Sunday Times Food Award 2018

Which ready-made chicken korma is the best buy?

Our taste testers have spoken: here's which supermarket to head to when you're after a heat-and-eat curry on a cold winter's night

08 July 2018 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Chicken korma.
Chicken korma.
Image: 123RF/peteers

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: Chicken Korma from Pick n Pay; Woolworths Global Menu and Checkers Spice.
From top: Chicken Korma from Pick n Pay; Woolworths Global Menu and Checkers Spice.
Image: Christoph Hoffmann

THE RESULTS

FIRST PLACE: PICK N PAY

Chicken Korma and Pilau Rice

Price: R59.99 for 350g

What the judges said:

  • Sharon: Great colour, creamy and fragrant taste. Spice in rice adds nice flavour.
  • Melissa: Flavour was a nice surprise. Coriander seeds didn't work in rice for me.
  • Mario: Good amount of protein, rice nice and moist.
  • Clive: The appearance of the curry was immediately saliva inducing.
  • Tshepang: Almost smells like butter chicken, texture is nice and creamy and there's some spicy zest to it.

SECOND PLACE: WOOLWORTHS GLOBAL MENU

Chicken Korma

Price: R71.99 for 350g

What the judges said:

  • Francis: Flavour bit bland, too much coconut.
  • Callan: Not enough protein, sauce has separated.
  • Tshepang: Chicken tastes reheated, almost rubbery but sauce nice and spicy.
  • Shannon: Sauce looked a bit curdled. Flavour of coriander overpowering.
  • Newman: Beautiful curry, well presented.
  • Melissa: Rice was aromatic, fresh and fluffy. Chicken, soft and tasty.

THIRD PLACE: CHECKERS

Chicken Korma

Price: R44.99 for 300g

What the judges said:

  • Sharon: Not a good "korma colour". Very little protein although chicken soft, moist and well textured.
  • Mario: Good aroma, very small amount of protein in relation to rice.
  • Clive: More like a soup than a curry. Chicken pieces sparsely dotted in a broth.
  • Tshepang: Colour makes it appear mild as if spices haven't rooted in. Good taste of nutmeg and cinnamon.
  • Cornell: Needs more seasoning.

WINES TO TRY WITH CHICKEN KORMA

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

• Checkers Odd Bins 354 Chardonnay (R44.99): “Paired nicely with
aromatic curries.”

• Pick n Pay KWV Chardonnay (R60): “Great acidity in this wine, a
complex wine that is made well to pair with food.”

• Woolworths Sauvignon Blanc (R49,99): “Paired well with the second korma we tasted (Pick n Pay) both in flavour and aroma. Suited the creaminess of this dish.” 

X