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Tesco Chicken Tikka Masala with Pilau Rice. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
I was not going to do any more reviews on ready meals I must confess, but I am afraid after I ate this product I just had to warn everyone. I am however going to review this product slightly different so I am hoping this method will prove to me more informative than my previous reviews.
About The Product. ----------------------------------- This is a Tesco home brand product that can be found in the frozen ready meals aisle at Tesco's, or can be purchased at Tesco.com if you dare. The product like most ready meals comes in a black plastic tray divided in half, in which, one section is for the Pilau Rice and the other The Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce. It is film sealed and the packed into a cardboard box.
The box is dark orange in colour and clearly displays the product name, cooking instructions, storage instructions and nutritional information, as well as a great looking picture.
This product claims to be free from artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives and made with 100% chicken breast.
The meal is classified as a medium curry that is suitable for oven cooking or microwave. It is a 550gm portion sized ready meal that is 655 kcals per 550gms.
These ready meals are available for either £1.69 each meal or can be nought on promotion at three for £4.50 saving you 19p per meal.
My Opinion. -------------------------- On the front of this package, I must say the meal picture looks very appetising and as you will soon find out, looks can be very deceiving. On removing the product from the cardboard and preparing it for the microwave I must say that the meal looked good in appearance, at least whilst it is frozen anyway. The first problem I noticed with this meal was when I had to stir the meal half way through the cooking time.
The sauce of the meal although still half frozen started to have a small amount of grease starting to come to the surface, at least until it was stirred and then it looked ok again but I did notice the lack of aroma I feel I should have now been able to detect. Then we arrived at the rice, in appearance before I stirred it I did notice the fact that the top of the rice looked to be very dry. I hoped this would change upon stirring and, Oh was I right. It certainly changed, but in no way did it change for the better. There was a huge amount of water floating around the bottom of the rice tray and the rice just seamed to be drowning in the excessive water.
I replace the meal to the microwave to finishing cooking it in the hope that when it had finished cooking maybe the sauce would thicken and the rice would dry-out a bit. The meal finally finished and I removed it, ready to serve. Still it totally lacked any aroma at all from either the rice or the curry sauce. I started to serve the rice onto my plate and to my horror; it was all extremely soggy and stuck together in a horrible mushy unappealing yellow mass in the centre of the plate. It was that soggy it was sticking to the serving spoon as well in a very bad way. Then we came to pouring the Tikka sauce over the top of the rice. The sauce itself was not that bad in appearance really an although it did show some grease on it, there was not a huge amount which began to look promising. Yet again, I was to discover just how much looks could be deceiving.
Time for the taste test, and this in my opinion on this particular meal was definitely the hardest test of all. After pulling the sauce apart slightly to try to count the chicken pieces this meal boasted, I finally managed to uncover a ridiculous three small pieces of very sad looking chicken pieces, which I had to taste as to review the product properly. The chicken itself was extremely watery to taste which leads me only to believe that either this was a chicken that had been injected with water, which they claimed it was not, or this chicken had managed to absorb a massive amount of water from the sauce during cooking. The sauce was a bright orange in colour and appeared to begin to separate on the plate. The test of taste on his was no joy at all, I have to say. There was no lovely spicy taste to this at all and the best way to describe this is to say that it was a watery sauce that had an orange colour and a slightly peppery taste to it, and nothing else. I really mean nothing else at all taste wise.
This was not helped in any way by the mass of yellow mushy rice, which accompanied it on the plate. I of course had to give this the taste test as well. If appearance was anything to go by I was about to taste a soggy pile of rice that appeared to have been cooked in a yellow water and sprinkled with yellow food colouring. This was the most disgusting rice I have ever tasted as far as I can remember.
I eventually managed a whole four mouthfuls of this utterly vulgar attempt at a ready meal before I could not stomach any more. It was sent to its true place where it really did deserve to be, and that is the bin.
I will say at this point my dog loves any type of food that contains chicken and this includes Chicken Tikka, but this meal was so horrible that it was not even suitable for a rat to eat, let alone subject my dog to. In fact, I feel so strongly about this product that I am willing to say that even a rat would turn its nose up at this is disgust.
Summary. ------------------- The Taste Test: - Absolutely horrible and a miserable 0/10 for this meal in the taste test.
The Appearance: - A miserable 1/10 for appearance and that has only been given due to the fact that it looked ok before it was cooked.
The Smell: - a terrible 1/10 as I have to confess I could smell a small peppery smell during the eating process but a very faint one at that.
Overall, I give the meal a very low 1/10 to Tesco for there ready meal and suggest that you stay well away from this product. Save your money, as Tesco should be reprimanded for attempting to pass this as an edible food let alone a complete meal.