If you have the kind of schedule that most of us love to crib about, and if you spend more than 10 hours a day outside your home, chances are that quick fixes will be of interest when it comes to cooking. We have tried everything — from branded 'simply heat' sabzis and biryanis, to ready-to-fry nuggets. Some of them were yum, and come to the rescue at the most trying moments. Recently, we tried a new entrant called Getfresh (no, it's not what it sounds like). These are kebab-sized pieces of frozen chicken in a variety of marinades, which you can pop into a pan right away. Follow the cooking instructions and you can pan-fry, grill or, in some cases, microwave the meat.
The Chilli Cream Cheese was our favourite
The marinades have been inspired by a variety of cuisines, and include the popular north-Indian tikka, West Bengal's mustard fish curry, Kerala's Syrian Christian spices, Goa's fiery fish stuffing and Thailand's curry paste, to name a few. We were told that the marinades are prepared at frequent intervals — the thrust being on using natural preservatives such as lime, salt and pepper, instead of artificial preservatives.
Peri Peri Chicken
From the online menu, we sampled five options. The first was Chilli Cream Cheese (Rs 150). This pack said that it was microwave-able too. There were however no clear instructions for the cooking time. When we dialed their helpline, we were instructed to microwave it according to our judgment, for approximately 30 seconds. We used the microwave in our office canteen, and after 30 seconds, the meat felt undercooked (we kept it for a minute in fact, and it still appeared undercooked).
Not one to lose heart quickly, we cooked the contents in a pan when we got home, and succeeded. The cream cheese marinade was reminiscent of malai tikka flavours that are commonly available, but this was tastier with cream cheese, coriander and chilly (not spicy at all) than what we've sampled at restaurants. We also placed the chunks in a sandwich, added diced onions and tomatoes to it, and it was a hit.
Coriander Mint. Pics/Suprita Mitter
The marinade for Kolkata Calling (Rs 140) had the zing of mustard, a little cream and cumin seeds, very Bengali! We cooked this in a pan as per instructions and it turned out just right. If you try to put this in a foot-long and add some mayo, you might rediscover the pack.
The Coriander Mint (Rs 140) is not very different from the pudina-flavoured dish you are served in most North Indian restaurants; however, this one is ready in six minutes. We felt that we didn't add enough water to its contents as it turned out a little dry. An important tip mentioned on the pack suggests that for softer cooked chicken, more water can be added before the last minute of cooking while keeping the pan covered. The Peri Peri (Rs 140) was a Goan-inspired dish. The hint of vinegar and garlic was perfect. Each packet has 12 pieces in it. Keep it as backup if you're surprised all the time with guests dropping by; this could work as a godsend.
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