Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trader Joe's Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice and Trader Joe's Masala Tandoori Naan

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.


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    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.

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

  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.

  4. Just had it for dinner, Excellent, a bit skimpy on rice.

  5. I am a BIG Indian food fan. There are not many Indian restaurants close to my home near Detroit, MI. This Butter Chicken from Trader Joe's was easily the best frozen Indian meal I have ever tasted. The chicken was moist and tender, the Garlic was nice and strong and the spices and other flavors were perfect. Not a bad amount of food either. You won't go wrong if you love curry and spices and flavor. I give this 10 out of 10 - thank you Trader Joes!!