“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Sauces „
Today I will review the Tikka Masala cooking sauce by Tesco out of their Light Choicesrange.
I'm from Germany where we defenitely suffer from a lack of Indian food! So whenever I'm in England I stock up on everything I need to enjoy tikka and korma at home! Since I usually prefer "light" versions of the foods I enjoy, I wanted to try out the Tikka Masala out of the Light Choices range at Tesco as well.
It wasn't expensive and it's super easy to prepare, so I bought it.
The sauce is sold in a jar with a blue lid and a white label around the jar. It contains 500ml of Tikka Masala. On the label on the front of the jar you see a picture of a chicken tikka dish with rice. Next to the picture it is strated that tge sauce is creamy and is made of tomatos, rice, joghurts and coriander. The sauce is also supposed to be low-fat and it says that it contains little saturated fats. It also frew from artificial preservatives and flavouring. It's medium spicy and is suitable for vegetarians.
As on all Light Choices products, the Weight Watchers points are also stated on the jar. 125g of the sauce have 1 1/2 points.
I like the fact that the sauce is sold in a jar - that way you don't have to use all in one go and can store it in the fridge for later use.
This tikka masala sauce is of an intensive red colour. It's rather thick and creamy which surprised me a little - after all a lot of light sauces are thin and runny. It's easy to get the sauce out of the jar.
It smells delicious and I immediately become hungry when I open the jar and smell it!
Preparing it is super easy. You can either heat it in a pot on the oven (but stay with it and stir it! It quickly because hot and then it can splash anywhere!) or put it into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it up.
I did like the sauce I already tried out a lot of tikka masala sauces for cooking at home and this one is defenitely one of the best ones I had. Still, it doesn't live up to those in restaurants. I find it a bit strange - the ones in cans which already comes with chicken always taste a lot like those you can get in restaurants, but with the ones in jars something isn't quite alright. Maybe there are too many tomatoes in this one? Something's missing. You don't taste the tomato so much, but the mouth-watering edge that every good tikka has is missing.
But in the end this is a good sauce. It's very mild but still pleasantly spicy, tasting or koriander and onions.
I am also really satisfied with the calories. The sauce is quite "skinny" and can easily be integrated into a healthy lifestyle. Usually dieting means absolutely no curries as they are so creamy, but this one is light without being dull.
The sauce is vegetarian with no bits in it, but you can easily add ingredients. I've stired chickpeas from the can into it and it was really delicious!
Water, Tomato Purée, Onion, Yogurt (6%), Lemon Juice from Concentrate, Dried Skimmed Milk, Modified Maize Starch, Sugar, Double Cream (1,5%), Coriander Leaf (1,5%), Vegetable Oil, Dried Garlic, Colour (Paprika Extract), Salt, Acidity Regulators (Lactic Acid, Acetic Acid), ginger, Coriander, Cumin, Cardamon, Paprika, Chilli Powder, Cinnamon, Cumin Seed, Fennel, Clove, Fenugreek, Black Pepper, Black Onion Seed.
Energy 325 kJ / 80 kcal
..of which sugars 7.4g
..of which saturates 0.6g
Salt equivalent 0.4g
This sauce is available at Tesco for £1.19 a jar.
I liked this sauce and defenitely recommend it. It's tasty and it helps you prepare a quick meal with class. :) You can easily add other things like chicken or vegetables, so this sauce really leaves room for variety!
If you like Indian food and want to try making your own, this product is a good start!
My latest diet seems to be working as I've managed to knock off about 4lbs over the last couple of weeks though that's probably more due to my abstinence from wine than serious dieting. I tend to make most meals from scratch but when I've bought any processed foods, I have been making lower fat choices wherever possible.
I'm quite partial to curry and often use ready made curry sauces because they're quick and easy to use when you come in from work and don't feel like slaving away in the kitchen. When I was last in Tesco, I noticed their Light Choices range included a tikka masala sauce, classed as being medium hot with regard to taste and which professed to contain 50% less fat and is also suitable for vegetarians. As well as the usual information, the label also gives the Weight Watchers' points value for a 125g single serving as being 1½ points but does add the proviso that this has been calculated by Tesco and the product isn't endorsed by Weight Watchers.
