Aug 24, 2012

Frozen Friday: Fresh & Easy - Channa Masala

Fresh & Easy's Channa Masala is part of their Eatwell line of foods, which have lower counts of fat, sodium, and calories. It's a vegetarian frozen meal that features garbanzo beans in a spicy curry served over rice with a mix of cauliflowers and spinach on the side.

Fresh & Easy has these for pretty cheap at $1.99 for a 9.25-ounce box.

For those of your who have never heard of Fresh & Easy, it's an neighborhood grocery store (similar to Trader Joe's) created by British grocery chain Tesco as their entry into the U.S. market.

It's one of the few stores that offers frozen Indian food in my area (Trader Joe's being the other). Since Indian restaurants aren't cheap, $2 frozen Indian food looks pretty good to me.

I have to say, Fresh & Easy does a pretty good channa masala. I noticed a heady, spiced aroma right out of the microwave. It's not as tart or tangy as their Chicken Masala. And, while it is a tomato-based curry, the tomato is more muted here and I got more a sense of the spices and seasoning. For those who can't handle spicy foods, it is very spicy; your nose will run and your tongue will burn. The garbanzo beans add a solid texture and a nice earthiness to the curry. It's actually better than I've had at some Indian restaurants.

The basmati rice turned out real well, especially for frozen food. I was honestly surprised that there were no dry kernels, as in other frozen meals I've cooked, there was sometimes a dry one or two. The rice was moist and never threatened to get caught in my throat.

The cauliflower maintained an ideal amount of crispness and the spinach added some interesting flavor.

Overall, Fresh & Easy's Channa Masala was really good. I'd easily get it again for a quick and cheap Indian fix. I usually pick up some naan bread to go with (it's not nearly as good as fresh out of the oven naan, but it does the job).

Nutritional Info - Fresh & Easy Chicken Channa Masala (262g)
Calories - 250 (from Fat - 40)
Fat - 4.5g (Saturated Fat - 1g)
Sodium - 530mg
Carbs - 44g (Sugar - 8g)
Protein - 8g