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An aromatic yellow curry with brown rice.
Vegetables 40% (Tomato (Tomato, Acidity Regulator [Citric Acid]), Sweet Potato, Carrot, Onion, Cauliflower, Garlic), Water, Coconut Cream 8% (Coconut Cream, Stabilisers [Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan]), Split Peas 5%, Brown Rice 3%, Ginger, Lemongrass, Coriander, Salt, Corn Starch, Sunflower Oil, Date Syrup, Spices (including chilli).
I have never really been one to eat curry, especially those of the vegetarian sort, my partner is a huge meat eater and so most of our meals contain meat more often than not! When I saw this product available for review I decided to give it a go, although I knew I probably wouldn't end up eating it on it's own as a curry I knew that I could find another way or 2 to try it out, and I must say I am glad I did as it gave really pleasing results when added to my dishes, and surprisingly both my partner and Miss 4 enjoyed it too.
Like the rest of the Pitango range the Vege and Split Pea Curry was easy to heat and prepare for those who need to do so by simply heating it in the microwave for a few minutes until piping hot, however on this occasion I wanted to try it out first to make some vegetarian triangles as I had a vegetarian friend coming for dinner. I chopped a potato up into small pieces and boiled it until just cooked and then made a sauce using the curry by thickening about a 1/4 of the bowl with some cornflour. I then mixed the curry sauce and potato together and placed a few spoonfuls of the mixture on to squares of pastry before folding them in half to form triangles and then placed them in the oven to cook. The smell of the vegetarian triangles was divine and very aromatic they smelt great, even my meat eating partner said so. My vegetarian friend absolutely loved this meal and asked for this recipe and thought I was joking when I showed her the box if what I had used.
With the remaining curry I decided to make a chicken pie for dinner I cooked my chicken as per usual and then the curry, some frozen vegetables and some thickened cream to it and cooked until it got quick thick and heated through. I then simply placed the chicken mix into a dish lined with pastry and into the oven to bake. This again produced amazing results and even my 4 year loved the pie, I loved that I had managed to hide in a heap of extra vegetables without my family even knowing.
Taste Wise I thought the flavours were great, and I loved the taste of the coconut it gave to each dish, the split peas were a little harder than what I would've liked but they weren't to bad. I loved that the vegetables were in fact 40% of the meal and that the chilli flavour wasn't to strong. I know I wouldn't buy this for myself to eat as a complete meal but I am happy knowing that it is something I can prepare for my vegetarian friend without to much hassle, a great product and so nice to see it being made vegetarian alongside the rest of the great Pitango range of products.
The word "aromatic" in the descriptor says it all. This is a really delicious curry, probably my favourite among the three I have tried. It is flavoursome and filling, and the split peas and brown rice are so chewy that you don't miss the meat at all - there are some meals where meat is just not a factor. Although the coconut content was very subtle, it was not an issue: rather, it blended with the curry spices to make a really nice sauce.
I shared the pottle with a friend so I could get her feedback too. She liked it as much as I did, and she is a serious carnivore, so that is high praise indeed. We had it for lunch but agreed that it would make a satisfying dinner for one person, especially when time is limited and reheating facilities are sparse. It was a cold day and we both thought it was satisfyingly warming.
I liked the spice mix - she could not work out what the spices were; garlic, lemongrass and ginger are all listed on the pack, but I was pretty sure I could taste cumin as well. There was a hint of chilli but this is not a hot curry; rather, it is flavoursome and mild with added sweetness from the date syrup and vegetables, some of which (like sweet potato and carrot) have their own sweetness to add. We could actually taste the individual vegetables; even though they were cooked in a curry sauce, they retained their own identities.
We had a pottle of mango flavoured coconut yoghurt in the fridge, so just before we had both finished, my friend suggested that we add some of that. At the risk of making the curry go cold, we did and were glad we had because the addition of the yoghurt made it even tastier. Coconut yoghurt is quite different from cows' milk yoghurt; it has a different texture and a cleaner aftertaste which made it a perfect complement to the curry. We also discovered that the curry was just as palatable cold, useful to know when the weather gets warmer.
We topped off our lunch with a chilled lager as that goes very nicely with curry. My friend said she would prefer wine, but we did not have any, so the decision was made for us. Be that as it may, it was all round an enjoyable lunch, something I plan to enjoy again when I find some pottles on the supermarket shelf.
I'm very much a carnivore. Well, I suppose technically I'm an omnivore, as I do eat non-meat stuff, but meat is a very important part of what I enjoy in a meal. For me, the way to improve a meal, is to increase the quantity of meat in said meal. So a vegetarian curry, is never usually going to be top of the list when it comes to picking a meal. But we do need variety in our meals, so if these are going to become a staple in my diet, I'd like to know how all the flavours stack up.
I've said it in all the other meal-for-1 reviews I have written, but the packaging it really well designed. The plastic film that needs to be removed is easy to remove, and comes off in one piece. The larger outer lid its, but is loose and easy to remove. The cardboard outer packaging is tight and holds it all together amazingly well. Very well designed. Everything that needs to be removed, is easy to remove, but at the same time the product is very secure until you need to get it open. Not only that, but none of the products I tried ever broke, or leaked, so the packaging is consistent and high quality. So kudos to the designer and packaging manufacturer.
Heat for 2 minutes, stir, heat for a further minute, and let it stand. The same directions as every other meal-for-1 meal. Again, very consistent. A lot of thought has gone into these products. Heating the meal, the aroma is a lot more subtle, compared to the butter chicken variety. There is a slight spiced scent, that is vaguely sweet, but it doesn't quite have the strength of the other varieties. Tasting it, however, the flavour is surprisingly robust. despite not having any meat, the spices complement the vegetables well, and create a well rounded flavour. The coconut creates a sweetness in the back of your mouth, that forms a lingering aftertaste.
The texture is somewhat chunkier than the butter chicken variety. Perhaps due to the chickens ability to break up when heated and mixed. The split pea is much more solid, which combined with the vegetables, is a very enjoyable texture. I very much enjoyed the flavour, but I prefer a lot of chilli and spice to my meals, rather than sweetness. Something I would have every once in a while, but not my preferred choice.
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