A perk of the blogging world is being sent cool things to try out that I wouldn’t usually buy. Half because I don’t know about them, and half because they are expensive as hell. What I’m talking about is the Tefal Cuisine Companion that I got to try out. At £699.99, you expect cooking magic. When reading up about the machine, I found out it basically does everything. It has five different attachments, fancy buttons, different settings, and a recipe book with 300 recipes. It’s something that I feel would be suitable for people who don’t have much experience cooking and want a fool-proof solution. So Boy and I put it to the test.
We had a look at the recipe book, which allows you to play with starter, mains and dessert combinations (hence it’s name ‘1 million menus’, clever eh?). Everything seemed pretty simple, with only a few steps per recipe, and not that many ingredients involved. Perfect for the inexperienced chef with money to blow.
Boy and I were in the mood for dahl, but the recipe for it seemed a little meh, probably because we make it often and know what we’re doing. So we decided to have a spin on the recipe with our own flare and see how it went.
It smelt so good whilst we were cooking that I called him a Dahl Master, which led him to name himself the Dahli Lama. I’d end things with him if the dahl wasn’t so damn good. I’ve written out the recipe with and without the machine. You’re welcome.
200g Dahl Lentils
1 Head of Cauliflower
1 Can of Chopped Tomatoes
2 Tsp Red Curry Paste
250ml Coconut Cream
1 Knob of Ginger
1 Red Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tbsp Curry Powder
3/4 (quarters) Tsp Cumin
3/4 (quarters) Tsp Turmeric
3 Handfuls of Baby Spinach
1/2 (half) Lime
1 Bunch of Fresh Coriander (leave some for the yoghurt)
1 Small Pot of Greek Yoghurt
1/2 (half) Lime
Some Fresh Coriander
1. Peel and roughly chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the bowl fitted with the ultrablade knife and mix at speed 11 for 10s.
2. Replace the ultablade knife with the mixer. Place in the bowl along with 2 tbsp of olive oil, spices, lime juice and curry paste. Launch the P1 slow cook programme at 130 degrees for 4 minutes.
If cooking without the machine, pop your chopped onion, garlic and ginger in a frying pan, add the spices, lime juice, curry paste and olive oil and simmer for around 3-5 minutes until soft.
3. Put tomatoes into a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Leave it in the water until the skins crack (this makes it easy to peal the skin). Then, of course, peal the skin and roughly chop the tomatoes.
4. Add the lentils, 450ml water, coconut cream, tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, cauliflower (chopped), spinach and most of the corriander (chopped). Season again with salt and pepper. If cooking with the machine, launch the P2 slow cook program at 95 degrees for 40 minutes. If cooking without, simmer in the saucepan for 30-40 minutes, until the lentils are cooked and the dahl has reduced and thickened appropriately.
5. For the yoghurt, mix the greek yoghurt with the juice of half a lime. Season with salt and pepper and add the remaining corriander.
6. To serve, top the dahl with a generous serving of the yoghurt, a sprinkle of cashews (crushed or chopped) and poppadom on the side.
Verdict? The machine looks fancy, and it’s great for those who aren’t comfortable in the kitchen and don’t want things to go wrong. It’s laid out great, and works fantastic with it’s timing and temperature options, and ability to constantly stir. It’s basically lots of appliances in one machine. I’m exciting to use it for kneeding bread and see how that goes. Also, cleaning up is EASY with this.
However, as someone more comforatble in the kitchen, I’m not sure I see as much value for the price. The recipes are a little uninspiring and since I already know what to do normally in the kitchen, it’s then a bit of an effort adapt it to the machine.