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Aug 19, 2011 12:33 PM

Patak's Indian products...yay or nay?

I love Indian food and recently I've seen Patak's Indian products in grocery stores and advertised on television. Has anyone tried their simmer sauces? I was thinking of trying them out, but don't want to spend money on something I'm going to end up throwing out. Thanks in advance!

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  1. In a pinch, I'll use Patak's. Quality is good, flavors generally good (altho' I often add more spice blends), company has a good reputation for hygiene. I usually make Indian food from scratch, but there are days it's just (a) not possible, and (b) not gonna happen.

    1. Ditto what pine time said...I'd rather do the stuff from scratch since it isn't that complicated to begin with, but for a quick fix, Patak's is decent enough for a supermarket brand.

      Fortunately I live in an area of NJ dense with Indian and Pakistani population...their grocery stores carry a wealth of better ready to use products at a much lower price.

      1 Reply
      1. re: The Professor

        plus another. I use the pastes to marinade chicken or lamb and then doctor my curry with more spices, yoghurt, nuts cream that sort of thing.

      2. Just a different two cents: I don't like Patak's pre-prepared products at all. To me the flavors are off and very flat. Every five years or so, they rename and relabel them to look like new products and I try one or two thinking some combination of 'how bad could it be? ' and 'I can make this work' and then invariably end up chucking them or tweaking them so much it's hardly worth it. There are a couple of cheap, weirdly anonymous wet curry blends in small foil packets that are sold in the Indian and Indonesian/Malaysian sections of some Asian groceries, that are quite good with minimal tweaking, and only about a dollar a packet. I don't remember specific brands, but they have very basic names like "Chicken Curry Mix", "Vegetable Curry Mix", a very clear, simple ingredient list without any sugar or potato starch, and state clearly on the package that all ingredients are pure vegetarian (even the kind for meat curries.) My suggestion would be to try some of those.

        1. If I want to make a quick curry without dragging out my entire spice collection, a Patak's curry paste is absolutely fine. I like their Madras curry paste with chicken or lamb. I often muck it up with additional ingredients - vegetables or coconut cream or whatnot - if I have them hanging around the house. For something that takes, like, half an hour, it's a pretty decent meal. If I want to take the time, I will make a good curry from scratch, but otherwise this will do the trick.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Nyleve

            I've used their spice pastes for a number of years, as well as some of their pickles. I prefer the pastes (whether Pataks or some other brand) to 'curry powder' (except for lightly flavoring rice or a cream sauce). And since I don't cook a lot of Indian these days, my stock of individual spices is somewhat spotty, and old in places.

            1. re: paulj

              I'm addicted to their garlic relish. They don't carry it locally, and so I ordered some online, but one of the jars broke in transit, which made the package (and the remaining intact contents) rather pungent. I have to keep them sealed in plastic to appease my husband.

              But I do use the sauces a bit, as well. My husband isn't a fan of Indian, and so it's hard to justify spending the time to make it from scratch when it's just myself. It makes a quick and easy lunch (or dinner when he's not at home).

          2. I haven't tried any of the plain sauces, but I don't like their pre-packaged meal products at all. They have a terrible off taste to me.

            6 Replies
            1. re: lkblum

              To clarify, I was writing about the bottled pastes/sauces, too. Have never used the packaged meal products.

              1. re: pine time

                We've been buying their tandori paste mix for almost 20 years. We love it, but I cannot do a side by side, because thats all I've ever tasted. You mix it 50/50 with lo fat plain yougurt. Superb on pork loin or chops, skinless chicken, and even on lamb racks a few times. Beware that I am a total rookie when it comes to Indian style food.

                1. re: chefdaddyo

                  The only paste/sauce I wasn't happy with was for biryani. Biryani is such an involved dish, and the bottled paste didn't have the depth and layers of scratch. A whole lot easier though, of course!

                  1. re: pine time

                    agree on the biryani -- very disappointing. the garlic relish is addictive. Mango relish also good.

                    1. re: pine time

                      I use the Biriyani paste as a base for my chicken Biriyani. I don't follow the directions as printed On the jar. I add my own spices, yoghurt, browned onions, etc. I've tried following the bottle directions and it wasn't nearly as good.

                      1. re: boogiebaby

                        Agree completely. As I wrote ages ago, biryani, when well done, has such a depth of flavors, I just don't see how it's possible with any one-size-fits-all (or one-flavor-fits-all). Only way to compensate is by using the paste as a base and doctoring to your tastes.