Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: Patak's Original Rogan Josh Curry Simmer Sauce

My experience with ethnic food, specifically Indian food, has been very limited here on the blog even though reviewing those types of foods was one of my original missions when I first started that blog.  Still, I have done some reviews relating to one or both of those things and it's an increased focused on that mission here in 2013 that leads me to do another Patak's review with this review of a fifteen ounce jar of there Patak's Original Rogan Josh Curry Simmer Sauce that I picked up at Kroger for $2.99.  Each jar contains three servings and each serving is a relatively budget-like (in my mind) 100 calories.  On the Patak's spice scale, this rated as a medium as well.  Rogan Josh is typically served with lamb, but I decided to use it like a lot of Indians would, meaning that I stuck to being strictly vegetarian and mixed it with plain Ramen noodles (not something a typical Indian would do).

So I could get an accurate guage of the sauce prior to mixing it with anything, I stuck with just the sauce for the purposes of this review, as it should be.  Rogan Josh is a tomato based sauce, thus the red coloring that contains a variety of vegetables on spices.  In terms of vegetables added in to the tomato based sauce are onions and there are a lot of them as there are ample chunks of onion spread everywhere.  Other than that, everything else that is added to this sauce is an herb or spice and some of those spices smell more strongly than others.  For example, when I twisted open the jar of this sauce, the first spice that I smelled was very obviously paprika.  Paprika's a favorite of mine, so that was a good start.  I then smelled garlic, which again, I am also a lover of, so this sauce continued on its excellent start.  Other herbs and spices that were included, but not necessarily individually detectable by their smells were cardamom, cilantro, ginger and tumeric.

I took some warm sauce and put it onto a spoon for my first taste and as expected, the primary flavors were the same ones that stood out in the visual and smell descriptions above.  The tomatoes provided a nice, semi-sweet base as you would expect any tomato based sauce to have.  The onion chunks then added a little bit of kick and also a bit of a different textural mouthfeel as this made its way through my mouth.  The paprika and garlic then announced their presences in their own ways with both and smoky and tangy taste and when mixed with the sweetness of the tomato and the kick of the onion, this made for a particularly potent, although overall mild, mix.  One thing that did surprise me though was how much force the cilantro had in this sauce.  Its flavor had such power that it was one of those things where you didn't notice you were eating it until its potentcy started to make your nose run, like it would if you were eating a particularly cilantro heavy salsa.  I didn't mind that and it didn't detract from the flavor in anyway, but it was just not something that I expected to happen.  The next thing I didn't expect was the ginger to bring the bite that it did either.  Again, not a bad thing, just a strength of flavor that I was not prepared for even though I knew there was ginger in this sauce.

Buy It or Fly By It?  Yet again, I've found one of these Patak's simmer sauces to be especially delicious, so this definitely gets a BUY IT rating.  This is so good that I might even actually mix this with rice or lamb sometime so that it can be eaten the way that it is supposed to be eaten.  Or, maybe I'll just go completely off the board and mix this with spaghetti or alfredo noodles.  Any way I choose to eat it though, I know that I'll enjoy it because Patak's has got a flavorful winner here.


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