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Monday, October 19, 2020

Trader Joe's Spicy Pumpkin Curry Simmer Sauce

I recently gave my spiel about how Indian-inspired spicy pumpkin is distinctly different from pumpkin spice. Instead of pumpkin pie spices, we have—you guessed it—Indian curry spices that work with pumpkin. I'll stand by that previous assertion, but we'll dive into it in a bit more detail here.

I'm still a fan of spicy pumpkin curry, but in this case, I liked it juuust slightly less than in the case of the samosas. Why? Possibly because this curry is more Thai-inspired and the samosas were Indian. But also possibly because in the case of the samosas, someone else (Trader Joe's and their mysterious third party suppliers) concocted the dish for me. It's hard to beat that blend of paneer cheese, sweet potato, pumpkin, and flaky breading. With this product, you're on your own. So, I think this falls squarely into the category of: If you have mad culinary skills, you should definitely try this product. And if not, I won't twist your arm either way.

Don't get me wrong. I loved what we made with it, and I'll admit Sonia had a bigger hand in the preparation of our meals than I did. It worked. We tried it with both chicken and fish, with rice as a side in both cases.


It can turn any boring meal into a spicy pumpkin curry-flavored meal. There's a bit of heat, a smooth coconut and pumpkin base, and lots of complex essences that you'd find in a traditional Thai curry like onion, garlic, pepper, ginger, and turmeric.

We both agree it worked slightly better with poultry than with fish, but I felt like neither dish complemented the curry quite like the ingredients in the samosas did. Honestly, the rice went best with the curry in this case, because rice brings so little flavor of its own. It allowed the flavor of the spicy pumpkin to come through more easily than the main entrees did. If we had some paneer or sweet potato chunks on hand, we would have thrown them into the mix, and it might have made the meals even more memorable. 


In general, if we have a hankerin' for some Thai curry, we'd reach for something more along the lines of the Thai Green Simmer Sauce before this product, but I still think spicy pumpkin is a brilliant international adaptation to that favorite fall flavor. I definitely think we'd consider picking up another jar in the future, perhaps next fall, but we'll take more time to think about which veggies and sides we'll pair it with next time.

$2.99 for the jar. Four stars from Sonia. Three and a half from me.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. I made this a vegetarian dish with chickpeas and diced sweet potatoes, simmered with cilantro on top, and ate over rice. Its an awesome fall dish!

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