Around day four of any backpacking trip, the thought of another freeze-dried pasta dish sounds as appealing as a few fresh blisters. Which is why—after a 10-mile hike along a dusty dirt road in Chile that followed a 5,000-plus-foot descent at the end of our volcano trek—we were thrilled to have saved this curry dish for the end. The smell of coconut milk and curry alone was enough to give us a lift. Then the texture of the al dente Israeli couscous woke up tired taste buds.
And the combination of chicken (not tough and chewy) and peas (not mushy) in the coconut-curry sauce caused camp chaos: Was there enough to go around? And could we make another batch fast? Thankfully, the Hurried Curry lives up to its name: Just boil two cups of water, simmer the bag’s contents for 8 to 10 minutes, and devour. $9 (10 oz.; makes two 1-pound servings); hungryhikers.com