This week: Waitrose Green Chutney Chicken from Punjab, 340g, mic/oven, £2.95. Waitrose Vagharela Bhaat from Gujerat, 340g, mic/oven, £1.69 rating 3/5

This week: Waitrose Green Chutney Chicken from Punjab, 340g, mic/oven, £2.95. Waitrose Vagharela Bhaat from Gujerat, 340g, mic/oven, £1.69 rating 3/5

What aren't you supposed to do with a curry? Mash it up with rice into an indistinguishable mess. What did I do with the Waitrose Gujerati/Punjabi flavour-clash? Mashed it all up into an indistinguishable mess. But I had no choice. Microwave energy had separated the green chutney, as it does with sauces, so I had to make like a post-pub curry guzzler and mash, or lose the lot.

A quick peek in Madhur Jaffrey's Flavours Of India revealed that the Gujeratis are big on a grain-laden vegetarian diet, while the Punjabis are just as veg-friendly but suspicious of rice. Both of my choices were way off the ethnic mark. Combining them was tantamount to balancing a slice of black pudding on top of a plate of pie and mash and calling it traditional English health food.

Still, the flavours came through their radioactive ordeal in reasonable shape. The Vagharela Bhaat basmati rice dish was lumpy but held its end up with tangs of coriander and mustard seed, even if the promised aubergine cowered at the bottom in minuscule scraps. The chicken dish was oily but gave good tamarind and chilli action, and plenty of lean meat (41 per cent by weight). The final verdict: almost, but not quite, M&S.

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