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Darjeeling Express: meal kit review

Asma Khan's flavourful, creative take on regional Indian dishes is showcased beautifully in Darjeeling Express's meal kits, released exclusively on Big Night

Meal kit review: Darjeeling Express on Big Night
Meal kit review: Darjeeling Express on Big Night

What's the draw

As the first British chef to be featured on Netflix's Chef's Table, Asma Khan needs no introduction to much of the food-loving London public. However, beneath her philosophically driven approach is, simply, an appreciation of great flavours, and it's that as much as anything that kept her restaurant booked up for months on end in the years since it opened. Now relaunched in a new location in Covent Garden, Darjeeling Express is likely to be one of the places to be when lockdown ends, but until then, its meal kits – an exclusive partnership with Big Night – are a great way to experience Khan's take on regional Indian cuisine.

How it works

You can order meat and vegetarian biryanis as standalone dishes, but we'd recommend going for the 'With love from me to you' set menu. Dishes travel very well and plating is simple, so it's a great option for people looking for the depth and refinement of food like Khan's without too much to worry about aesthetically. After inevitably strong uptake from launch, the kits have since been extended to mid-May at least.

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The verdict

Whether you're familiar with Khan's food or not, there's lots to love here: puchkas – known to some as pani puri – kick things off. Load the puffed shells with a cold chickpea and potato filling and tamarind-infused water for a delicious and playful start to the meal. Chana chaat's next, topping spiced chickpeas in a tomato-rich broth with bite and zest from onion, chilli and sev (dried garam-flour noodles). And when it comes to the main event, it's all about the sauces: curries like lamb tamatar gosht (lamb cooked on the bone in a dark red, rich broth) and badami baingan (aubergine cooked in a South Indian sauce of coconut milk, almonds and peanuts) show the kind of deftness of touch and depth of flavour that has won the restaurant so many plaudits, and don't lose much at all in translation to an at-home setting.

£98 for two; bignight.app

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