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I absolutely love Indian cuisine and I really don't like cooking it myself however I know it is really hard to find ready prepared meals that taste somewhat authentic but not only am I not the worlds best cook I simply don't have the time, money and energy that goes into cooking something fancy... for one person!
I saw this product in my local Tesco store when really mooching through the shop for healthy alternatives to foods I normally enjoy due to being on a health kick at the moment. I was shocked to see these Ashoka ready meals at 59p a box (in a few different varieties) and when I looked at the cooking instructions I was really pleased to see that they all only take 2 minutes to cook in the microwave and I need to add nothing to them so I actually bought one of every meal there was on display lol.
Square and made of cardboard it's a light yellow and blue box with an Asian lady on the front pointing to a large bowl of what I assume is this cooked. I'm told on the front that it's Ashoka 'The Original Indian Taste' Punjabi Choley 'The traditional Punjabi delicacy with curried chick peas in a richly spiced hot sauce'. Then I'm told to just heat and eat and that it only contains natural ingredients, is suitable for Vegetarians and is microwavable in 2 minutes and that the net weight of the product is 280g/10OZ.
On the back of the box I'm told a bit about the product, ingredients, allergy advice and nutritional information is given, I'm given cooking instructions, the best before date is clearly stamped on, contact details for ADF Foods are given (the manufacturers of this product) and all the above information is given in foreign languages too. The meal inside the box is in a large silver foil ouch type of thing.
A Bit About The Product According To The Back Of The Box....
Ashoka - The world's leading ethnic Indian foods brand brings you a complete range of ready-to-eat Indian delicacies. Each recipe, conjured by master chefs, brings out the rich aromatic flavours and tastes. Great care and meticulous detailing are essential ingredients of every recipe, indeed Ashoka is the original taste of India.
Punjabi Choley forms an integral part of a hearty lunch-time menu in north India. A delicious chick pea preparation relished all across the county for its spicy, tangy flavour. This recipe is ideally served as a main dish with freshly cooked rice, naan breads or piping hot puris (puffed up Indian bread), or served as a side accompaniment to Indian meals.
Take unopened foil pouch and immerse it in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. remove pouch, snip and serve.
Empty the contents of the pack in a microwavable bowl and heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir and serve.
My Experience With It....
Well cos I'm so lazy I bunged mine in a dish for 2 minutes stirring half way through into the microwave. I was greeted when I opened the microwave door when it was cooked by a smell of garlic and ginger and appearance wise what I had shoved in the dish looking like a gloopy brown mixture with a few pale cream chick peas sort of buried in it came out of the microwave now in a slightly oily looking (but authentic looking) red tomato sauce.
Taste wise this was wonderful and I felt I was eating restaurant quality food for once but at home! Lots of moist and well cook chick peas had eaten up some of the herbs and spices in this making them really moist tasty. I was impressed they weren't hard or anything and hadn't gone to mush either. The sauce itself was quite thick and richly as I said tasted of tomatoes but also was quite hot with the added green chillies that were blended into the dish. However this wasn't just simply hot chick peas. It had other flavours well blended into it such as coriander and fennel, cumin, cinnamon and cloves really giving a rich spicy flavour to it all. I liked the way all I had here was a well cooked chick pea dish with no added vegetables in it and a rich hot and very tasty sauce. Filling this was, easy to cook and really tasted wonderful and I heartily recommend putting this with rice for a really good quality meal and if you want to impress your mates serves this and pass it off as your own... I'm so going to do that when the opportunity arises lol.
The only issue I had with this is the smell! It stinks the house out of curry and if using the microwave do leave the door open after you've cooked this in it to get rid of the smell!
Processed in a facility that also processes Peanuts, Nuts, Milk, Soya, Wheat, Mustard & Sesame.
Nutritional Information.... Per 100g
Calories: 131.6 Kcal
of which is sugar: 0g
of which is saturates: 1.3g