A 500g jar retails currently for 77p.
I won't go into great detail about the ingredients but it's worth noting that although the sauce doesn't contain nuts, the machinery may have been used previously for preparation of foods containing nuts.
Nutritionally, this may be low calorie and have a greatly reduced fat content but it isn't without carbohydrates and a 125g serving contains 13.9g of carbohydrates and 9.3g of that is sugar, amounting to roughly 10% of an adult's daily allowance. It also contains about 10% of their salt allowance too.
This tikka masala sauce is described by Tesco as 'a creamy sauce with tomatoes, onion, yoghurt and coriander' and is also claimed to have reduced fat and be low in saturates and doesn't include any artificial preservatives, flavours, colours or hydrogenated fat. I'm not absolutely sure I agree with their idea of creamy!
The ready made curry sauces I usually prefer are either from Sharwoods or Pataks so I'll be comparing this against those two which are among the market leaders. The curry I was making this time was a Quorn and vegetable one. (I'll just pause to allow the groans to die down from all you meat eaters!)
I had already browned the Quorn chunks and the vegetables and was ready to add the curry sauce. On removing the lid of the jar, which was rather tight and I had to resort to the old rubber glove trick to get it off, the curry smell was very evident and didn't smell too different from either of my usual brands. On pouring into the saucepan though, I did notice that this sauce was somewhat thinner.
With regard to taste, although this definitely tastes of curry, the overriding flavour is tomato and processed onion and the spices are not particularly mild or mellow and could even be described as harsh as they catch at the back of the throat. When I use my normal branded sauces they coat the Quorn and vegetables much more effectively that this Light Choices sauce and a tiny taste from the teaspoon of the sauce alone left me with a mouthful of flavour but there was no substance there. In fact it has a rather watery consistency.
This is certainly lower in calories, fats and sugars and is undoubtedly healthier than my usual brands but quite honestly I'm not prepared to sacrifice so much quality for the sake of a few calories. I'd rather use my normal brands and dilute them slightly with water which would still produce a better sauce than this one.
This Light Choices sauce is OK for the really serious dieter but it's unfair to inflict your dietary restrictions on your family too and I won't be buying this again as I would rather spend extra time in the kitchen making my own curry sauce from scratch than use this one.
I have been using this sauce for a good year now. If you are on a diet or just very calorie conscious then it is worth giving a try. It has changed a bit though as Tesco have revamped it and it now has a big flash on the label informing us that it is 50% less fat than standard Tesco Tikka Masala sauce. The nutritional information has changed too - it is now a little lower in fat but a bit higher in calories (it used to be 90 and is now 100 per portion).
It comes in a 500g glass jar with a screw top lid. It has the Tesco Light Choices branding and scheme on the label.
The sauce itself it of a medium consistency which runs out of the jar well and doesn't leave much round the sides and bottom. It is a rich orangy colour but not in an artificial way. It smells fresh when you open the jar with that destinctive Tikka Masala smell.
The texture of the sauce is quite smooth, but with a even coarse texture. It is like a liquidised soup. When it is cooked I do find it can be a little runny however. I often leave it to cook down a bit to thicken it up a bit more. This also intensifies the flavour a bit too. It contains yoghurt to make it a bit more creamy. It says medium on the bottle for strength of the curry but I would have to say I find it mild. It has onions, corriander and tomatoes in the sauce.
I find the taste of the sauce to be a little insipid. It has a tomatoey flavour with the corriander coming through as well as a nice balance of the tikka flavouring. I find it does lack a little depth of flavour though - it is just spicy enough, but I do like to add a squeeze of tomato ketchup or a dollop of tomato puree to give it an added depth. I always add an onion and some garlic too. It really is a good base for a tasty sauce, but I do feel you do need to add something else to give it a bit more oomph.
I have tried freezing left over portions and I find that it freezes well.
The allergy advice is that it contains milk and contains no nuts. It says there are no artificail preservatives, flavours, colours or hydrogonated fat.
It has 100 calories per quarter of a jar (125g) and the label informs you that it has 1 and a half Weight Watchers points per portion.
Nutritional Information per serving (125g) is as follows:
Energy 405kJ (100kcal)
mono unsaturates 0.9g
*Salt Equivalent 0.5g