Spicemode Indian Sauces | Chicago

Cooking with Spicemode's excellent Indian sauces

It felt like cheating. A typical Indian feast requires toasting, grinding, mincing and grating; covering the counter with an array of spices, sauces and herbs. All we'd done was open, scoop and cook, barely dirtying a cutting board in the process.

And yet there it was: a table laden with lamb Vindaloo, Madras eggplant and masala-roasted carrots and squash, each impressively flavorful and mighty delicious.

The secret weapon was Spicemode, a new locally made line of Indian sauces ($8 for 9 ounces).

Spicemode is the brainchild of Amar Singh, last seen peddling Indian street food from the Curry Cruiser in 2012. In relinquishing the wheel and hitting the sauce, he's clearly found his calling.

Made with Spicemode: masala-roasted carrots and squash, lamb vindaloo

Goan-style Vindaloo is sweet, sour and hot, made with vinegar, brown sugar and a cavalcade of spices. Thinned with water, it's a superlative simmer sauce for meat or vegetables.

We coated carrots and delicata squash with Spicemode's curry-like Masala blend and popped them in the oven. They emerged caramelized and lacquered with spice, ready for a drizzle of lime-spiked yogurt.

Try stirring Madras sauce into a sauté of eggplant and onions, but be sure to make more than you'll need; the tamarind-garlic-ginger flavor of this one shines even brighter the next day.