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Foodstuff: Patel Brand Peas Pulav

Greetings folks… not a wildly exciting post today, but my wife and I decided to try a few of some pre-cooked Indian dishes by the Patel company that recently appeared in one of our stores. Although both of us prefer cooking Indian food from scratch, we were rather curious about these and wanted to see what they were like. Some have been excellent and some were, not to put too fine a point on it, quite terrible, so I thought I might share our experiences so you can decide whether you want to try them for yourselves…

The ‘Peas Pulav’ you see above looks quite good on the box and is described as a rice dish ‘made with green peas spiked with cumin’. A Pulav, as is also mentioned on the box, is more commonly known as a ‘Pilaf’ and the combination of peas, cumin and rice is one I often cook.

All the Patel pre-cooked meals we tried are intended to be cooked in the microwaveable packet contained inside the box. However, although this is supposed to be convenient, I know from bitter experience that the packets are very difficult to handle when they are hot. While the rice probably wouldn’t be too tricky, many of the meals, especially some of the more liquid preparations, are darned hard to spoon out when they are fresh from the microwave. Accordingly, I am going to do with this product as I have done with others and empty the contents into a suitable cooking container first.

Well, I have to say that the contents of the packet are not quite as appetizing as they appear on the package illustration. The rice looks fine but the peas are definitely not the pretty bright green they ought to be. The aroma is nice though, and even cold the sharpness of the cumin is readily apparent.

The Verdict

Well, I cooked the rice for the two minutes in the microwave as directed and my wife and I ate it with a (home-made) Prawn curry. All in all, I have to say that it was rather mediocre and not really worth the money. My wife simple described it as ‘alright’ and, while I thought it didn’t taste bad, it would have been just as easy, and far tastier, to simply boil up a handful of rice with some toasted cumin and frozen peas. The color would have been better and the effort required would hardly be more than is needed for this supposedly ‘convenient’ product. Ultimately, I can’t really recommend it…

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. packaged Pulav…has a bit of an “eeek” factor for me.

    June 23, 2012
  2. The actual experience wouldn’t change that for you sadly … I’m going to do one more post on Patel’s products. It was a little better but still nowhere near home-made

    June 23, 2012
  3. feochadan #

    From “the wife”: Actually it was John’s home made curry sauce that went with the prawns that, when mixed with the rice, made it really decent. By itself, as he said, mediocre.

    June 23, 2012
  4. thanks for being our guinea pig

    June 23, 2012
  5. Appreiate your honest review of the product.

    June 23, 2012
  6. If you are accustomed to making Indian dishes from your own recipes, I don’t think anything marked ‘microwave’ and coming from a packet is going to do! These items are really for the rest of us…the ones who get a little lazy in the kitchen! 🙂 You did make it look quite nice on a bed of lemons. Debra

    June 24, 2012
    • It was curiosity more than anything … I have one other package I’m going to post about… it was actually not that bad, but not great either.

      June 24, 2012
  7. So often the way with ‘convenience’ foods!

    June 24, 2012
  8. I have always been sceptical about the pre-made stuff – actually I think the exorbitant prices have put me off more than anything else…
    🙂 Mandy

    June 24, 2012
  9. Thanks for the review. I do prefer to make my own and usually the reason is I know exactly what is in it. As with living in different countries and not having everything in our native tongue ingredients sometimes it can get lost in translation.

    June 26, 2012
  10. baconbiscuit212 #

    I always wondered about these instant sides. I agree with you: is making the real (and better) thing really that much more time consuming? Plus you don’t have to worry about how to open the steaming bag without injury because there is no bag!

    June 27, 2012

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