Updated with more dairy-free varieties! I tend to be hesitant with dinner shortcut products. They usually lack flavor or they taste, well … artificial, for lack of a better word. But I’m happy to share a review of Saffron Road Simmer Sauces, because they have a wonderful authentic flare and are packed with flavor.
We first sampled the three flavors that are dairy-free by ingredients:
Rogan Josh Simmer Sauce
Tony is just now warming up to Indian food, so I wasn’t expecting him to like this simmer sauce, but both of us thought it was fabulous. He even jumped at the leftovers the next day.
As is, the Rogan Josh sauce did need a little extra oomph, but just an 1/8 teaspoon of salt seemed to do the trick. It was full-bodied, flavorful, and spicy, but not too hot. Though rated a medium, my heat averse taste buds had no issues at all. I think those who like ragin’ entrees would almost call this mild – but we thought it had a nice warm kick. I highly recommend this sauce for vegetarians and vegans, as we thought the sauce actually went better with chickpeas, carrots, and onions than it did with chicken. The brown rice rounded it out and made for a delicious lunch.
Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce
I adore lemongrass and love Thai Basil, so I had high hopes that this would be my favorite of the simmer sauces. Unfortunately, it was way too tangy for our tastes. The flavor was sharp and seemed to lack depth of flavor; something was missing.
Moroccan Tagine Simmer Sauce
This redeeming sauce dazzled our taste buds. It was sweet, but just savory enough, and positively delicious. I’d be hard-pressed to choose a favorite between this one and the Rogan Josh – both are excellent. Note that this flavor is great for vegetarians, but not for vegans since it does contain honey. Again, this flavor was rated as a medium in heat, but we found it warmly spicy rather than hot.
The Lemongrass aside, I would easily give the Rogan Josh and Moroccan Tagine five stars for flavor. I do have to warn that the 7 servings stated on the packaging is a bit of an overstatement. As a meal, we only got about 3 to 4 servings out of each of the simmer sauces. Nonetheless, they did make the meal.
But Saffron Road has since come out with 3 new dairy-free simmer sauces, and indeed, we were excited to sample each!
Thai Red Curry Simmer Sauce
Super spicy and full-bodied in flavor, this tasty sauce was quite thick, lasting for several meals when thinned with water, light coconut milk or additional full-fat coconut milk. Rich with so many of my favorite flavors (coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, lime, and Thai basil) it was hard not to become more and more addicted with each bite.
Korean Stir Fry Simmer Sauce
Thinner than the others, we didn’t feel the need to add any liquid to this simmer sauce, but did find that it needed just a little more salt to pop. We added tofu and vegetables for a light vegan meal that was just substantial enough. However, we used up most of the sauce with just 2 servings!
Harissa Simmer Sauce
Harissa is a relatively new flavor to me, so I was timid yet intrigued by this simmer sauce. It is a North African red chili sauce that is made of all types of roasted peppers – from mild to blazing hot. I added about ½ cup full-fat coconut milk to this simmer sauce to make it a little saucier and to tame the heat a touch. It tasted great and was a nice flavor blend; we served it with turkey meatballs, zucchini, onion, and brown rice.
Certifications: Saffron Road Simmer Sauces are certified gluten-free, non-GMO verified, and certified kosher DE (dairy equipment).
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Saffron Road Simmer Sauces are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan (except the Tagine), and vegetarian. Select varieties are soy-free. Nonetheless, read the ingredient statement and check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Saffron Road website at www.saffronroadfood.com.