“ Brand: Asda / Type: Chicken „
What I love about the winter is my propensity for laziness when it comes to cooking; basically I don't if I can help it! This is more to do with the fact that my kitchen is freezing come winter, than having the winter blues and being too miserable to cook.
"But hey man we all gotta eat" I hear a little voice say.
and I answer back:
"and God gave us microwave ovens"
This is just a bit of Dooyoo licence you understand, I don't hear voices or talk back to them.
Fortunately many of those supermarket people have provided us with a great range of foods that are tasty and can be stuck into the microwave, left for ten minutes with no need to be tended to, so I can be in front of Anne Robinson and a roaring log fire (I made the last bit up) while the microwave bubbles away at the meal.
Another advantage of the microwave is that it takes less time and saves energy. I find the rice (yes it comes with rice) is less likely to dry out if done in the microwave. The oven is going to take between 40 to 60 minutes, depending on if it is conventional or fan.
For those who haven't had this it consists of chicken pieces in a rich creamy sauce, flavoured with tomatoes, coriander and other spices. Not only does the mix give it a delicious flavour, it is also a delicious colour.
I have eaten quite a number of different Chicken Tikka Masala meals from various supermarkets ranging from Lidl and Aldi through to Waitrose, and in general they all seem to perform well. Each has their own little differences.
What I have found though is that the 'healthy option' brands that the supermarkets are offering, have a tendency to taste relatively bland. This one is no exception. I am figuring that this is through less of use of salt by the makers, in order to jump on the healthy bandwagon (I am not being cynical here ).
Whilst it is a great idea to eat healthy, I am afraid that when it comes to food that I enjoy, it is generally a treat also, so I don't see the point in skinping on taste when you are treating yourself (yes I am poor and on a budget and a 'ready meal is a treat for me these days).
I am not saying I won't have one of these again, as it did taste 'OK', but faced with the choice of a 'lite' version or a good old full of fat and flavour version, I know which one I am going for.
On nights like tonight, when I've been working late and am then faced with a delayed train so am starving hungry and tired by the time I eventually get home, I can't be bothered to cook something proper and just want a quick and easy meal. So ready made meals come in really handy for me at times like these, especially curries, which I love. One of the regulars that I pick up is Asda's Good for you Chicken Tikka Masala which is my favourite of all the curry ready meals that I've tried.
It is made up of chicken breast soaked in a creamy masala sauce made with yoghurt, tomatoes, Indian spices and coriander, with a side serving of long grain rice.
It comes in a cardboard box which has the Good for you logo on the front and I must say a simply divine looking image of a cooked plate of the curry. Inside, the meal comes in a plastic container with a see-through film over the top. The pain about the packaging is that it does take up a lot of room in the freezer and I can't throw the outer packaging away as it has the cooking instructions on.
The tikka can be cooked either in the microwave which takes a speedy 7 minutes or in the oven which takes a whopping 45 minutes at gas mark 6 or 200 degrees. The whole reason that I buy ready meals is as a meal to be whipped up quickly when I'm starving hungry or have somewhere to be and don't have time to cook something proper or simply can't be bothered. I therefore don't see the point of cooking this in the oven as it seems like a bit of an unhealthy and lazy choice if you've got a spare 45 minutes to wait for it to cook.
The rice is yellow long grain rice and I have never found this to be stodgy or hard once cooked - it's always perfectly soft and moist. The chicken is always very well cooked too - I've had other ready meals including chicken where it seems to be undercooked after the stated cooking time, but this one seems to have the cooking time perfect. There is a lot of tikka sauce in this which is quite thick and creamy. It's a little spicy, spicer than other tikka curries I've tried anyway, so for those who prefer mild curries I think this might be a bit too spicy. The only problem I have with this is that I would like a little bit more chicken in it. I always end up with quite a bit of rice and sauce left over - although I don't mind too much as I love to mop up the soggy rice with some bread!
Each pack contains 424 calories and 4.8g of fat which, although a lot, is OK every once in a while. The Good for you product label means that it contains no artificial colours or flavours and no hydrogenated fat and is low or lower in fat than other similar products.
This certain ready made meal can be picked up in the freezer section at Asda and is usually in an offer of 5 for £4 which includes a wide range of other Asda ready made meals. This is great value for a quick, easy and very tasty meal.