When it comes to making making a curry I have to admit that I am rather lazy and never do one from scratch and so I tend to rely on a jar or can or something for my creations. For a long time I have been buying the cans of different curry sauce mixes from Pataks because they always seem to be on sale in B & M for 49p, in fact these are the brand that because of that price that I buy the most often and at the moment I have a chicken tikka masalla curry to look forward to soon thanks to a can of this stuff as I am cooking it as I type!
I buy any and every can of sauce mix by Pataks that I see so I eat often a balti and I actually have about 8 cans of this at the moment in my kitchen cupboard. I use these when I have friends coming round because it isn't hot but it contains a bit of spice and plenty of flavour that doesn't seem to upset anyone!
This is available to purchase in a jar or can but as I have stated already I buy this usually in a can though I have in the past bought in a jar, in a larger size for about 99p in Sainsbury's though the flavour differs none. My can has a purple and bright pink label around it and on the front of it we are told that it is Pataks 'Original' Balti 'A tangy, concentrated sauce with tomato and coriander' and that it is medium in heat and should serve 4 people and there is a photograph shown of the balti when cooked up then on the back of the label other information listed includes a recipe for chicken balti (should you want to use it), ingredients and allergy advice is given as well as a full nutritional chart, the weight is stated which in this case is 283g and contact details for the manufacturer are given. This is a nice enough, informative enough can though through experience with these cans I would appreciate a ring pull however for the price I pay for my cans I can overlook that!
The Sauce Itself:
Well it is a light brown in colour with bits of green coriander in it in abundance. You can gently fry off any meat/fish you want and/orvegetables and then drain the excess fat off that little lot then you simply simmer in this sauce and a can of chopped tomatoes for at least 20 minutes.
I really like the flavour of this sauce and like I stated earlier I use this one the most when I have other people coming to eat with me cos it isn't hot or sweet and suits most people.
I either use breast of chicken, onion, peppers and mushrooms in mine or beef and mushrooms, sometimes I add a can of chopped tomatoes and sometimes I don't as well as chickpeas (I love them!). Sure by using tomatoes it gives 4 portions more sauce however I do find that the tomato puree in this is enough for me and adds enough sweetness to my dish and gives me a really nice thick sauce.
You really can use any ingredient you want in this, its simple to use and really does taste of curry with a rather mild flavour, a subtle hint of garlic and a visible amount of little pieces of onions! It gives me 4 generous portions and even freezing this on ingredients I have used for a later date is great.
I like this mild but intense flavour all at the same time. It doesn't make a greasy balti dish, it isn't hot in flavour and suits most palettes so thumbs up from me and whats more this sauce only contains 100 calories and 0.5g of saturated fat per 100g serving of the sauce!
Available in most good supermarkets but I buy mine most often in B & M where it always seems to be!
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
We all wanted a curry the other night but needing to buy 4 meals means it works out dear so I went to Tesco to see what I could find to help cut the cost a bit. They had Pataks cooking sauces on offer at £1.00 a jar so I got one of their Balti Cooking Sauces to do with some chicken and rice.
I was dead impressed with it, when I first brought the jar I was worried that it was a bit too red looking and it reminded me of tikka sauce instead of balti but once it was cooked I reckon there wasn't a lot of difference between this jar of sauce and a balti we normally spend £5.00 each on.
I browned the chicken chuncks, added the sauce and let the whole thing cook in a pan for about 20 minutes. I kept the lid on the pan to stop the sauce evaporating and just gave it an occasional stir. The smell as it was cooking was delish and you could tell it was a balti and not just any old curry smell.
God, this sauce makes a yummy balti! It's a bit spicier than I thought it would be but it's a wicked spiciness that went lovely with the chicken. I thought the sauce tasted like the spices had been proper well blended and it tasted like a balti from the Indian restaurant by me, I usually ask for a mild balti and would have preferred this to be a bit less spicy but I could have toned it down a bit with some natural yogurt or coconut paste but I didn't think about that at the time because I'm so used to jars of curry sauce not having as much flavour as this one has got.
You can taste the tomato in the sauce and I also think the taste of garlic comes through nice as an aftertaste, it's not strong at all though and even people who aren't mad keen on garlic would be able to eat this. The sauce is nice and thick as well and coated the chicken proper nice, also when I'd eaten all the chicken I mixed the rice up in the sauce and that was nice because the sauce lost some of its spice when it was mixed with the rice and it tasted even better!
I think this is a wicked balti sauce and will deffo buy it again, and some of the other Pataks range of sauces actually because I've been quite impressed with all of them that I've tried recently.
I bought a jar of Patak's balti sauce a few weeks ago, and although I have used other Patak's sauces in the past and enjoyed them, the main reason for the purchase was simply that it was on special offer, so worked out cheaper than the supermarket own brand.
The sauce comes in a glass jar with purple lid and there is a picture of the finished dish on the front. It has clear cooking instructions on the back as well as all the usual information such as ingredients and nutritional information.
One of the reasons I bought Balti over the other varieties of curry available, is because it is lower in calories than most others. Whereas there are many creamy curries, this one is tomato-based which makes it that tiny bit healthier. In fact, the curry is a mix of tomato, onion and one of my favourite herbs, coriander, I swear I put it in everything possible!
When opening the jar, I was surprised that the sauce did not smell stronger. Normally when I open a jar of curry sauce I am instantly hit by a curry smell but I could only really smell this when close up, which I thought a little strange!
To make up the curry, you simply heat some diced chicken breast in vegetable oil and once browned pour over the jar of sauce and simmer for 15 minutes. It's really simple and even if you're not much of a cook, I'm sure you'd be able to manage this without any problems.
The sauce itself is a rich orangey red colour and is full of chunky vegetables. In the past I have been known to add some onions or even some sliced peppers to the chicken when it has been browning to pack the sauce out a bit. There was no need here as there were good chunks of tomatoes, onions and peppers throughout the sauce.
The taste of the sauce is really lovely. This is described as being a medium hot curry, and I thought that would be perfect for me, because I like my spicy food to be quite hot, but not so hot that I can't taste it properly! I must admit that when I first started eating this, I thought it was quite mild, but that opinion started to change about halfway through the plate when the spiciness started to kick in!
The taste (as well as being spicy) is quite tomatoey and the vegetables give it some nice texture and retain a firmness you often don't get from jars of sauces - I tend to find they can go soggy. You can taste the coriander but it's not overpowering, it just brings out the flavour.
Nutritional Info (per serving):
A 540g jar costs £1.54 from ASDA (although there are often special offers on this range) and contains enough sauce to serve 4 people. Please note, it does say once you open the jar all of the sauce must be used immediately.
Overall this was a nice curry sauce - it had a lot of flavour and was very easy to make. Recommended.