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May 11, 2009 06:41 PM

Packaged Indian Food


Going camping, and have found that the pre-made indian meals are amazing for this -- tasty and quick and easy!

The brand I usually buy in Montreal was nowhere to be found in Loblaws, Sobeys or Fiesta -- I don't know which brand it is though - just that it wasn't there.

I bought Sanskriti Paneer Butter Masala - (this is the dish I want) .. is the brand good?

Any other suggestions as well as where to buy it in downtown Toronto? (The brand at Sobey's and Loblaws was overpriced and had as first ingredients - tomatoes, water, cheese -- i.e. not a lot of cheese)


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  1. You might try KohINoor foods on Gerrard in Little India. They have much of the packaged dishes, mostly the vegetarian ones. You might also try the Shah or India House canned versions of various curries. Some of them include meat.

    To be honest, I've never been impressed with these products, and find that the preservatives seem to overwhelm the flavours. Another option might be to buy the spice combinations for some dishes, and the dried ingredients, which cuts out the preservative elements and still gives you dried food.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Snarf

      Hey Snarf, interestingly this brand says "no msg or preservatives" ..

      the main joy from these is you toss em in boiling water and they're ready. bringing everything dried and cooking it there is a lot of work :)

      1. re: mikefly

        I'll look for that brand. I haven't tried it, but have tried some others, so my damning comments might be somewhat narrow. The other benefit of the boiling bags is that there's odour free storage, which I can understand. They had multiple brands at KohINoor, didn't write down the names, but much in the boil space.

        1. re: Snarf

          water, cottage cheese, tomato, yoghurt, butter, cashews, sunflower oil, garlic, ginger, green chili and mix (nb: not mixed) spices (Cumin, cardamom, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg) ..

          in fact, this sounds tasty. mmm.

      2. re: Snarf

        Many of these products have no artificial flavours or colours and no preservatives. Some are surprisingly good; some not. Even those I didn't like very much were better than the stuff sold at outdoor stores.

        I can't recommend anything specific (brain dead), but you'll find them at several stores along Gerrard. BJ is the largest. The Danforth/VP Metro also has a supply.

        If you look around stores emphasizing European brands, you'll find these retort pouches for other cuisines. However, Indian food is especially suited for this packaging.

        1. re: embee

          Thanks MB.. Can you be more specific about said European stores? anything with meat in it by any chance?

          I doubt I'll have time to go to Little India -- I am leaving Thurs eve, and have plans tomorrow -- i.e. Weds eve only for preparing.

          1. re: mikefly

            i have seen something like you are looking for at price choppers 2 for 3 bucks its the boil in bag/microwave type, i have tried this before and i didnt think it was bad. had it over some rice and it was quite nice. Sorry i cant remember the name of it though. the ones i saw were a cheese paneer type. whatever happened to the old Magic pantry Meals, those things were great for camping now all you get are those junky mountain house freeze dried meals.

            1. re: youdonut

              Kohinoor is available at the Metro at Yonge and Eglinton. They have a changing selection but I picked up some paneer dishes (they had palak paneer and muttar paneer) and some chick peas on the weekend. They had a great daal makhani as well. They are all the boil in the bag kind that I think you are looking for.


              As an aside, I've discovered that Metro also carries Curry Leaf products, which are frozen. I like their frozen parathas which are cooked stovetop right out of the freezer.


            2. re: mikefly

              There are several large markets oriented to Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Many are concentrated along Bathurst and Dufferin between Sheppard and Steeles. I think one is called Gastronom. There are a couple in the Rondo Plaza on Steeles near Bathurst. I can't guarantee what any specific place stocks at any given time, though.

        2. My favourite is Patel's
          (no preservatives!)

          Here's a web link:
          They can be found at a number of stores, but I usually pick them up at Qi Natural Foods on Roncesvalles.

          I'm usually really weary of heating them up in the plastic bag (for worry of carcinogens and such). I always, always snip the bag and heat in a little saucepan.