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It's just not a good sign when companies branch out from their core competency. evol is the classic case, of course: they started with burritos (terrific), then burritos in bowls (great), then they started making things like Chicken Tikka Masala and Sriracha Chicken (not very good) and then moved into mac and cheese (uniformly terrible when they came out, but better more recently, surprise surprise). Now it's unusual for us to review anything from them because their sodium levels have gone through the roof.
So when we found "Artisan Wraps" (come on, they're burritos) from Saffron Road on the shelf, we were not feeling optimistic.
Yet these wraps are filled with Indian dishes, which we know Saffron Road sometimes does very well.
The first wrap we tested was the Butter Chicken Artisan Wrap, which has 300 calories, 610 milligrams of sodium, and 1 gram of fiber.
We cooked the wrap "well covered" with a paper towel according to the instructions, and were pleasantly surprised.
First, the wrap (burrito) cooks well: just a little bit of a split on the side but not enough to deter you from picking it up. The lavash (tortilla-like-substance) it's wrapped in is as soft and tender as you'd want your burrito's tortilla to be.
The surprise here is the filling. When we tasted their Butter Chicken entree back in July of last year, the sauce reminded us far too much of Campbell's tomato soup for our taste.
This Butter Chicken is a whole different ball game. As you'd expect from Saffron Road, the diced chicken is tender and flavorful. This creamy, rich sauce, however, has a very mildly sweet tomato flavor with plenty of mellow coriander, fenugreek, and a touch of clove. There's enough chili to leave a slight zing on the back of the tongue, but yes, this is certainly mild (as it says on the package).
"Delicious," declared a panelist. "The best Butter Chicken we've had in a while." We would definitely add these to our regular rotation.
After that surprise we turned to the Samosa with Chickpeas, which has 310 calories, 570 milligrams of sodium, and 3 grams of fiber.
This is the same tender wrap, but this time it came out of the microwave unsplit and ready to be eaten from one hand.
It doesn't appear that Saffron Road is selling an entree version of this, as they do with the Butter Chicken. But they should.
Substantial chunks of diced potatoes and soft garbanzo beans are in a rich, sweet-savory sauce of tomatoes simmered nearly into paste with touches of coconut milk, cumin, ginger, and paprika. The peas punctuate the whole with their sweetness and this has much more spice, with a definite burn (it's labeled medium spice).
Both of these wraps are impressive, but the Samosa is also vegan - something we didn't notice until we started to write this review. Now that's how vegan food should be!
Posted: April 1, 2022 (no, not an April fool's joke)