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?"

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Trader Joe's Indian Fare Jaipur Vegetables

Here's an item that's been in our cupboard for months and months and we might have forgotten about it, but last time we were at TJ's, they were handing it out at the sample counter. We liked it, so Sonia and I reminded ourselves to heat up the package we already had at home. And boy am I glad we did.

It's really tasty. It reminds me of the filling in the Balti Pies we looked at not too long ago, though not quite as fattening and calorific. Obviously, there's no crust or chicken here, either. The curry is nearly identical to the Balti curry, though maybe a tad bit spicier. There are big chunks of peas, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes. Plus, there's paneer cheese and cashews—two ingredients TJ's is no stranger to. They all blend together nicely flavor-wise, but I'd definitely say the taste of the curry is the dominant flavor here. And that's just fine with me, because it tastes great.

All of the other ingredients create a nice hearty texture. It's not just a homogeneous mush. There's plenty of each constituent part to keep it interesting. I wasn't particularly thrilled with the cashews, since they were slightly soggy. If they had found some magical way to keep them crunchy, then this already delicious product would have been even better. I suppose they could have separated the cashews into a separate pouch that you could open and pour into the mixture at the end, but that's just me being uber-picky.

And that brings me to my next point: the preparation of this product is insanely easy. You either drop the bag into some boiling water on your stove top for five minutes, or you snip the bag and nuke the contents for a minute or two. I heated mine in the microwave and poured it over rice, and bang! Instant meal. I don't recall exactly what the price is on this one since it's been so long since we purchased it, but if it's anything like the other Indian Fare products, it's probably in the ballpark of $2, which is a really good deal for what you're getting. No complaints here.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

15 comments:

  1. It's even easier to prepare with my rice cooker. I make rice in the bottom and put the bag in the steamer on top. When the rice is ready, the bag of Indian food is hot. I like switching it up with sticky rice, jasmine rice and Basmati rice.....according to my mood that day.

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    1. Brilliant! We'll have to try that...

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    2. Great Idea! I love the Basmati Rice that TJ sells. Will def try this little trick!!

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  2. ^ Death to spammers! grrrrr....

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    1. lol no worries...that's why they give me a "delete" button!

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  3. This is one of my normal staples (but haven't had it in a good while). I don't know why I haven't had it with rice. I always heated it up with some warm naan bread to scoop it in.

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    1. Mmm...actually naan sounds even better than rice...

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  4. This would make a great stew starter. Just add some protein in there and have a nice stew.

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  5. Another good option for these is to serve them with the riced cauliflower. I really like all of these Indian entrees.

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  7. TJ used to sell the original Tasty Bite http://tastybite.com/products/jaipur-vegetables/
    My parents made me eat it over pasta on camping trips. It didn't get it at the time. Now I thinks it's ok.

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