Thursday 2 August 2012

Supermarket Vegetarian Takeaway Options - Why don't they exist?

A small rant from me today:

As you well know, I like to cook most of meals from scratch. I love cooking and creating my own meals. However, occasionally, everyone fancies a night off from cooking, and so like most people, hubby and I like to indulge in a takeaway every once in a while.

We regularly buy our takeaway from local Chinese and Indian establishments. However, this is often a £20-30 meal for two of us - much more than we would spend on one meal if I cooked it myself. As we are budget conscious, a cheaper option would be to buy our takeaway from the supermarket, and we would love to do this were the option available. I can regularly buy a chicken tikka, or a korma for hubby, but sadly I always come out of the supermarket empty handed for myself. Yes, I don't know if you have noticed, but if you are a vegetarian, it is virtually impossible to find a Chinese/Indian takeaway main meal in the supermarket.  I am always unable to buy one that doesn't contain meat or fish - pretty ironic considering that most Indian people are actually vegetarian, as are a lot of Chinese people. In China or India, I would not have trouble finding vegetarian dishes to buy, but their dishes have been so hugely adapted for the english market, that they always contain meat or fish. I am typically able to buy lots of vegetarian sides - spring rolls, noodles, vegetable samosas, onion bhaji's, saag aloo, naan bread, rice, etc. However, I can't recall ever being able to find a chinese or indian takeaway main course in the chilled section of the supermarket.

Why is this? Am I just being blind? Or why do no vegetarian supermarket takeaway meals exist? Here are the range of Indian takeaway dishes from the supermarkets according to mysupermarket. Waitrose Indian Takeaway dishes contain no vegetarian dishes. Asda's search does bring up one vegetarian main course - but that's not much choice!. Sainsburys had two vegetarian dishes, but they paled in comparison compared to the choice of meat dishes. Tesco also had two choices but failed in comparison to their meaty counterparts. None of the supermarkets offer an all in one takeaway in a box vegetarian option.

Why is this? I really think they are missing a trick here! How hard would it be to put vegetables in a dish rather than meat or fish? There are times when I am dashing around and a quick takeaway in a box would make the perfect vegetarian meal option, but this doesn't currently seem possible.

Thankfully we do have an awesome Indian Takeaway restaurant nearby where we always end up buying from, but I really do think that the supermarkets could hugely improve on their vegetarian takeaway option and I think they would be really popular as more and more people are starting to eat meat-free for health, dietary, lifestyle and budgetary reasons. Indian and Chinese cookery is so interesting and full of delicious ingredients and flavours. Us vegetarians would love some new really exciting, full of flavour vegetarian takeaway options, aside from the usual generic bland vegetable curry typically available.

So what do you think? Should supermarkets produce more indian and chinese (and other) takeaway options that cater for vegetarans? Are they already? Do you think a vegetarian takeaway meal could ever be possible from the supermarket? Or is it just wishful thinking?


  1. Yes, fully agree. Ditto 'Italian' - doesn't go far beyond penne with tomato slop. We make batches of veg curry of different types (the OM puts prawns in his) and freeze them.

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  3. Totally agree! Something I am always moaning about!

  4. Thanks for your replies all.

    I agree with your comments about Italian Jacqueline, although I have found a rather nice vegetaran lasagne in the Morrisons chilled section that I like. Making batches and freezing them is a good idea as then they are there for a quick meal.

    Em I think the supermarkets could make more profit on a veg dish as they are quite cheap to make. Good idea to buy the sides from the supermarket and just get the main from the curry house.

    Thanks for your comment anonymous - glad I'm not the only one moaning about it!



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