The World’s Best Canned Food?

Neil recently mentioned where to go to find the signature dishes of some European countries. Sometimes, though, even the most die-hard travelers are not at liberty to just zoom off to foreign lands to hunt down dinner.

My wife and I love Indian food. To us, no other country’s food has so many enticing smells, appealing colors, curious tastes, and varied options. Indian food is our favorite “foreign food,” and we’re lucky that there are some good Indian restaurants within a few miles of our house.

On some nights, though, we don’t have the time or energy to go out and get Indian food. What do we do when we’re craving curry or masala and don’t feel like going out to get it? Simple. We bring the Indian food to us.

Recently, we stumbled on Jyoti Indian food in the “ethnic foods” aisle of our local supermarket, and we decided to give it a try. I’m always a bit reluctant to try canned food, but this was excellent. In fact, Jyoti is undeniably the best canned food I’ve ever eaten — and it’s better than some restaurant-cooked Indian food I’ve sampled, too.

During our first Jyoti dinner, we ate the Delhi Saag (spinach and mustard greens). We added some tofu to the mix, warmed it through, and ate it with rice and bread. It was incredible: a little spicy, but not so hot that our tongues or lips were on fire. Since we’d added the tofu, it made enough that we even had leftovers the next night.

Last night, we sampled the Matar Paneer (peas and Indian home-style cheese). Again, we cooked some rice and heated some bread — my wife had even found some organic samosas for us to try! — and loaded up our plates. Amazingly, it was even better than the Saag — and I hate cooked peas.

What’s up next? Don’t know. I think I’d like to try the Madras Sambar (lentils and vegetables), or perhaps the Classic Masala Sauce, but I’m going to poke around the shelves at the grocery store and see what looks best. Fortunately for us, our supermarket carries a large portion of Jyoti’s catalog on its shelves. I have a feeling we’ll be sampling many more dinners.

In a nutshell, if you like Indian food, you really need to try Jyoti. the only way it could be better is if it were delivered by a real dabbawala.