Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trader Joe's Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice

Yay! More Indian food. So far, TJ's track record with Indian has been pretty well above par...er, below par...wait: In golf, below par is good. But we know "sub-par" is bad. So I guess in things other than golf, one wants to be above par. But "par for the course" always means just average, or "what's to be expected."

Um, but yeah, TJ's makes pretty good Indian stuff.

I had never heard of Butter Chicken before. It certainly doesn't sound like an Indian dish to me. And the brownish, gravy-like substance in the picture on the box doesn't look like butter, either. It looks more like an Indian masala-type substance. Enigmatic, indeed.

We'll just get to the point here: the chicken was good, tender, and moist, but it didn't taste like an Indian dish to us. There's very little of the familiar Indian spiciness, and it certainly wasn't as good as the other TJ's Indian meals we've had. That brown sauce is apparently not masala sauce, and it brought very little to the table in the flavor department. And again, it wasn't bad. It just wasn't what we were expecting.

Fortunately, we decided to eat the chicken with Trader Joe's Masala Tandoori Naan bread. It's just naan with yummy Indian spices baked in. It's got a little more kick than the average naan, which is good, because it made up for the lack of spiciness in the chicken. Also, the spices make the bread a happy yellow color.

So, in the end, it tasted very similar to a chicken masala dish served with regular naan. Except in this instance, the masala came from the bread and not the chicken. This bread is definitely tasty, but its extra flavor can't quite make up for the lack of kick in the Butter Chicken.

So, for Trader Joe's Butter Chicken, it's not bad if you just want some run-of-the-mill chicken with sauce or if you're a spice-o-phobe that wants to try something Indian-ish. The Basmati Rice is good, as usual. Sonia and I both give it 3.5's. Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

As for Trader Joe's Masala Tandoori Naan, it's just like TJ's other naan, but with a little something extra. Double 4.5's. Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

4 comments:

  1. Diamond Pearl Basmati Rice, a gift of nature, is nurtured and cultivated in only one place on earth, the foothills of the Himalayas. Given the unique and conducive soil and climatic conditions, Basmati - the Emperor of Rice, achieves a unique aroma and nutty taste in addition to its characteristic long, silky, non sticky & slender texture and shape. This unique treasure of nature is nurtured by the farmer by hand right from seeding and weeding through harvesting and threshing. Thus equivalent to hand crafted quality Diamonds and Pearls...

    Diamond Pearl’s Supreme quality paddy crop is meticulously cleaned and milled grain by grain to remove impurities, irrespective of their size and nature, to ensure that nothing but the FINEST diamonds and pearls of basmati is served to you.

    Our quality brands include Royal Diner – Pure Basmati Rice, Supreme Silk – Premium Long Basmati Rice, Farmer’s Pride – Authentic Aromatic Basmati Rice, Everyday Delight – All Meal Basmati Rice, Earth Brown – Premium Brown Basmati Rice... and many more.

    Our quality basmati rice is available in various sizes to meet your requirements whether it is for home use, restaurants, travel service entities, event organizers, wedding celebrations or the food industry at large. Package sizes available 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 Kg bags.

    We offer the finest range of pure traditional basmati rice, 1121 basmati rice, pusa basmati rice, etc. in pure (raw, white and brown), parboiled (cream & golden) and steamed variants. We can also assist you with Indian long, medium and short grain rice in all variants as per your specifications.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The basamati rice is harder then a car. I cooked it at 400 for 10 minutes, hard as rock. Then I hoped cooking it longer would make it less hard. Nope. Still nasty. The chicken and gravy was good though.

      Delete
  2. Tragedy is they discontinued this bread due to slow sales! Such a bummer...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Had this last night. Microwaved according to instructions. I'd agree with the 7/10 rating. It's not mind blowing but for $3.49 it's a tasty, fast meal. Not too hot if you're afraid of Indian food spices. It's only 7 points on Weight Watchers. I'd buy it again.

    ReplyDelete