I have recently discovered a packet meal, that are preservative and gluten free and 100% vegetarian... Im not a huge fan of packet meals, as they always taste the same and I would prefer to cook it myself anyway, then I know whats in the food Im eating. However my old roommate Rose turned me onto these little packets of wonder! Theyre all indian meals, and vary in range of heat from one to three chillies (though I have only ever found 2 chilli meals, which vary in heat anyway lol) and are really tasty! The brand name is Gits, its made in India and exported (the food miles are the only negative I have found so far...), and I buy them from the Waneroo Market "supermarket", and they're about $3 each, which I think is reasonable!
Today for lunch Ive eaten Pau Bhaji, and the description on the back says "the original fast food from Bombay, Pau Bhaji literally means bread and mixed vegetables. The Bhaji, ie mixed veg, is cooked with a medley of spices and herbs, cooked to perfection in large pats of butter and garnished with coarsely chopped coriander leaves and diced onions. The Bhaji is served with small loaves of bread called Pau. An ideal snack that can be a meal in itself, Pau Bhaji offers you a taste of Bombay that leaves you craving for more". Aside from the marketing talk, its pretty accurate in whats in the box, and I love that they explain what the name means. Not many people really understand the Indian words used in menus etc so its great that they're demistifying the terminology! Now I know what Pau and Bhaji mean when I encounter them on a menu!
Most important thing is the taste though... yum!! Im no Indian food buff but to me, its nice. It would be great mopped up with some garlic naan, and its full of flavour and has a great texture. Its very tomatoey, which is explained when I look at teh ingredients - 35% tomatoes. Followed closely by potato at 31%. Over half of it is already just vegetable, which I love to see. While it DOES taste a little like something from the packet, its still one of the best foods Ive had thats packaged - and as a former uni student I tried one of everything at some stage!! I would serve the better ones of these (Im on my way to figuring out which ones are the best!) as sides if I were to cook an Indian feast for friends, simply to cut corners (as I know some of my friends would never know the difference!).
The list of ingredients shows only herbs, spices and vegetables, NO E numbers, perservatives, random thickeners, stabilisers, flavour/colourings... not one.
Happy days :)