Sunday Times Food Awards 2018

Which supermarket makes the best heat-and-eat butter chicken?

To help you buy the best, we put three ready-made curries to the taste test

08 July 2018 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Butter chicken.
Butter chicken.
Image: 123RF/bhofack2

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

THE RESULTS

FIRST PLACE: WOOLWORTHS GLOBAL MENU

Butter chicken

Price: R71.99 for 350g

What the judges said:

  • Eric: Excellent flavour, lovely balance with tomato coming through fantastically.
  • Francis: Chicken nice and moist, spices well integrated. Really enjoyed the rice too. Good mild curry, I liked it a lot.
  • Sharon: Good appearance and aroma, and great taste.
  • Janine: Chicken very succulent, tomatoes gave it a sweet aftertaste.
  • Callan: Thick sauce, tender chicken. All round tasty.

SECOND PLACE: PICK N PAY

Butter chicken

Price: R59.99 for 350g

  • Lloyd: My kind of curry. Great balance in terms of sauce and spices. Just the right flavour.
  • Tshepang: The spiciness, creaminess and richness are just right in this buttery dish.
  • Clive: Good velvety
    texture. Unappetizing strong tomato base .
  • Mario: Looks good, best aroma, good flavour and moist rice.

THIRD PLACE: CHECKERS SPICE

Butter Chicken

Price: R44.99 for 300g

What the judges said:

  • Mario: Aroma is appealing although rice dry, tastes OK.
  • Newman: Tastes OK, the curry lacks flavour.
  • Shannon: No aroma, no flavour, no curry. Bonus is chicken is not dry. Rice was the best part. No salt.
  • Melissa: Quite bland, no spiciness, rice too grainy. Chicken soft and tender but flavour is lacking.
  • Cornell: Lacks seasoning. Too much tomato, lacks spice with too much sauce and little chicken.

WINES TO TRY WITH BUTTER CHICKEN

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

• Checkers Odd Bins 80 Rose 2017 (R39.99): “The nose shows hint of candied strawberry and rose petal. Balanced mid-palate with fresh crisp finish.” 

• Pick n Pay Krone Night Nectar Rose 2017 (R140): “Sweet sparkling,
pleasant yet not my preference for curries.”

• Woolworths Paul Cluver Gewürztraminer 2016 (R89.99): “Lychee and rose petals on nose. Good follow through and slightly off-dry. Good match.” 


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