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Best Canned Indian Food?

scott123 Apr 3, 2013 05:08 AM

Are there any canned Indian food brands that you'd recommend?

I recall, about 10 years ago, having a canned saag that tasted okay, but I'm drawing a blank on the name. Even if they're cheap, I'd still prefer to not have to taste too many different brands to find one that I like, because I do recall that some brands aren't fit for human consumption.

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    Indy 67 RE: scott123 Apr 3, 2013 05:29 AM

    If you want to expand your search to jarred foods, I have two recommendations: (1) Tiger, Tiger Tandoori paste and (2) Taj Ethnic Gourmet Punjab Saag Spinach Sauce.

    The Patak brand is probably better known than the Tiger, Tiger brand, but I like TT's stronger tamarind note. The first time I marinated the food -- salmon -- I followed the instructions on the jar and thought the underlying flavor of the food was completely masked. Now, I combine one small container of Greek-style yogurt and 1/4 cup tandoor paste. Then, I marinate the fish no more than 2 1/2 hours.

    With a name like "Ethnic Gourmet" I have serious doubts about the authenticity, but I like the taste. I brown the protein -- typically ground turkey -- and simmer the meat in the sauce, covered, for 20-25 minutes. With 5-6 minutes to go, I lift off the cover and put as much fresh spinach on top of the meat/sauce mixture as will fit. (I've even stuff more spinach that will let my cover fit back correctly, but the spinach cooks down and the lid seals just fine in a very short amount of time.) When the spinach is fully wilted, stir the mixture to distribute the spinach throughout the recipe. Incidentally, the instructions don't say to add more spinach; I just like to do this.

    1. boogiebaby RE: scott123 Apr 3, 2013 08:12 AM

      Go to your local Indian store and buy the shelf stable packs of MDH, Haldiram, or similar packed dishes. Much better than the stuff in a can. I cook Indian food at home but I always have a couple packs of the Haldiram Kadhi Pakora and Palak Paneer in hand for a last minute side dish.

      1. JungMann RE: scott123 Apr 3, 2013 08:25 AM

        I haven't found any good canned brands, but as boogiebaby recommends, there are boxed brands with good reputations: Gits, Haldiram's, Swad, etc. I usually have the Swad baingan bhartha and sarson ka saag on hand for quick meals. The kadhi pakora is okay; sometimes I keep a box to switch it up. The lentils and channa that Tasty Bite makes are also pretty good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JungMann
          boogiebaby RE: JungMann Apr 3, 2013 01:31 PM

          I haven't seen the Swad ones around here.

          The Deep brand frozen foods are also pretty decent.

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          scott123 RE: scott123 Apr 3, 2013 09:16 PM

          Thanks, everyone, but I'm looking for feedback on canned options, not jarred, packs or frozen options. I'm specifically interested in cans because of the expense.

          2 Replies
          1. re: scott123
            boogiebaby RE: scott123 Apr 3, 2013 10:29 PM

            The Haldiram shelf stable packs at my Indian store are $1.99. I've seen cans of Jyoti Saag at Whole Foods for $3.99. Not sure why you are under the impression that the canned items will be cheaper than non-canned.

            1. re: boogiebaby
              JungMann RE: boogiebaby Apr 4, 2013 07:10 AM

              The Swad boxes at my Indian store are 99 cents each. If I buy them in Manhattan the price might jump to $2.99, but by unit weight, that's still cheaper than a can of tuna.

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            Kalivs RE: scott123 Apr 3, 2013 10:02 PM

            I've been amazon ordering canned food for my Aunt who doesn't live that close to any Indian stores and needed something that she could heat & eat. So far, she's really liked the jyoti brand. She adds a little salt & spice. She has tried the saag, rajmah, daal makhani & chole.

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