Wendyl Wants To Know
Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl wants to know: Simmer sauce ticks boxes, tastes great

Wattie's Big Eat Ravioli Bolognese - $3.77 for 410g Photo / Supplied
Wattie's Big Eat Ravioli Bolognese - $3.77 for 410g Photo / Supplied

Wattie's Just Add Chicken Butter Chicken Simmer Sauce - $2.95 for 525g

We all know that cooking from scratch is a healthy way to go by avoiding additives which lurk in pre-prepared simmer sauces or flavouring sachets.

But, sometimes you need a meal in a hurry and whipping up a butter chicken using this can will take just half an hour.

One reader wrote to me because his wife was a big fan, but she worried that she might be consuming unnecessary additives.

Ingredients ( in order of greatest quantity):

Tomatoes (69 per cent)
This is a nice amount of tomatoes in here as they form the base of a butter chicken recipe. They are also very nutritious and a good source of lycopene which is believed to reduce the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration.


A lot of onion in here but it will be providing a lot of the flavour

Cream (4.6 per cent)
This isn't too high and is an essential ingredient for butter chicken. The fat content of this sauce is 7.3g per serving which isn't too bad.

Canola oil
This is a common oil in products like this as it is cheap. It is also high in healthy mono-unsaturated fats.

Butter (2.3 per cent)
You can hardly make a butter chicken without the wonderful taste of butter. Not too much is in here which is good.

Curry spices (contain chilli)
These will be the usual spices associated with an Indian dish like this.

Maize thickener (1412)
This is a form of cornflour which you use to thicken foods.


Milk protein
I think this is probably in here to provide more of a creamy taste rather than for any nutritional advantage.

In here for flavouring at just 3.3g per serve.

Ginger paste
This is essentially ginger root, ground up into a paste.

Natural flavour
Nice to see a natural flavour used here. Well done Wattie's.


My recommendations
I find it hard to fault this product which contains the ingredients we would use ourselves if we decided to make a butter chicken from scratch. My daughter is a big butter chicken fan and pronounced it delicious. Personally I'd add a bit more chilli but it tasted great.

The advantage of this pre-made sauce over one in a packet is that when a food product is put in a tin it does not need chemical preservatives.

If you are looking for something to add to meat or chicken to make a quick meal go for tinned rather than packets of powder to reduce your additive intake.


* No articificial flavours, colours or preservatives

* Similar to a sauce you would make at home.

* Tinned products are a better choice than packets of chemical powders.

Do you have a food product you would like to feature in Wendyl Wants to Know?
Email her at wendylwantstoknow@gmail.com with your suggestions. Unfortunately, Wendyl cannot correspond directly with readers.Highlights:No artificial flavours, colours of preservatives.

- NZ Herald

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