“ Brand: Sainsbury's / Type: Snack „
Being a student my diet consists mostly of ready meals and I consider myself quite the connoisseur even amongst my peer group. As such I have sampled the length and breadth of the Ready Meal and Food-to-Go aisles of all the major supermarkets from Asda to Waitrose. These onion bhajis are not something I would usually choose. When ordering a takeaway they would be essential; however anything which is oven-only and takes a full 14 minutes (not including pre-heating time) is, due to my overwhelming laziness and TV-induced lust for instant gratification, far too long to wait for a simple side dish. When I removed the six, reasonably-sized bhajis from the oven after the required time I noticed they were crisp and not overly burned as I had somewhat pessimistically expected. Tearing one open I found them to be cooked through and my confidence in the advantages of oven cooking was temporarily restored. Biting into one I found that the outer layer was nicely cooked. It was crisp and warm but nowhere near the standard of your deep-fried, heart-attack-in-a-box fare from your local curry house. As I burrowed towards the centre I found it was powdery which, while tasting of somewhat of onion, was certainly not onion. It put me in mind of a game of Pictionary - trying to get across something without actually saying it. Sainsbury's, or at any rate the food factory they outsource to, were attempting to make me taste onion without having to actually use any. While students are typically delighted to discover various powders, this was certainly not a pleasant find. The texture rendered it virtually uneatable. I say virtually because I ended up eating all six out of a combination of disgust-induced hunger and everyday, run-of-the-mill hunger. In terms of price I believe they cost just over £1 however I bought these as part of a "2 Dine for £5" offer. Incidentally I ate the entire meal alone over the course of a day, don't fall for the Sainsbury's marketing ploy of making you assume someone will be joining you for the meal. Also don't fall for the calorie advice on the packet, which would be bad enough if it were for the contents of the entire packet, but in fact is for just 2 of the 6 balls of powder. My advice would be to save bhajis for when getting a takeaway - or at least eat share them with someone else to minimise the impact on your cholesterol levels.
I really do love any kind (well most lol) of Indian food. I love spicy stuff though too hot and one thing I do like to buy myself regularly is samosas and onion bhaji off fresh counters in supermarkets and I'm lucky enough to live close to an Asian community of which has lots of shops and cafes where I can pick up stuff ever so cheap that I heartily enjoy. The other day mooching around Sansbury's I was starving and I really fancied something tasty. Usually I head straight to the fresh counter and treat myself to one of everything I fancy but I saw these priced at £1.15 for 6 of them and I decided to give them a go as they seemed really good value for money and who doesn't appreciate that after-all lol. The Packaging.... The 6 bhajis come in a black plastic tray with a paper cardboard sleeve that just goes over it's centre and pulls off. On that there is a photograph of the onion bhajis and I am told they are Sainsbury's 6 Onion Bhaji 'A lightly spiced Indian snack made with onion and coriander'. I am then told they are delicately spiced and that they are mild in spice, that they serve 3, that they are Vegetarian and the best before date is stamped on in black ink. There is also an at a glance nutritional chart and I'm told they contain no hydrogenated fats, artificial colours or preservatives. On the back of sleeve I'm given nutritional information, ingredients and allergy advice are listed, I'm told how to store them and how to cook them (if desired) contact details for Sainsbury's are given, I'm told to refrigerate them once they are opened and that they are freezable and finally there is a bar-code on there. All in all I like the less packaged approach whilst I'm still given enough information on what I'm about the eat! Cooking Instructions.... Preheat the oven to Electric 200C/Gas Mark 6 and bake them for 12 minutes from chilled or 18 minutes from frozen on a baking tray in the centre of the oven on a baking tray. Not suitable for microwave cooking. Eating Them.... I like mine cold...always and would never dream of consumption when warm so my review is about eating them straight out of the carton they came in once I've ripped the sleeve off and been met with a clear plastic covering over the 'tray' they come in and tore that off too lol. Size wise you get 6 very decent sized, quite solid onion bhajis. They arnt crumbly, messy or even greasy and they are quite smooth on the outside texture sporting very little aroma to them at all. In my view these brown and golden bhajis (yellow on the inside as they are made of course from yellow split peas) are quite dry even though I got mine straight from a refrigerator and they were very much in date and I ate them straight away. Sure I could taste the pale, white crunchy onion thin slices (after-all these are made up from 66% onions) and a slight hint of the chilli although I couldn't call these overly spiced or hot in flavour at all. Nicely seasoned they were but as I say for me these were hard work and just a little dried out particularly on the outside and boy did I need alot of liquid to wash them down and I couldn't taste the coriander as promised! Overall.... No doubt they taste like onion bhajis but if you think these are going to be restaurant quality your very much mistaken. For me they are too dry though they did taste delicately spiced, fresh and of onions and they even held very well together as I munched through with no mess either they simply didn't hit the mark for me! Allergy Advice.... Contains Wheat Gluten. Not suitable for Peanut, Nut or Sesame allergy sufferers due to the methods used in the manufacture of this product. Nutritional Information Per1/3 Pack.... Energy: 202 Kcal Fat: 12.7g Saturated Fat: 1.0g Salt: 0.85g Total Sugars: 0.9g Only available in Sainsburys priced at £1.15 for 6 of them.