Product Review: Tasty Bite Paneer Makhani

Tasty Bite Paneer Makhani
Tasty Bite Paneer Makhani

Product Review: Tasty Bite Paneer Makhani – $3.29+

Quick Indian meals are usually my Monday thing.  I mean…I have to get home from work, scarf something down, and get changed and out the door to head to my running group’s Monday meet-up at 6 p.m.  Not easy when construction is going on and often traffic is at a stand-still going across the river.  It can be frustrating.  And when trying to take a little bit of stress out of the day…the best thing to do is have a simple meal prepared.

But this time…this was a Wednesday thing.  I had eaten a big lunch on the way back from Chicago the Monday before I had this…so no food was necessary that evening.  Not a bite.  But…Wednesday marked a big heaping deal of a run.  My good friend, Natalie, was completing her pledged 180th straight day of running to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.  And she invited the group at the store to run those last miles with her.  She chose 4.15 miles, in honor of the date of the bombings, April 15.

So, that evening sort of ran (heh…no pun intended.  See what I did there?) like a Monday night.  That morning, I cooked up two servings of jasmine rice, let it cool, and tucked it away in the fridge for later.  Upon returning home from work…I heated up the rice, pulled out my next packet of Tasty Bite goodness…and got ready to dive in.

This week…Tasty Bite Paneer Makhani.  Paneer, for those of you not familiar with Indian cuisine, is a soft, vegetarian-friendly cheese.  It can be firm or soft…depending on how it is made.  But it is…delicious.  Makhani is a Hindustani word meaning “with butter.”  So…this is basically Butter Paneer.  Don’t freak out…really it’s these cubes of paneer that are cooked in this fantastic, creamy tomato sauce…spiced just right to give it that Indian flavor.  I love the taste of Indian food.  So yummy.

So…what happens when said entree comes in a microwavable pouch?  What happens when it only takes 90 seconds to heat and eat?  Magic.  Because Tasty Bite knows what it is doing when it comes to these fun little meals.  Honestly.  I wasn’t too sold on the thought of a buttery cheese dish…but…they proved me wrong.

The Tasty Bite Paneer Makhani is just what I described above…home-style paneer cheese in a creamy, spiced sauce.  This pouch is a delicate balance of natural ingredients that are non-GMO, vegetarian, and gluten-free.  Happy dance.  In fact, the ingredients in this particular Indian meal include tomatoes, paneer cheese, water, onion, cream, cashew nuts, sunflower oil, ginger, garlic, salt, coriander, chiles, and spices.  Sounds delicious, yes?  Of course it does.  So, after giving my jasmine rice a quick steaming in the microwave to reheat it…this little pouch of goodness was put in and given it’s 90 seconds to warm through.

I poured the contents over two bowls of rice…and dinner was done in 5 minutes total.

So, we all know that this Tasty Bite Paneer Makhani was easy to prepare…but how did it stack up in flavor and taste?

It was good.  It was really good.  I loved the bit of mild heat from the variety of spices in the sauce itself.  The sauce was the perfect thickness…not too runny, but not too thick either.  Perfect consistency.  I wished I had more of the sauce, honestly.  The cheese was…pretty good.  I love paneer cheese, but this just seemed a bit rubbery.  Probably because it is, after all, in a microwavable pouch.  It wasn’t bad…it was still soft…but it wasn’t the star of this dish like it should have been.  Major props to the sauce.  It saved this one.  I’d probably invest in this variety again…but only if nothing else caught my eye.  The Paneer Makhani wasn’t about the paneer at all.  It was all about that Makhani sauce.

So, let’s talk nutrition.  A serving of the Tasty Bite Paneer Makhani is 1/2 of the pouch.  This serving dishes up 220 calories and 17 grams of fat.  YIKES!!  Some of that, however, does come from the cashews…but most of it comes from the paneer.  That’s…a hefty dosage of fat, I think.  I mean, 150 of those 220 calories come from fat.  That’s…not that great.  A serving of the Paneer Makhani also will provide you with 440 mg of sodium and 3 grams of sugar.  Not bad for a shelf-stable, processed meal, right?  Also, you will be getting 1 gram of fiber and a whopping 10 grams of protein.  Low fiber, high protein…good for running.

So, while the flavor was there in the Paneer Makhani, the paneer cheese definitely fell flat, but the sauce saved it.  I would recommend trying this one, if you are a fan of Indian flavors.  And if you love paneer cheese.  Just know…fresh cheese that isn’t sealed in a pack and kept on the shelf definitely stands up better when used in Indian cuisine.  But when you are an on-the-go kind of person…this definitely works in a pinch.  So…not one of my favorites, but not bad either.  Tasty Bite hasn’t put out a bad product…this one just didn’t wow me like the others have so far.

Tasty Bite Paneer Makhani over jasmine rice
Tasty Bite Paneer Makhani over jasmine rice

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