I’m really happy that Trader Joe’s has gluten-free frozen Indian food. Lunch can be a pain to plan for and sometimes you need some packaged food intervention. As usual with Trader Joe’s the product has a longer name than our title bar can hold. This is really called Trader Joe’s Paneer Tikka Masala with Spinach Basmati Rice. It is gluten-free and vegetarian. Last week I reviewed Trader Joe’s gluten-free frozen Channa Masala and thought it was really good.
Paneer is a relatively soft Indian cheese. A tikka masala is generally a creamy red lightly spiced tomato sauce. Masala by itself simply denotes a mixture of spices, and often refers to something like a curry.
The ingredient list is pretty long:
Paneer Tikka: Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid), Onions, Water, Cream, Paneer (Milk, Part Skim Milk, Vinegar, Salt), Canola Oil, Cashews, Spices, garlic, Salt, Ghee (Clarified Butter), Butter, Fenugreek leaves, Paprika Oleoresin, Turmeric, Cilantro, Milled Cane Sugar.
Spinach Pilaf: Water, Basmati Rice, Onions, Spinach, Carrots, Canola Oil, Spices, Garlic, Salt, Milled Cane Sugar, Turmeric.
The box contains one serving, which is 330 calories. 190 of those are from fat. The dish has an alarming 850 mg of salt. Luckily, I didn’t think it was so hot. I like Tikka Masala in general. There was an Indian pizza place in San Francisco and they would make a pizza that tastes a lit like the Trader Joe’s Tikka Masala, but was a lot better. What would I change? I would add less salt and more spices.
Like the Chana Masala, the Tikka Masala benefits from including something sweet like raisins or dried cranberries. It is vegetarian, gluten-free, and is easy to pack for work lunches. I just wish it was better.
We want to know: Do you have a favorite Indian restaurant in Portland? We still haven’t found one! Have you tried other Trader Joe’s Indian dishes? Do you get upset (like we do) that most of the Trader Joe’s asian cooking sauces aren’t gluten-free? Let us know in the comments!
Times we have visited: 1 (So your mileage may vary.)
Overall rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same