Chicken tikka biryani at Sainsbury’s

Chicken tikka biryani at Sainsbury'sWell, it’s not every day that we find ourselves in Sainsbury’s. But the husband, as always, has a new money saving scheme that involves petrol, nectar points and occasional visits to Sainsbury’s. So we found ourselves there on Saturday morning “to pick up non-perishables”.

As is our wont, the son and I made a beeline to the ready-made meals section and before we knew it we were right in front of the Indian meals, eye to eye with a packet of chicken tikka biryani! What joy! Xmas had come two days early. Etc.

We picked up two packets and presented them to a delighted husband who clocked our purchases all the while doing mental maths in his head to find out how much he had saved/how many points he had accrued on his nectar card.

The biryani did look promising though and smelled wonderful when it was heated in the microwave. The absence of potatoes notwithstanding, it tasted good as well – our only other comment being that it was salt-less. Mind you, everyone knows that Indian levels of salt are way above any limits imposed by the health food authorities – I mean, come on, most of us add salt to our plates even before we have tasted what’s on them! And yes, it could do with a bit more masala – it lacked the kick that characterises a good biryani. Also, as always it tasted better with my dal – I really should get my act together and start a side business supplying dal to biryani places.

But all-in-all a very worthy effort. And I am sorry to say, Waitrose – in spite of my MyWaitrose card – Sainsbury has beaten you in the biryani stakes. Here is how it scored on the Biryanometer:

Rice grain separation: 4/5

Meat/veg harmony: 4/5 (chicken pieces were very succulent.

Spice blend perfection: 3/5

Potato content: Nyet

Fried onion finish: 5/5

Wet/dry index: Pass

Biryanometer rating: 3.8/5

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year everyone! May you have lots of delicious biryanis in 2013.

And on this note, the son and I have found the perfect Xmas present for the husband – a way to get more points on his nectar card. Yes, he is, we are, very sad like that.