Author Topic: Supermarket curries — then and now.  (Read 840 times)

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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Supermarket curries — then and now.
« on: September 13, 2019, 09:05 PM »
Twenty years ago, there was not a single supermarket curry that I would have rated at better than 4/10; they were universally dire, and nothing like the curries that were being served in BIRs at that time.  How things have changed.  Morrisons is my local supermarket of choice, and I have commented before on the quality of their "Volcanic Vindaloo" and "Flaming Fiery Phal", and when these are on special offer they still offer superb value.  But at the moment my local Morrisons (and probably yours) is offering take-away bags containing two curries, one (large) pulao rice, two naan and four onion bhaji, all for a fiver.  Now the pulao rice and the naan go straight to the birds, but I am left with two main courses and two starters, still for a fiver.  The main courses in tonight's goody bag were chicken Madras and chicken tikka masala.  I pre-heated the chicken Madras at 30% in the microwave oven until I could smell that it was ready, at the same time heating some chilli-infused rapeseed oil in a 24cm copper-bottomed stainless steel pan.  Once the curry was up to temperature, I poured it into the oil, gave it a good stir and it was ready to go.  While that was happening, I was frying a frozen paratha in ghee, and chopping some fresh coriander.  I poured the curry back into the container in which it had been sold, top-dressed it with the coriander, gave it a good grind of kala namak and tucked in.  It was absolutely delicious, and would not have disgraced any modern BIR.  There was plenty of Madras sauce left over, so tomorrow I will take the chicken pieces out of the tikka masala sauce, put them into the Madras sauce, and have a second meal.  With just those few tweaks (chilli-infused oil, fresh coriander, kala namak) the curry is as good as anything I can find in a local BIR, and better than most.  And for less than £3 (allowing for the cost of the frozen paratha), far far cheaper.  Well worth giving it a go if you have not already done so.

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« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 07:29 PM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Offline mickyp

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Re: Supermarket curries — then and now.
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2019, 10:15 AM »
Interesting post Phil, especially using the oil and cooking the paratha in ghee, i agree with you that supermarket curries have improved, and also have slowly got smaller.

I have a pet hate with them tho, its when you look at the pack and see the sauce has been squirted in and does not cover the chicken, it really winds me up, why can't they give it a shake to spread the sauce enabling some form of marination to take place grrrrrr rant over.


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Re: Supermarket curries — then and now.
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2019, 12:51 PM »
also have slowly got smaller.

Unlike the president, that might just be our hands getting bigger   :D  but I totally agree on the benefits of re-spicing, it can make for a whole new taste, even meal.

Although too sweet for me now, I used to re-spice a (delivery) korma to vindaloo hot. Magic.

Online Bhaji Bob

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Re: Supermarket curries — then and now.
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2019, 03:46 PM »
An interesting post Phil, I have never thought about doctoring a supermarket curry, really might give that a go.  Sometime back when Morrisons Volcanic Vindaloo was mentioned on this forum, I thought I'd give it a try even though I knew deep down that it was probably going to be too hot for me, which it was. Pass the milk please, cough.  I quite liked their madras and bhuna curries, reasonably priced and hot enough for yours truly.  As for some supermarket curries, I have noticed as others have said, that they are a little smaller than previously.  Having never really cracked the BIR flavour and up against it at home with cooking and curry smells causing serious problems for our adult daughter that we care for, I have almost given up on cooking my own.. Not quite though, as I made a couple of litres of base gravy in the garden last week.  The Instant Pot is great for that - you can walk away and leave it and no gas to be blown out, brilliant and little or no small getting into the house either, usually.

Getting back to supermarket curries, Sainsbury's and Waitrose are nearer to us than Morrisons.  I had a Goan fish curry from Waitrose recently which was enjoyable and their Kerala chicken fry is ok too, for me anyway.  My main concern re supermarket curries is the plastic waste that comes with it and the fashion of chargrilling chicken.  I'm moving away from chicken a bit these days because of that.

I still have a go at knocking something up at home when I can but when you add up the cost of the spices that go off because of infrequent cooking sessions and domestic issues, a supermarket curry is a welcome spice fix and I think they are better than they were.
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Supermarket curries — then and now.
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2019, 06:36 PM »
Getting back to supermarket curries, Sainsbury's and Waitrose are nearer to us than Morrisons.  I had a Goan fish curry from Waitrose recently which was enjoyable and their Kerala chicken fry is ok too, for me anyway. 

If Waitrose were as close to me as Morrisons, it would be my supermarket of choice, but Truro is about an hour from Bodmin and around 45 minutes from Roche/Trezaise, so I go there at most once a month.  But despite the fact that I am a great fan of Waitrose, their curries have always been something of a disappointment, whereas Morrisons just go down a treat.  Not sure I have ever tried a Sainsbury's curry, or a Tesco's for that matter, and I don't think I've ever risked an Aldi or a Lidl one either.  Maybe I'll try an Asda curry one day — certainly their Southern Indian coffee (ground, unfortunately, not beans) is really good.

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Offline jalfreziT

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Re: Supermarket curries — then and now.
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2019, 06:38 PM »
”why can't they give it a shake to spread the sauce”.

I think its because they offer all that stuff for a fiver :)

Offline Garp

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Re: Supermarket curries — then and now.
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2019, 07:11 PM »
On Phil's recommendation, I got a Morrison's £5 meal for two today. Thought I was getting a Madras and CTM but misread and ended up with a Jalfrezi and CTM.

Have to say that it wasn't bad for a supermarket curry, and they have moved on greatly since the last one I had.


Offline london

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Re: Supermarket curries — then and now.
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2019, 09:48 AM »
I have the sainbury's chicken madras from time to time and it pretty good.

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Offline Bob-A-Job

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Re: Supermarket curries — then and now.
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2019, 11:17 PM »
Maybe I'll try an Asda curry one day


I used to live near a large Morrisons, close enough to walk in the early evenings when food was being discounted heavily.  The 2 for's were ok.
I now live nearer to an Asda but not close enough to walk and without transport, it makes picking up the same bargins not quite so easy.  Asda's 2 for's tend to always have a Korma, which I bin.  If it contains a Jalfrezi or the separate trays of Jalfrezi are in the reduced to clear then I will pick them up (several if there are more than one) as they tend to be quite spicy (nothing like the ones you like from Morrisons though Phil) and the other curries are not much to write home about imo but I still prefer to make my own.

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Offline jalfreziT

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Re: Supermarket curries — then and now.
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2019, 08:53 AM »
Not wanting to be left out, I asked Mrs JalfreziT to get me a supermarket curry.
I've just finished what was described as, "Kashmiri Style Chicken Rogan Josh". I am still enjoying some post-consumption burping :)

It was on special offer for 2,89€ (normally 3,15€). To save you doing the maths, I can tell you that this was a MASSIVE 26 euro cents saving. Should have bought two!

350g total weight.
150g cooked rice
150g sauce mixture
50g chicken

It was perfectly edible, maybe even "nice" tasting. Not quite the same as a home-cooked curry, but not a million miles away.

I did take a picture, but posting it seems to require farting around with 3rd party image hosting, so I have to leave it to your imagination.

PS  MickyP, the sauce/chicken mixture was deposited in the corner of the tray. It actually worked well because I could open the opposite corner of the top seal film to provide ventilation during microwaving, without risking any sauce spattering out  :)

« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 09:53 AM by jalfreziT »


 

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