Curry in a Hurry 07/11/11
There's a new Indian vegetarian instant meal on the market. Veggie Buntch had a taste. By Laura Cooke.
The local instant meal market is not very vegetarian friendly. So when Olaf Schaefer from O’South invited Veggie Buntch to sample a range of Indian vegetarian meals and frozen fruit and veg, I was intrigued.
What is it?
A range of authentic Indian ready-to-serve curries, breads, snacks as well as frozen fruit and vegetables. The range is produced by Vadilal, one of India’s most recognisable ice-cream brands, under the banner Quick Treats.
The range promises authentic Indian flavours and is free from preservatives.
But the real test in the taste…
Price: About R30 per meal
As far as instant meals go, this diverse range offers a refreshingly wide selection of vegetarian meals. They are full of flavour, easy to prepare and well worth trying out.
They’re great for those days when you just don’t have the energy to cook from scratch.
And if you’re planning on hosting an Indian dinner party, this could be an excellent solution. Just decant the meals into your best dinnerware, and your guests will think you’ve mastered the trick of Indian cooking.
Food miles – the meals are imported from India.
While they are preservative free, home-cooking is still best as you can control elements such as the salt, oil and other ingredients.
Where to buy
Superspar, Sea Point, Regent Rd. 94, Sea Point
Health For Life, Gardens Centre, Gardens
Organic Living, Constantia Village Shopping Centre, Constantia
Alternatively, email me for more info on ordering.
The full Vadilal range is extensive, and obviously we couldn’t taste everything. But here is a short rundown of what we sampled.
Frozen sapota slices
Also called Chickoo, Sapota is the fruit of the Sapodilla tree and is grown in large quantities across India, Pakistan and Mexico. Like the mango slices, the sapota was flavoursome and extremely sweet. Its taste has been compared to caramel or pear with brown sugar.
Forget samoosas, these crispy balls filled with pigeon peas (lilva) and spices are a well known Gujarati snack. We had them heated in the microwave, and while the colour was not quite as vibrant as the packaging, they are extremely moreish.
This was a first for me. Crushed chickpeas wrapped in the leaves of the cocolasia or taro plant. I enjoyed this particular dish a lot. It is not something that is common to find in South Africa, and tasted fresh and lightly spicy.
A smoky aubergine based curry. Not a fan of smoked flavours in food, this one was my least favourite. That said, if you like smoked flavours – I am sure you would enjoy it. The dish is usually made with eggplant that has been grilled over a charcoal fire.
The current range is not entirely vegan. However the following are:
– Curried Patra
– Lilva Kachori
– Mixed Pakoda
– Curried Undhiu
– Navratna Korma
– Punjabi Chhole
– Lemon Rice
The suppliers, O’South have said that they will be bringing in more fully vegan dishes with their next shipment.