Backpacker's Pantry - Chana Masala - 2 Servings

Category: Camp Kitchen


I always take Backpackers Pantry vegetarian meals when backpacking, and like most of them. My wife doesn't go backpacking with me, but we just spent a couple of nights car camping and "cooked" one of these. Let it re-hydrate for 20 minutes, and this was at sea level. She thought it was delicious, and so did I. Might be my favorite option. Note that all the one-star reviews are from long ago, and REI says the recipe was changed in 2016.


Bought this as well as the chicken vindaloo as I had not seen freeze dried Indian food before. Ate both and they were FANTASTIC!


I only take meals on hikes that are a long day or overnight. I have tried a LOT of freeze-dried meals. This was THE worst. I thought it would be good with the curry and chickpeas, liking both, but I was very wrong. Even after letting it sit for well over the suggested time, it was still not hydrated. I even kneaded the bag to ensure the fluid was working evenly. the smell was even unappetizing. I ate a few bites and then resorted to a cliff bar. I was EXTREMELY hungry and VERY disappointed in the flavor and crunch.


I'm not normally one to write reviews, but I thought backpacking food deserves to be reviewed as you will likely not have other options in the backcountry. First off, let me begin by saying "I knew better." I've found that rice dishes normally don't rehydrate too well and this one followed suit. I let it sit for the required 12 minutes and upon opening the bag, the smell was ok but the rice and chickpeas did not rehydrate well. The rice was very grainy and the chickpeas were tough. I ate about 6 bites before I bailed out. The flavor was poor at best. My only saving grace was I prepared this at home before taking it to the field, and I am glad I did. Let me finish by saying Indian cuisine is my second favorite cuisine and I have had Chana Masala on numerous occasions. This one is surely a disappointment.


I love spicey food and thought I would give this a try. I wasnt expecting a gormet Indian meal, but thought it must be preet good. After a tough climb on snowshoes in the White Mountains, any meal should have been a welcome thing, but this was so bad I stopped eating after about halfway through. I brought a different meal as a backup and had that instead. I'm not a very picky eater on the trail, but this was absolutely the worst freeze-dried meal I have ever had.


Loved it. So flavorful and the spice level was perfect, I'd say about a 3 on 1-10 scale. I loved the reviewer's comment that those who wrote bad reviews are more than welcome to send me what you have left. Haha. Also appreciated the reviewer who noted that the bad reviews were from many yrs ago and the recipe was updated in 2016. I'm writing this in 2017. It's absolutely delish!!! Wil get 5 more... oh yeah reduce water by 1/2 c (at sea level) and let sit for 20-30min.


By far the worst freeze dried meal i have had. I have liked almost everything else from backpackers pantry but this was terrible. Chickpeas+rice+spicy stuff+ not much else. Could only eat 1/3rd of it before giving up.


This was our least favorite meal that we brought on our backpacking trip. We were starving so of course ate the entire thing but be aware it is ALL rice. Barely anything else, which for a vegetarian meal is extremely disappointing. You need to add in a bunch of veggies if eating this. Yes it has some flavor and is somewhat spicy but it's just all rice. Boring. Won't buy again.


My wife and I do a lot of extended backpacking trips and have tried all of the vegetarian freeze dried entrees we can find. We like many of the Backpackers' Pantry items.


I bought this for a 10 day trip, knowing I'd want some variety. I love chana masala, so why not? Well, this did not have that sweet tangy chana masala taste, instead it was like over-spicy yellow curry. I barely touched it, despite a decent workout climbing steep ridges. I even went out of my way the next day to find a front-country camp to throw this stuff away. Would not recommend.


The meal isn't bad for a backpacking meal, but not great either. The food is mildly spicy (it caused my nose to run slightly), but otherwise blandly flavored. The texture was also a bit dry. I was rather pleased with the portion size. Overall, the food was fine and met my expectations for a freeze dried backpacking meal.


I'd use this product again, but not as a first choice. I'd add another half cup of water over what they suggest--a little extra water might more fully hydrate the food (it was crunchy) and is always a benefit in outdoor activity anyways. I'd let the product sit longer and maybe shake it once or twice while it "cooks". Masala is a wonderful taste, and there are probably an infinite variety of masala spice mixture recipes. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize the clasic Masala taste in this offering. Still, I ate the whole package. It is not unusual for me to eat "2 servings" of prepacked foods when I'm out camping, and if you are a hearty eater, don't plan on sharing it.


After a hike to Coast Camp in Point Reyes, my boyfriend and I pitched our tent and fired up the camp stove to cook this awesome dish. I would recommend waiting an extra 5 minutes or so longer than is recommended, because it takes a while for all of the chickpeas to cook through.


This is by far my favorite of the various Backpacker's Pantry and other companies' freeze-dried meals. It is spicy, so be warned, but it is so flavorful, warming, and hearty. I am tempted to eat it sometimes when I am not backpacking, though I haven't yet.


Being a masala fan, I did not feel this had the flavor I was looking for. I found it too spicy, and crunchy to finish. I was dreading each spicy bite and luckily I didn't need the calories since I was car camping, so I threw the majority out.


This tasted like Turmeric with a hint of Channa and Rice. Absolutely disgusting. The dish's seasoning was completely out of proportion. I hated it. I had to carry it back after it had been cooked. Added more weight. I will never buy again.


I hate a product that has the spices so overdone, that it consumes the whole product. I’ve eaten curry and masala before and this had so much curry in it, after the second bite, I threw it away. It needs a revamp


This is has become one of my favorite meals for backpacking. It's almost always in my rotation no matter how long or short my trip. I find it very filling and love the savory and spices in it.


Chick peas didn’t fully hydrate but enjoyed the flavor. Looks just like the photo f seasoned rice. Seasoned rice meal. Take that in stride when reading reviews complaining about mostly rice.


This tasted fantastic! Really hit the spot. Cook time was 20 ish minutes but it took almost double that time for the chickpeas to cook all the way through. Worth the wait though!


I was really looking forward to eating this but it was very salty and dry with the amount of water they say to add. We added more water but still too salty. Very disappointing.


Good tasting food, large portions, was surprised by how spicy it was for being dehydrated, almost too spicy. Only downer was that it stained my backpacking spoon yellow.


This meal is one of my favorite freeze-dried meals to take backpacking. I can't believe so many people don't like this one! It seems like you either love it or hate it.


This product was awfull. Their was little flavour. Even after 5 hours of hiking, this was not edible. I tried to eat it, but it was like eating wood shavings.


I surprisingly enjoyed this meal. I don't typically like dehydrated backpacking meals but, thought I'd try it when I saw that it was a vegan option.


I love this meal! When you are out hiking you are so much more aware of your scenes. This meal makes you taste buds dance! Great meal!


Good flavor in this vegetarian rice dish. As always, I wish there was a 1 serving variant as it is way too much to eat for one person.


Along with the Pad Thai, the Chana Masala goes with me on every possible trip. Great meal at the end of a long day.


Terrible. Save your money and spare yourself the possibility of going hungry in the woods and get something else.


Delishous and easy as it says! Cooking was simple and it was a welcome meal full of flavor after a long day.


Loved it. Great flavor and texture. Very filling, this will be a regular for me. Win for Alpine Aire!


One of my favorite meals! Not sure why people are complaining about it..Highly recommended!!


Not bad. A little Siracha helped. Definitely enough for 2 people.

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