Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents
This product is imported from India as part of a range of vegetarian curries which you heat up in a microwave or pop into boiling water in the pouch. Many parents find themselves with teenagers who are vegetarian and this can be challenging if you don't have a lot of time or the experience to cook vegetarian meals. Fortunately the Indians have been doing it for centuries. I was attracted to this product because it was cheap, on the shelf and would feed two vegetarians in one go, even though the pack says three. It also seemed to have a very simple ingredients list and its packaging advertised 100 per cent natural ingredients, and that it was free from artificial colours, flavouring and preservatives. Alu Methi is the Indian name for a curry of potato with fenugreek leaves.
MTR Alu Methi
$2.92 for 300g
Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first):
Potato (50 per cent)
Half of this dish can be relied upon to be made out of potato. Nutritionally potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates as well as vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6.
Onions are usually used for flavouring but also have some vitamin C and fibre.
In India these are called kasuri methi or kasoori methi which is where the "methi" in the name of this product comes from.
The leaves have a bitter taste and a strong smell.
Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, folate and potassium.
Refined sunflower oil
Sunflower oil is high in vitamin E and low in saturated fat. It also has a high smoking point so is commonly used for frying foods like this curry.
In India curds mean yoghurt. So this will be mixed into the curry for flavour.
These will be in here for flavouring.
This root along with garlic (below) is the main flavour in curries.
These leaves are more often associated with Asian cuisine but are used a lot in Indian food as well.
Cumin is a native plant of India and is related to parsley. The seeds are dried and used in food as a flavouring.
Turmeric produces a root similar to the ginger root which is bright yellow. It gives curries their distinctive yellow colour.
My recommendations: It was very pleasurable researching this column as there was not one artificial additive to look up. It is hard to go past something which is so easy to cook and serve on rice yet is so good for you. Many of the spices and herbs used in this are believed to have good medicinal qualities and the foods are all very good for you.
It is also quite low in fat at 2.1g per serving. I've stocked up on these for the vegetarians in my house as a good standby.
* No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
* All real food ingredients.
* Imported from India.
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