Don’t buy these! I love the way some supermarkets package up curry and rice and some side dishes into a fake takeaway bag – I usually find they’re good value for money when compared to having to bring together the individual pieces yourself.
Lidl didn’t used to sell these bags though – but I was in Lidl and saw them on the shelf – unfortunately the shop was crowded and busy and I didn’t have time to do my usual due diligence and compare the packaged product with the individual pieces.
The Lidl Indian Meals for Two in a takeaway bag contain two curries, two pilau rices and two mini naan bread – and are priced at £3.49. They are produced under the Chef Select brand name. This is also the brand name of the regular meal for one cartons of curry and rice!
The thing is, there’s no monetary value in choosing to grab the indian meal bag at all – to buy each of those meals individually. The bag weighs 1Kg and contains two different curries and two mini naan breads:
- Chef Select Chicken Jalfrezi with Pilau Rice
These were finalists in The Grocer magazine “Own Food Label” category, 2014 and 2016.
- Chef Select Chicken Tikka Masala with Pilau Rice
If you portion out the curry/rice then each are probably exactly the same portions as the individual packs, where you get to choose the flavours or even mix and match across the choices. I’ve got to pop in and double check the pack weight of the individual chilled meals, but I’m confident they’re identical.
The individual packs cost £1.49 each, again, giving a curry/rice cost of £2.98 if you buy them individually in the chilled meal for one stacks. That leaves 51p difference in price for you to pick up some naan breads elsewhere in the shop.
There is a bigger range of curry flavours in the individual packs, I’d rather have the Chef Select Chicken Korma & Pilau Rice than the Chicken Jalfrezi ‘forced’ on me by buying the bag – and the “meal for one” pack weights are 450 grams, so they are directly comparable. The bags have a weight of 1Kg, two individual packs would be 450 grams x2 = 900 grams, so the difference in weight would be the two mini naans.
The indian meals for one in a takeaway bag should, in my opinion, offer better value, but I can’t see it. With the bag I am buying two meals and constrained to the two fixed flavours. Buying separately I could just buy one, or two, and choose my own selection, or even have a different meal from the Chef Select range. For the naan breads, the ones in the bag are tiny and there are better options in other naan packs in store.
So, while the curries might taste fine, it doesn’t make sense to buy them in the takeaway bag. Personally, I like the chicken tikka masala, but not the jalfrezi so much… so that’s the first and last takeaway bag from Lidl I’ll be buying!
Indian Meal in a Bag or Individual Curry Packs?
It’s a no brainer, don’t buy the bags – simply select from the range of individual curry and pilau rice packs – get a real choice and range. Bigger choice and there’s no added benefit to buying the bag at all.