Best packaged Indian food in the box/bag? (Tasty Bite, Swad, etc.)
I've been getting into buying some of the packaged prepared Indian entrees for lunches at work - they are not too expensive ($1-4) and many are fairly healthy, most are vegetarian, almost none have any preservatives or additives, and they taste good.
I'm curious for peoples opinions on the best brands out there - so far I know Tasty Bite, Swad, and Kohinoor but I'm sure there are others. Think maybe Trader Joes has a store brand too? I've found a Kohinoor product that comes with rice, which is nice because while some dishes (Lentil Dal) work fine with no rice, others not so much.
Anyhow, if any of you buy these, I'd love opinions on your favorite brands and favorite dishes. A relatively healthy, shelf stable lunch that I can heat in the microwave is a good thing.
If you have access to a freezer, have you tried Amy's Kitchen frozen Indian foods yet? They're pretty good! I like the Palak Paneer. They can be costly though--Super Target has them for around $3 or $3.50, best I can find around here in SWFL. I try to stay away from high-sodium foods so I don't eat it very often; but there are NO Indian places here for lunch during the workweek and sometimes, I just really want Indian food for lunch.
I'm not so big on Amy's. I find them not as flavorful as they could be, and the paneer squeaks when you bite down on it - a little weird. Tasty Bite's my favorite so far, though some of their things are better than others. I'm told Trader Joe's brand is the exact same stuff in a different package, too. I used to love Green Guru's frozen meals, but haven't been able to find them lately - did they go out of business? Kitchens of India is also worth a try, IMO. And MTR, for sure.
try MTR...its a pretty good brand from India that I believe is reasonably popular among Indians.
Discussed this with a punjabi friend this month. She had hosted her family members for a blind tasting of shelf stable brands and a few frozen ones. Across the board Haldiram came out on top for flavor, complexity and texture. Trader joes and Tasty Bites were nearly always on the bottom. I don't recall the other brands in the taste off.
I'll be trying some haldirams myself soon. She gave me a good lead on the place in san leandro ca to get the best price.