The pros: Trader Joe's Indian Fare Tikka Vegetables is one of two new pouches of Indian food to hit shelves. While this package looks small, the portion size is just right.
The cons: Not quite as good as the frozen entrees, but not bad either. If you were hoping for this to be vegan, sorry to disappoint but it does contain milk.
In the early days of this blog, I pretty much did a straight run through the frozen Indian entrees at Trader Joe's. And it wasn't because I had eaten Indian food on a regular basis. It was through a conversation with my then physical therapist.
Before I started this blog, I intended on this being a full cooking blog. I fell down a partial flight of stairs and in doing so sprained not one, but both ankles badly.
I'm not sure why the female body can create a human being in nine months, but if you wreck your ankles you are never quite 100% again.
So over the course of physical therapy, I got to know the guy who got me walking again quite well. He was Indian and it was almost lunch time.
Naturally, the conversation headed towards what we were planning for lunch. I brought it up that I had never had Indian food. He recommended chicken tikka masala as a starting point.
Since grocery shopping was my big weekly outing (not to mention walking with a shopping cart was incredibly therapeutic when learning how to walk correctly) Trader Joe's Chicken and Paneer Tikka Masala ended up in my cart.
I was in love. I was also bummed out that I had been missing out for so long.
Needless to say, I've consumed quite a few of those over the last two years.
I did eventually venture in the canned and boxed Indian foods, but never found them quite as good.
This on the other hand was pretty good for something out of a pouch.
It is mild to medium in heat. I looked at the bag and was instantly unsure as to whether this would be a full serving. With the addition of rice, you'll have 2 satisfying meals.
Within the deeply spiced tomato sauce you have chunks of potatoes, corn, peas, and carrots. The heat is enough to slow you down from devouring this meal (unless you are a spicy junky). Beyond the pretty good flavor here, it only takes 60 seconds in the microwave until it is done.
The picture on the back of this pouch makes it even more carb heavy with the addition of naan. Naan would make a good side to this was well.
But I do think you can make this a touch better with one single addition: cilantro. It's pictured on the front and the back, but is omitted in the ingredient list. I added some to mine (after taking these pictures) and felt it truly made a difference.
This is a different tikka than the chicken, paneer, or vegan tikkas found in the freezer aisle. Those are also complete meals that cost twice as much. Both new Indian Fare pouches are priced at $1.99. It's a reasonable price for a filling an inexpensive lunch. If you get two servings out of it, then it is better than anything you can reach for on a dollar menu.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The package of Trader Joe's Indian Fare Tikka Vegetables:
The nutritional information:
How to prepare:
After being cooked you get:
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Indian Fare Tikka Vegetables again.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!