“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Frozen Food „
I'm an somewhat health and dieting obsessive. During the last year I was able to loose around 5 stone from substituting to low fat and light choice meals, along with exercise etc. I'm a massive advocate of these style of meals as they convient, filling and traditional everyday dishes. I was really excited to sample this product as I've longed for a curry during my time being on diet. However, I was really disapointed and didn't feel satisfied afterwards.
The product itself is served in the convential 400G portion and is separted into two compartments, the rice and the masala. You can cook it in the oven or in the microwave. However it takes around 25 minutes for it cook in the oven and about 10 minutes from the microwave from frozen. The product isn't presented in a very appealing style and the film sticks to the masala when it's cooked which can be irritating and messy. Also the rice is served quite hard and crunchy which makes it quite unpleasant to eat on it's own. On the packaging their is an issued warning of mild represented with one chilli pepper. I'm not someone who enjoys overly spicy food but the taste of the masala is extraordinaly plain and lacks any real spice or authentic taste of a masala and has no resembles to indian food. Another issue I found is the lack of chicken, I think counted about 3 small pieces of chicken in the masala which for me is not suffient to fill me up when eating my main meal for the day and I struggle to justify the cost of the meal.
The value of £2.20 for the product or 3 for £5 is the common offer found in tesco is reasonable. However, for this unexciting, bland and flavourless product does achieve one purpose in being a low fat and calorie alternative. However doesn't achieve it's key purpose in helping dieters lose weight by eating food in which they enjoy and can completely satisfy the consumer.
To summarise, I would reccomend to stay away from this product as it could potentially deter and demotivate you from eating low fat alternatives when there are so many higher quality light choice meals that you could choose in favour of. Loosing weight doesn't have to be boring and tastless.
I sometimes supplement home made meals with 'ready' frozen meals, as life is rather hectic and there is often not time to prepare the several meals that my overly fussy family demand every day (I don't mean several as in breakfast, lunch etc, I mean a different meal for each person for lunch and so on). This may seem indulgent but it ensures that the youngest who simply won't eat if she can't have something from her limited likes (yes even if she's starving), and the eldest who is doing her best to eat healthily get what they need without too much drama.
After pandering to the small mob that is my family I felt like something quick and tasty for myself last night, so tried a Tesco light choices chicken Tikka Masala meal that had been lurking at the back of the freezer for a couple of weeks. The pack contains 400g and 415 calories and aimed at people trying to lose, or watching their weight.
I've never particularly liked ready meals, only ever having enjoyed some of the more expensive end of the selections so wasn't expecting a huge amount from this. However I really like the Birdseye ready curries so didn't think it would be too bad.
I usually try and write a balanced review about products, but as this is meant to be based on personal experience I really can't manage to for this. I'm afraid mine ended up in the bin, and this is the short tale of why.
The meal is packaged in a black plastic microwaveable tray with no division between the oddly pale yellow rice, and the slightly bleh looking curry. I cooked mine in the microwave though the packaging states that you can cook in the oven too.
My first misgivings began while cooking, when stirred after the first timed cooking period the curry portion had a strange texture, it had melted but looked sort of dry, but was actually kind of wet, it sounds a contradiction but this is how it seemed to present. Anyway, undeterred I stirred away and popped it back in for the short remaining cooking time.
When I plated it up it looked quite nice, though there was a watery ooze around the curry. The Disappointment for me was at the first bite. It was about the right heat for a chicken tikka, but where on earth was the flavour or any hint of creaminess, and due to the 'food police' there was not even enough salt. There was no hint of any vegetable matter, though I wouldn't really expect this with a ready meal curry. There was a reasonable quantity of chicken chunks in the dish, which were nice and tender, and this was the best thing about the meal.
The lack of any flavour other than a sensation of heat, (which in my opinion isn't a flavour just, as mentioned, a sensation) made me reach for the condiments, I put too much salt in an effort to get some feeling of eating something other than hot goo, too much because I added some, still tasteless and not salty enough, added some more with the same result, then added just a little bit more...oops too salty. I'd say the difference between not enough salt and too much is about 3 grains. I even stirred in some onion chutney, but by this point I was just playing with it really and had given up on making it tasty. So I just picked the meat out and ate it with the rice. The rest (much to the horror of my dogs and cats... but I couldn't give them hot too salty curry) went in the bin.
The rice was ok, despite its rather wan appearance it tasted pretty much like any other yellow boiled rice.
If you are a curry addict and on a diet I'm sure there is a place for this. Though I'm equally sure that there are better versions out there, the packaging states that this curry contains 30% less fat than equivalent sized full calorie versions, unfortunately in my opinion it 80% less tasty that the higher calorie versions. Personally when on a diet if I loved my curries and wanted a quick ready meal hit I'd go for the full calorie version and cut down on other things instead to accommodate it.
