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After reviewing Saffron Road products last week we agreed that these were good enough that we should take a look at their other products. One was really good (the Lemongrass Basil Chicken) and the other good but not great (Lamb Koftis) and I thought it might be interesting to see if they do as well in further testing. We have been disappointed with some companies lately where the first products tested are good, but as we make our way through the range the quality is just not consistent.
First up was the Lamb Vindaloo. I love the flavors of vindaloo recipes and was particularly interested to see how this would fare. Coming out of the microwave the aroma was just right and the flavor didn't disappoint. There's rich ginger, saffron, garam masala, cumin and cinnamon flavors that come through right away. Unfortunately, so does the sodium. There's just too much salt in this dish.
A lot of dishes can have this much sodium (650 mg per serving) and not taste salty. That's because they don't have other rich or strong flavors, so they need the salt to make the flavors really pop. With this recipe there are so many great spices that the added sodium ruins the dish. This is a shame, because the lamb is fresh tasting and full of flavor with great texture. This is doubly disappointing because the dish contains only 340 calories and 5 grams of fiber, but we have to give this one a pass. Leave it in the freezer case.
The Lamb Saag is not going to appeal to everyone because of the spinach, but I love Indian spinach dishes (especially Palak Paneer) and was looking forward to this one too.
Unlike the Lamb Vindaloo, this is a great example of where a little more salt is key. Because of the mild spices and the spinach the dish requires more seasoning, and thus the sodium is pretty high at 690 mg per serving (too high for many on low sodium diets). The body of the dish is a lightly spiced, creamy spinach sauce with the same great, tender chunks of lamb. At 300 calories and 4 grams of fiber this one is a keeper.
As with all of the meals from Saffron Road that we have tested, the basmati rice is good, but brown basmati would be far better both in flavor, texture and the added fiber.
A split decision for these meals and that makes Saffron Road 3 for 4. They'd be batting a thousand if they were more careful with the salt and over the moon with a better choice of rice. For now the best choices are the Lemongrass Chicken and the Lamb Saag.