Review: Backpacker’s Pantry Chana Masala

Backpacker’s Pantry makes a line of dehydrated foods packed into foil pouches.  You add boiling water to the pouch, stir, seal it up for 15-20 min, and it’s ready to eat.  These are good for emergency bag food (light and the pouch is sturdy enough to bang around in the bag with safety and doubles as the cook pot) and pair very well with a Kelly Kettle (Clicky here to read a review).

The Chana Masala is essentially a mix of rice and garbanzo beans (chickpeas) with some Indian-ish spices and flavorings.  I wasn’t entirely impressed with the flavor – it did have a little heat, but nothing like the complex richness of spices that Indian food can reach — but it was pretty good.  This kind of meal is very suitable for tossing in additional rehydrated vegetables, making them Much more palatable than eating the veggies plain.  (I did this once I’d tasted the meal as it came for review purposes, and liked it.)

It has two very reasonable servings per pouch, with 410 calories and a big pile of food for each serving.  A pouch costs $5.50 most places.  The rehydration instructions work quite well as written; just enough water and done well.  If you are kind of creeped out by the chem-lab style ingredient lists of many prepper foods, or want clear and limited ingredients because you want to avoid allergens or just because you roll that way, this meal and other Backpacker Pantry entries are likely to suit you.

The nutritional profile is good for this sort of meal. Per half bag, 14 g of protein (often hard to find in pouch meals), 40% of a day’s worth of Vit A, 30% of C, 20% of iron, 8% of calcium, all from ‘real food’ sources.  Little fat but way too much salt (1.4 g, more than half a day’s recommended).  A good amount of fiber, so it won’t stop your innards up as many prep foods are prone to do.

This isn’t a barnburner, GOT TO BUY CASES OF THESE! product for me, but we will buy a few more.  It’s a solid choice that will make a nice change in flavor from time to time.




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