So there it is, my totally biased opinion of Tesco Light choices Chicken Tikka Curry. I'd like to think this was a one off and that other meals in the range are delicious, but I suspect that may not be the case. I tried a mushroom risotto in the range a few months ago that tasted as if it had been cooked in a ogres shoe over an oil bin fire.
This currently costs £1.30, which isn't bad for a small curry if only it was a bit nicer.
Normally I don't buy ready meals, most meals are cooked from scratch but there is the odd night when i just don't have the time. Recently when I was following the Weightwatchers diet Tesco Light Choices Chicken Tikka Masala was one of the meals recommended at the meeting. I decided to give it a go one night after working late and was surprised to say it was very tasty especially for a low fat meal! It is filling unlike other healthy low fat meals tried in the past! The sauce is creamy and has big slices of pepper and onion through it and the chicken was tasty as with the rice which was also nice! I would recommend this for a quick ready meal even if you aren't on a diet! I opted for the microwave option rather than oven cooking and it was fine! Not quite the same as take away but enjoyed it! Tasty tasty! X
I try not to eat ready meals very often, as you can't beat a home-cooked meal, but every now and then I will pick one up in the supermarket as I like to have the odd night off from having to cook - or even think about cooking! I love Indian food and although nothing can beat a freshly prepared curry, I often opt for an Indian ready meal as I always seem to fancy a curry. I remember years ago when Indian convenience foods from supermarkets were generally terrible, but I really think those days are long gone, and that many supermarkets do some really good Indian options these days.
The most recent Indian ready meal I picked up was a Light Choices Chicken Tikka Masala with Pilao Rice from Tesco. I do have a tendency to choose low fat ready meals - I guess it makes me feel less guilty about shirking on the cooking!
*** Quick fascinating curry fact ***
Did you know that the Chicken Tikka Masala was invented in England? The urban myth is that a diner ordered a chicken tikka in an Indian restaurant in the UK, and then complained that it had no sauce. So the chef chucked in some tomatoes and cream and voila! The chicken tikka masala was born.
*** End of fascinating curry fact ***
I must admit I rarely choose a chicken tikka masala in Indian restaurants as, although I do like them, they are so high in fat. This is because cream is added to the sauce, and many Indian restaurants cook with ghee (clarified butter) ... and lots of it! So I didn't expect this to taste anything like the restaurant version of a chicken tikka masala - how could it possibly taste the same without all the calories?
The packaging of the product is quite plain - the main colour is white, and there is a fairly appetising picture of a plate of chicken tikka masala and pilao rice. Nothing special or eye-catching but it does the job!
The product is very easy to cook in the microwave - pop it in on high for two and a half minutes, then add a splash of water to the rice and cook for another two minutes. Let it stand for one minute and serve. Alternatively it takes 20-25 minutes in a conventional oven.
All this went to plan, and I was pleased that the rice seemed to be soft and well cooked, and the portion of chicken was quite generous, with quite a few large pieces of onion and some red pepper - the latter definitely not being a traditional ingredient in a CTM! And I have to say I was impressed by the smell - it smelt quite mouthwatering and even my husband remarked that it smelt good.
So I eagerly tucked in. The chicken was nice and tender and had the black marks on it that are traditionally found on chicken tikka, and the sauce was nice and creamy in texture. Also, the rice was moist and pretty good for microwave rice, which can often dry out.
This all sounds great - but would it pass the MrsD taste-test? In a word ... NO! I found this meal to be completely tasteless. The sauce has a slight sweetness to it, and there was a little heat to the meal - but just no depth of flavour at all. How you make an Indian meal taste of nothing I don't know! It was just completely bland and I did not enjoy eating it at all. I would rather have high fat and calories and more flavour if this is the best Tesco can do with a low calorie curry!
Obviously I was really disappointed with this and it won't be going in my shopping basket again. I really wouldn't recommend this to anyone - even if you prefer a mild curry - as this was simply tasteless and I can't imagine anyone would really enjoy it. As I said before, there are good Indian ready meals out there but this just isn't one of them!
One to avoid.
The meal contains 470 calories and 7.1g of fat. It costs £2.25 but I purchased it with another ready meal priced at two for £4.
Yellow Pilau Rice (40%), Marinated Chicken (25%), Tomato Puree, Onion, Red Pepper, Fromage Frais, Single Cream (2%), Garlic Puree, Spices, Cornflour, Vegetable Oil, Ginger Puree, Coriander, Turmeric Powder, Paprika, Salt, Chilli Powder, Cumin Seed, Onion Seed, Lemon Oil, Bay Leaf, Colour (Paprika Extract).