieved with basically no work whatsoever (on our part, that is!).
Need to know: Prep time comes in at under 40 minutes. Winning.
For people who don’t fancy curry, actually: Dishpatch
Want something special delivered, but don’t feel like curry tonight? An online cornucopia of deliverable menus, we love Dishpatch because they join forces with the UK’s best chefs to create really unusual finish-at-home meal kits.
Their range of partnering chefs is ever-changing, so you’ll always find something to take your fancy. Host a dim sum night with the help of My Neighbours The Dumplings, or pick up a spiced game pie from St John for Boxing Day. Want to impress on a date? Try Angela Hartnett’s Cafe Murano and veggie fave Ottolenghi,
What you get: We had a Taco Party by El Pastor, spanning short rib & corn tortillas, tuna tostadas, refritos, salsas and even margaritas. Olé.
What we like: All the packaging is entirely compostable or recyclable.
Need to know: Boxes are delivered on a Friday.