Good Indian Food for Bad Cooks: The Chicken Tikka Masala Mystery (Part 1)

As I explained in my post about naans, I’m not a good cook, or in fact, I don’t like cooking, which is a bit different. However, I like Indian food but I don’t always have time to go to the restaurant.  The question was: how can you eat a good Chicken Tikka Massala without turning your kitchen into a horrible mess?  I found more or less delicious and more or less ready-made solutions .


ISALI Delights of Asia

Isali Ready to eat and to forget…

300g One person 543 Kcal / punnet Price: 5,20 euros

Where? I found this ready-made CTM in Monop’, the French poor equivalent of Mark and Spencer.

Package: Very simple. A picture of a dish of CTM, a little rice and a leaf or parsley. The main colours are light purple and white. They convey an idea of nature and purity. It doen’t make the consumer travel very far!

Preparation: Extremely rapid! You pierce the plastic film with a sharp knife and you put the punnet into your microwave-oven for 3minutes and 30 seconds.

The Good points: Very easy and fast to prepare. It is not even frozen! The chicken is really tender and there is a lot of sauce, which is a good point if you like when there’s lots of sauce! It is slightly spicy; it depends on your tastes; maybe some of you would prefer it spicier.

Isali Chicken Tikka Masala (Monop)

The Bad Points: The packaging looks like a diet food pack. A bit sad! The rice is not Basmati; it is small and too soft. It has no scent. It is plain rice. The sauce is too sweet certainly because of the raisins, the almonds and the…sugar!

Conclusion: It is good enough to undertake a survey for a blog or to eat at your office rapidly but I would not buy it again.

Final mark: 6/10

Mark and Spencer; It is worth the journey!

MARK AND SPENCER Chicken Tikka Masala and Pilau Rice

400G One person 620 Kcal / punnet Price: 4,99 euros

Where? Mark and Spencer 100, avenue des Champs Elysées in Paris. You nearly have to fight to get to the ready-made dish fridges! There are so many people in the M&S’s food department, especially at lunch time!

Package: Nice colours. The pack is saffron colour and reminds you of the colour of the sauce. There are the famous kashmir cypress tops. The letters are exotic and the photo appetizing. (Sorry for the picture; I was so hungry I tore the pack before taking the photo!)

Preparation: Extremely rapid too! The same as the previous dish since it is the same kind. You pierce the film and you wait for 4 minutes.

Good points: Cheap and delicious! The sauce is creamy but hot and spicy! Not too fat, not too thick! It is not sweet, just


soft. I’m crazy about the coriander and the cumin! The chunks of chicken are really roasted and very tender and tasty! Yummy! The dish on the whole is spicy, not burning, but hot enough to feel like in India!

Bad points: No bad points! Ok, I found the rice good but the grains were too big and not very refined. You have to go to the Champs Elysée to buy your CTM. It is worth it but it is far all the same!

Conclusion: When you eat this dish, you feel there are lots of Indian people in the UK, and that  these people are demanding about the Indian food they buy and sell! Mark&Spencer is famous for its ready made dishes and I really understand why!

Final mark: 10/10 !!!

To be continued…

Nounours helped me to taste the chicken!

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