Sunday Times Food Awards 2018

Which meaty heat-and-eat curries are well worth buying?

We put a trio of spicy supermarket ready-meals - Lamb curry, Mutton biryani and Curried mince - to the taste test

08 July 2018 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Lamb curry.
Lamb curry.
Image: 123RF/whiteboxmedia

HOW WE CONDUCTED OUR TASTE TEST

IT'S FREE AND FAIR!

We gathered a group of wine experts together and asked them to put curries from different supermarkets to the taste test.

All the curries came in trays with rice. The curries were compared in a blind tasting where each curry was judged on aroma, appearance/presentation, taste, authenticity, ratio of protein to rice and whether the taster would purchase it.

We asked the chefs of HTA Cooking Academy in Randburg, Joburg, to assist and under strict scrutiny they removed all the packaging, numbered the curries and heated them exactly according to the packaging instructions before serving them to the tasting panel.

From top: Lamb curry from Pick n Pay; Curried mince with turmeric rice from Woolworths; Mutton biryani from Checkers Spice.
From top: Lamb curry from Pick n Pay; Curried mince with turmeric rice from Woolworths; Mutton biryani from Checkers Spice.
Image: Christoph Hoffmann

THE VERDICT

PICK N PAY

Dish: Lamb Curry

Price: R62.99 for 350g 

Rating: 9/10

What the judges said:

  • Callan: Soft lamb, good flavour and spice, plus fluffy rice.
  • Newman: Beautiful curry, loved it and it paired well with two of the wines.
  • Shannon: Delicious and authentic. Potatoes well cooked and lamb tender.
  • Sharon: Looked great, tasted great. Lamb very tender.

WOOLWORTHS

Dish: Curried Beef Mince with Turmeric Rice

Price: R58.99 for 350g 

Rating: 8/10

What the judges said:

  • Janine: Nice but average. A bit bobotie-like.
  • Cornell: Nice flavour, there's more meat than rice. Quite sweet.
  • Francis: Enjoyed ratio of meat to rice and texture of rice. A well-made curry.
  • Melissa: Traditional Cape Malay flavours and not too sweet and fruity.

CHECKERS SPICE

Dish: Mutton Biryani 

Price: R44.99 for 315g 

Rating: 6/10

What the judges said:

  • Eric: No flavour, yet meat is tender.
  • Francis: A poor rendition of this dish. Not much spice, ratio of meat to rice is poor.
  • Mario: Dry, visually not appealing and I found rice to be hard.
  • Cornell: No flavour, no seasoning, no curry and meat dry.

WINES TO TRY WITH  MEATY CURRIES

Our wine experts tried a trio of tipples with their meals. Here's what they had to say:

• Checkers: Odd Bins 938 Shiraz Grenache 2016 (R49.99): “Hints of black fruit. Not a lot of length on palate or structure.”

• Pick n Pay: Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage 2016 (R120): “Good  blackcurrant and cherry on the nose. The palate is soft with long elegant finish.”

• Woolworths: Organic Pinotage (R49.99): “No body, challenging to pair. Poorlymade wine.”


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