Cintan "Perisa Kari"

Brand: Cintan
Flavour: Perisa Kari
Format: brick-in-packet
Packets: one
Identifiables: noodle brick, flavour powder
Sodium: unknown

It turns out that "kari" is simply the Tamil word (loaned to Malay) for "curry". While curry refers not so much to a group of spices as a style of food (usually, gravy or sauce), it's taken on a particular flavour association due to some of the most common spices involved. As always, there's an excellent Wikipedia article about it. In this case, it seems to be a spicy vegetarian soup with lots of noodles.

The rather smooth, gradient-laden wrapper for the five-pack reports that Cintan has a "reputation for high-quality, springy noodles". I usually don't think of springiness being a requisite, but the more I considered it, the more it rang true. Spring noodles are more fun, and if you're not having fun with what you're eating, you're taking it all too seriously. Bring on the springy noodles, I say!

It turns out that cooking such springy noodles is an exact science made inexact for the convenience of the consumer. The preparation directions say just how much water to use, but not just how long to cook the noodles. Quite literally, the direction given is, "Cook the noodles," which leads directly into, "Add soup mix." It's a good thing this isn't my first review, or I might have called the whole deal off right then! Experience tells me, however, that two minutes will usually suffice, especially when being cooked in a pot instead of simply being doused with boiling water.

My educated guess turned out to be correct. The noodles are as excellent as promised, springy and perfectly textured with only two minutes' cooking. The faintly orange broth is flavourful and not a little spicy. It's a straightforward and dead-centre curry, with neither distinguishing nor disappointing qualities, and in the grand scheme of flavour that's just fine. It's good to have something reliable. I find myself wondering how well this noodle would work done semi-dry style, the way the Maggi brand does it.

Post scriptum: I accidentally coughed while eating, and some curried broth went into my nose. I didn't snarf it all over the place, but I did have a terrific burning for a while which I normally only associate with horseradish. I've said it before, friends, and I'll say it again; envy it not, because this job has its hazards.

Numbers: packaging 3, preparation 2, heat 4, flavour 3, overall 3
Music: Chris Geehan & Dan Byrne McCullough - Iji (PC) - Kinda Green

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