Product Reviews: Indian Food

Product #1: Giant’s Frozen Chana Masala

Price: Approx. $4

Giant's Chana Masala
Giant’s Chana Masala

Review: It is what it is.  A cheap, mild-tasting vegetarian dish, it can be an easy lunch to bring to work.  Make sure you microwave long enough to prevent it from being more watery than it has to be.  It’s not the amazing Indian food you may be used to, but homemade Indian food is time-consuming and restaurant-made food can get expensive.  Here’s a passable budget alternative.  Enjoy?

Props to Giant brand for tackling:


Product #2: Bookbinder’s Spicy Sriracha Sauce

Price: Approx. $3

Bookbinder's Sriracha Sauce
Bookbinder’s Sriracha Sauce

Review: I know, it’s not Indian.  Sriracha sauce is originally from Thailand.  But my Husband is always looking for a way to spice up his food, and Sriracha is often the way to do it.  This creamy sauce is more like a spicy mayonnaise than a clear hot sauce.  I used it on a bun-less burger for my first test.  It certainly gave it a kick, but didn’t leave me running to the sink to stick my tongue under the faucet.  I’d say it’s a good condiment for a mixed spice-level household.


Product #3: Patak’s Butter Chicken simmer sauce

Price: $6 – $11 depending on where you buy

Patak's Butter Chicken Meal
Patak’s Butter Chicken Meal

Review: gives it 2 stars for a reason.  I was disappointed for the price I paid (around $8).  Indian curries are rich and complex.  This butter chicken sauce was missing the butter, cream and complexity.  It was thin and heavy on the tomato paste, basically a tomato soup.  If I served this to my MIL, I’d be kicked out of the family.  The only possibility of redemption is if this sauce is not used as the only ingredient besides chicken and rice (as the jar suggests).  It would have to be the base for other vegetables, spices and herbs – as one reviewers suggests: “begs you to add more ingredients like onions, garlic, peppers,tomatoes, thyme, turmeric, paprika, cilantro, etc.”  But honestly, if I’m paying $8 for a sauce (and using the entire jar…) it should be the end all, be all.  Next time, I’ll be trying it from scratch.  Couldn’t be too much worse than this.

I followed the instructions to the tee, even “authentic results on the Mahatma Basmati rice”.  So here’s the pics:

Butter Chicken Directions

Rie Instructions