Cooking and eating are important activities in our house, my Dad (now known as Grandad) comes round for his tea at least once a week, it’s our way of ensuring that he eats a decent home-cooked meal regularly and it’s an excuse for us to have a “gravy dinner” with extra veg or something similar. Sometimes when I’m just too busy to cook we’ll get a takeaway, or get some ready meals in.
As a family we all love curry, after all it is the national dish! The problem with curry is that we all like different things, the small boy loves chicken korma, hubs likes a lamb rogan josh, Grandad likes a chicken tikka marsala and I’m a vegetable biryani kind of girl. It’s impossible to cook a curry we will all be happy with, takeaways or ready meals are where it’s at. I had noticed in my local Co-op that they’d recently launched a new range of curries, so we jumped at the chance of trying them when we were asked to have our own curry night at home.
We were sent the Co-op Loved by us Chicken Tikka Masala and pilau rice (500g £3.59), the Co-op Loved by us Chicken Karahi and pilau rice (500g £3.59) and the Co-op Loved by us Bengali Vegetable Masala Curry with pilau rice (500g £3.59) to try. These curries are individually priced or are available in a 2 for £6 offer.
The new range of 12 curries from Co-operative Food has been created by chef, Pratap Chinna who has over 35 years experience as a chef and has been creating exotic recipes for retailers for the last five years.
My first impression was that they smelt delicious, the Chicken Kahari one especially filled the kitchen with a lovely, mouth-watering smell which has the boys running to the table for their tea. The meals are very generously portioned, I was unable to finish mine it was so big, it’s a good sized meal for a good sized appetite.
We served our curries with naan bread and poppadoms, because no curry is complete without them. Hubs had the chicken kahari which he really enjoyed, it looked and smelt good, with big chunks of chicken and lots of sauce, he said he’d definitely have it again. The packet said medium and it had a kick of heat and was the hottest of the three curries we tried.
Grandad had the chicken tikka masala, again this was a good sized portion which he struggled to finish, it had a good creamy sauce and nice chunks of chicken, he enjoyed it and said he’d eat it again (which is massive praise from my Dad).
I had the Bengali Vegetable Masala Curry which was full of lots of different vegetables, the sauce was spicier than I was expecting but it was flavoursome and very filling.
As well as the price and the portion size, what I also liked about them was their calorie counts – ok so the cream-based chicken tikka marsala was 702 calories for the whole ready meal, that’s probably a lot less than a takeaway,the chicken kahari was a decent 583 calories which makes that a pretty healthy option for a meal, and my vegetable marsala was just 449 calories. They’re not made to be low-fat or low calorie, but if you’re keeping tabs on that kind of thing I thought these were pretty good calorie-wise.
We’re giving Co-op curry the thumbs up!