If you have read any of my other posts you may be aware that I am in the process of trying Sainsburys’ own range of tinned Indian dishes and critically analyzing each one in order to find the best canned Indian food, and a go-to canned Indian food for camping trips.
On opening the tin the first thing I noticed was a thick looking chicken tikka masala that looked appetizing, and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Wanting to dive straight in to the tin was short lived because within a few seconds the smell of the chicken tikka masala hit me, and I was instantly put off. The smell was awful and nothing like I had smelled before, although I would say there was a definite hint of tinned cat food about it. Not a good start…….. At that time I was hoping the putrid smell would disappear whilst the chicken tikka masala was cooking. Many tinned foods I have tried in the past have smelled less than pleasant at first and then totally changed during cooking, and I was hoping this would be the same with this chicken tikka masala.
Fortunately, the smell did dissipate and lose its edge, however it wasn’t replaced with a nice smell that got my taste buds tingling. Oh no, the smell kind of disappeared to nothing and is nothing to write home about.
Out of all the tinned Indian meals I have tied to date this chicken tikka masala has the highest meat content of them all. Yep, this chicken tikka masala is packed full of chicken, and whilst some people may prefer this I actually thought the meat to sauce ratio was all wrong. Personally, I would have preferred less meat (or more sauce, i.e. bigger tin) because some of the chicken was dry in the middle and I needed sauce to swallow it. The smaller pieces of chicken were fine, and went down no problem but the larger pieces of chicken is a totally different story. The large pieces of chicken were too stringy and dry, and I have to admit that I struggled somewhat.
With too much chicken the consistency of the chicken tikka masala was too thick and gloopy. I thought it looked too thick when I first opened the tin however I thought the sauce would thin out whilst I was cooking the dish on the hob, just like the beef madras did. Whilst the beef madras thinned out whilst cooking the chicken tikka masala didn’t and it stayed gloopy. I like a sauce with a bit of body (because they are the best to dip a naan bread in) but this chicken tikka masala was too thick, even for me. Whilst the sauce is too thick it does have a smooth and creamy texture, which is a plus point.
"Open tin" "Masala and rice" "Close up of chicken tikka masala"
I would like to say this chicken tikka masala was tasty, however I can’t. The taste was non-spicy, very subtle and what little taste there was is non-descript. Adding some chili powder, curry powder or garam masala may liven the taste up a bit, however I struggle to see the point of this because there are some very tasty tinned Indian dishes out there that are exceptionally tasty straight out of the can.
Most tinned Indian foods are high in fat, high in saturates and high in salt and the traffic light nutritional system on the front of the tin is typically red. Well, this is not the case with this tin of chicken tikka masala. Yep, there is no red – only amber and green, so it’s not that bad for you. This, however, is the only thing this ready-made Indian dish has going for it.
Overall, I am disappointed with the chicken tikka masala and it is not something I would have again. The smell is awful, the sauce is too thick, there is too much meat for the sauce, the chicken is stingy and dry (the larger pieces are) and there is no taste to the dish. Rather than taking up valuable space in my Accordo 120 I will give this a miss and stock up with something better, such as an extra tin of Bombay potatoes or beef madras.