The exciting thing about the Fragrant Thai Chicken Curry by 'lookwhatwefound', which is brand serving "as good as homemade" ready meals through the website www.thejollygourmand.co.uk is that they come in packets which don't even need to be kept in the fridge. Some are gluten free, others 'healthy', still more are low-calorie as well as all that, and all are roughly at supermarket prices. Convenient.
The chicken curry was indeed fragrant. I may simply have been quite ravenous, but the odour emanating from the microwave within the first 30 seconds was very appealing. Luckily, there wasn't too long to wait, as recommended cooking time is 3-4 minutes (depending on the strength of one's microwave and, presumably, on one's ability to follow direction). When it emerged, it struck me that perhaps this would never fill the yawning emptiness of my insides and was, in fact, too small a portion. However, I discovered to my surprise that I was left feeling full - certainly more full than I expected to feel after consuming only 237 calories!
The meal was well-seasoned and tasty, if a little spicy (but not more than can be dealt with by the majority of delicate palates) and creamy despite being unlikely to contain much cream, given its low calorie content. There was, in addition, a fair amount of chicken in my Fragrant Thai Chicken Curry, which I could not help but feel was a good sign.
The packaging is informative, and tells me that the portion provides one of my government-recommended "5 a day". However, the vegetables in the curry were cut up into small, manageable portions so could probably fool someone into thinking that there weren't many of them, a helpful thing if you are a mother or girlfriend (or, let us not be sexist, father or boyfriend) of a fussy or vegetable-averse person. Adding a little white rice would also temper the spiciness of the meal, so children could stomach it more easily.
Admittedly, I felt the chicken was a little bit stringy, although this may be the result of cooking it in a microwave. On the other hand, the ability to microwave it is one of the meal's major attractions, as it minimises mess, and time spent cooking and washing up, so perhaps this is something to think about.
Would I serve it to guests? Possibly. One would require many packets of the stuff, and personally I would probably add stock or water the meal down and serve it as soup rather than as a main - although one could, with more rice or, as the 'Try this with...' suggestion on the packet suggests, with vegetables and a few basil leaves, as it is, if one might be so bold, a saucy dish. However, despite slight stringiness, I still enjoyed the meal overall, and I can't say that potential stringiness issues would stop me from buying it again. Especially as it retails at £3.26, which is approximately average or below average for a healthy, packaged ready meal that can be posted to your door.
Having recently been a student without a refrigerator, I know the value of something that can be kept in the back of one's cupboard or wardrobe for days and then eaten with no alarming physical side effects!