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Monday, July 8, 2024

Trader Joe's (Refrigerated) Chicken Tikka Masala

I've always been a fan of chicken tikka. It's basically chicken tandoori made with boneless and skinless chicken breast. It's served dry, while its cousin chicken tikka masala is served in a creamy, tomato-based sauce like the dish we have here. Sonia and I have both had some pretty tasty tikka masala in our day, too, so Trader Joe's has their work cut out for them.

This product comes refrigerated, not frozen, so you've only got a week or so to consume it. The heating instructions involved either 5 minutes in the microwave or 25 minutes in the oven. We opted for the conventional bakey box because we were leery of rubbery chicken. 

The texture of the meat was fine, but our basmati rice dried out a bit. It got a tad crunchy by the end of the heating cycle. We've both had tikka masala with thicker sauce, but the relative thinness of this offering didn't bother me, while it did bug the beautiful wifey to some extent.

She also thought the sauce lacked flavor. And though I have had more pungent masala sauce once or twice, again, I was fine with the spice level and taste of the topping here, noting elements of tomato, onion, garlic, turmeric, paprika, and ginger. Nothing to complain about in my opinion.

Still, the dry, crunchy rice, relatively small serving size, and higher price tag will have a negative effect on our score of this product... 

We actually recommend either the frozen Chicken Tikka Masala or even the Vegan Tikka Masala over this refrigerated variety. It's been a long time since we've purchased either of those products, but assuming they're more or less the same as when we reviewed them, they're consistently good and optimized for going straight from the freezer to the microwave with pleasant results.

$6.99 for two servings. Seven out of ten stars from Nathan for Trader Joe's Chicken Tikka Masala. Sonia's score: 7/10 as well.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

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