Friday, 2 August 2013

Jar sauces are not all evil - Butter Chicken

It's been a pretty hectic week for me, and so I haven't done as much 'good' cooking as I'd like to. But I thought I'd share one of my better meals this week with you.

I used a jar of 'butter chicken' sauce. Not sure exactly what's in it (tomato, cream and coriander at a guess) but it's a mild curry sauce that I found at the back of the cupboard. It got me thinking about the other jar sauces I sometimes use - for example, I've never made a curry from scratch (too many ingredients, for starters) but I'd never buy one of the Italian sauces. Since my sweet and sour sauce discovery, I wouldn't buy that one either. In terms of value for money, I've done a quick analysis of what you're getting for your money in a typical Italian sauce:

Dolmio Original Bolognese Sauce (500g)
£1.80 for the jar

Here are the ingredients, and how much you'd pay for them if you bought them individually:

10 chopped ripe tomatoes - £1
Finely sliced fresh onion - 10p
Chopped basil leaves - 4p
Crushed garlic - 4p
A good splash of Italian olive oil - 4p
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice - 2p
Spoonful of sugar - 3p
Touch of aromatic herbs - 3p
Seasoning to taste - 2p
Total = £1.32, saving 48p

Anyway. I digress.

Here's how I managed to cram some more of our 5-a-day into a quick and easy tea.

I fried some chicken, and then added some chopped green pepper and carrot (feeling lazy so I didn't do the carrot diagonally). Then I tipped in the sauce and heated it up.
I served it up with leftover reheated mashed potato - not very classy I know, but the sauce tasted good with the potato. 

Chicken = £4
Carrot = 15p
Green pepper = 50p
Sauce = £1.50
Potato = 50p
Total = £6.75, £1.35/ person