Thursday, March 12, 2015

Korma Sauce - Aldi: Cherry Hill, NJ

Korma Sauce - Aldi: Cherry Hill, NJ
A little more than a year ago Target had this wonderful Vindaloo meal kit that was inspired by Indian cuisine. It was delicious, and spicy and easy to make...but it was discontinued. Why?! There were a bunch of consumers complaining that the meal was too spicy, and Target has since pulled the items, lowered the spice levels and released similar products, but they've never been the same. The boxes were very clearly labeled, and it was obviously a spicy product, it's such a pity because I really like Indian food, and that kit was very close to my usual order from my local Indian restaurant.

If any of you shop at Aldi, you've noticed it goes through themed phased, and nearly a year after my delicious spicy meal kit was discontinued, Aldi went through a "Indian phase." They released their own version of some Indian-inspired sauces, along with a few other items, and I had to give them a try. I bought two different bottles, so this korma sauce is up first!


I personally feel like this bottle is a little on the small side, but the nutritional information says it hold three servings, and once you add protein and veggies, I'm sure you could stretch this pretty far. Since I am the only one in my home who likes Indian food, I'll be eating this solo, and three servings is plenty for me. I'm thinking I might even get 4 meals out of this, but I am pairing it with rice and a side salad, so that helps.

Visually, the bottle looks pretty nice. It's from the Specially Selected line, which always goes with very black-heavy designs, and the example of a finished dish made with this product looks really yummy. For a simple sauce product, I think Aldi did a great job with the label design and packaging. It's functional, affordable, and not too hard on the eyes.Are there better designs out there? Sure. But you gotta admit, Aldi does a decent job branding and designing their house-brand products.

I chopped up some onion and a little bit of chicken to my crockpot, added a can of chickpeas and this sauce, and boom! Instant dinner! (I simmered everything together in a crock pot since it's what I cooked the chicken in.  I was lazy and didn't want to dirty another dish.) The results?


Pretty darn good!

The sauce smells sweet and spiced, like coconut, mixed with curry powder and onion. I took a bite, and this was pretty tasty, but it's very sweet. The coconut flavoring is strong in the sense that it adds a milky sweetness to the overall sauce, but there isn't any bold coconut-specific flavoring that I could notice. The rest of the spices worked nicely with the meat, chickpeas, and onion, and I was pretty impressed by the overall tastiness of this stuff. Especially for a random Aldi item that is Indian inspired, but made in Germany.

This might not rival my go-to take-out order from my local Indian restaurants, but it's yummy and filling. My only real complaint is that the jar said that this was a "medium-hot" sauce, and it's actually super sweet and mild! I can't detect any heat to this at all. I bet those heat-haters who complained about the Target meal kits would love this stuff. The flavoring reminds me more of paneer and other sweet cheese-based dishes, which is yummy, but I miss the heat.

I would buy this again, but next time I'll spice things up with a few different additions. Spice or no spice, this was a pretty impressive product for Aldi, and those of you who like sweeter dishes would absolutely love this. (Plus I think it's a good item to ease non-Indian food lovers into liking Indian food.) I hope the other sauce I bought from Aldi is spicier.
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