We test Jalfrezis from supermarkets including Aldi, Lidl and Tesco to find the spiciest curry

US Brits love a spicy curry – but are supermarket ready meals any good?

Research by Foodhub last year found that 11% of people were eating the cuisine between three and seven times a week.

A further 22% of those surveyed enjoy a curry at least once a week. 

And 45% of us say no curry is complete without a portion of pilau rice, while 64% of people need a naan on the side. 

While a Tikka Masala has been voted the nation’s favourite curry, this week we’re out to find the spiciest option on the shop shelves. 

We’ve tried five supermarket readymade Jalfrezi curries to find out which one comes out on top in our taste test. 

We tasted options from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl and scored them on five factors: taste, spice, look, amount of meat, and value for money. 

To keep things fair, we cooked them all in the oven and had a glass of water to hand – just in case the spice levels got too much to handle. 

Here they are from best to worst: 

Sainsbury’s

Price: £2.30
Score: 21/25
Our verdict: Taste 4/5  Spice 4/5  Look 4/5  Meat 5/5  Price: 4/5 

The Sainsbury’s Chicken Jalfrezi and Rice was our winner and it scored highly on most factors. There was plenty of meat in the pack and it was the spiciest meal in the group. 

The sauce was thick and tomatoey, with a creamy texture that made it a pleasure to eat. 

At £2.30 a pack, the curry was middling in terms of price but the excellent flavour and quality of the meat meant it provided good value for money. I definitely wanted to finish the entire plate!

Lidl

Price: £1.99
Score: 18/25
Our verdict: Taste 2/5  Spice 2/5  Look 5/5  Meat 3/5  Price: 5/5 

The Lidl Chef Select Chicken Jalfrezi and Rice was the dish I was most excited about as all the packs came out of the oven. The flavours on the plate were the most vibrant of the group, with a rich ruby red curry sauce and vivid yellow rice.

But the flavour was a bit of a disappointment. The sauce was much thinner than others in the group and the curry was very bland, with little hint of spice.

At £1.99 a pack, this was the joint-cheapest of the lot, so it’s a good choice for bargain hunters, but perhaps not for foodies. 

Tesco

Price: £2.50
Score: 16/25
Our verdict: Taste 4/5  Spice 3/5  Look 3/5  Meat 3/5  Price: 3/5

The Tesco Chicken Jalfrezi and Pilau Rice costs £2.50, putting it in the middle of the group in price terms. 

The curry had a good colour and the sauce had a thick texture, but the meat was quite dry and there wasn’t as much of it as there were in other packs. 

Overall, the Tesco curry was quite average and its spice levels weren’t enough to make me reach for that glass of water. 

Aldi

Price: £1.99
Score: 15/25
Our verdict: Taste 1/5  Spice 3/5  Look 3/5  Meat 3/5  Price: 5/5

At £1.99 the Aldi Inspired Cuisine Chicken Jalfrezi with Pilau Rice was the joint cheapest pack in our group, giving it top marks for price. 

However, a strange aftertaste meant it had the lowest score for flavour. The meal scored middling marks for its spice level, overall look and amount of meat. 

It was quite bland, and the overpowering after flavour was not enjoyable – but potentially one for bargain hunters. 

Morrisons

Price: £3.75
Score: 14/25
Our verdict: Taste 4/5  Spice 3/5  Look 1/5  Meat 5/5  Price: 1/5 

Morrisons was the priciest pack at £3.75 and considering that, it was very disappointing that it didn’t come with rice. 

The Morrisons Takeaway Chicken Jalfrezi actually scored very highly on some factors, but its look and price dragged it into last place. 

The pack was one of the tasitest, with a thick, tomatoey sauce, and had a great amount of good quality, tasty meat. The spice level was middling, but it was still very enjoyable to eat.

But the pack was a bit of a faff to cook in the oven, as you had to remove it from its packaging, and it didn’t look that appealing when plated up. It’s worth pointing out that you can microwave it in its pack, but to be fair we cooked all the packs in the oven. 

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