Indian food is one of my family’s favorite meals. We enjoy getting it takeout-style from a local restaurant, but when we can’t order from a restaurant we like to try different Indian dishes from local grocery stores, whether it’s Aldi, an international grocery store, or even Trader Joe’s. Most of the time, grocery store Indian food does not compare to restaurant Indian food, but every once in a while we find something that is a good attempt.
One Indian entree at Aldi’s cousin, Trader Joe’s, that pleasantly surprised us was this paneer tikka masala.
Trader Joe’s Paneer Tikka Masala with Spinach Basmati Rice cost $2.99 for a 9-ounce package at the time of writing.
This consists of paneer cheese cubes in a tikka masala sauce, with a side of (green) basmati rice. It is sold frozen and is a vegetarian product.
Ingredients are mostly straightforward: tomatoes, onions, water, paneer, canola oil, cream, instant nonfat dry milk, spices, cashews, garlic, butter, sugar, salt, tapioca starch, ghee, fenugreek leaves, cilantro, turmeric, oleoresin of paprika, basmati rice, spinach, and carrots.
If you’re avoiding allergens, this contains milk and cashews.
One container has one 255-gram serving. One serving has 410 calories, 23 grams of total fat (29% DV), 6 grams of saturated fat (30% DV), 30 mg of cholesterol (10% DV), 760 mg of sodium (33% DV), 39 grams of total carbohydrates (14% DV), 6 grams of dietary fiber (21% DV), 6 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of added sugars (2% DV), and 15 grams of protein.
It has instructions for heating in the microwave or in a conventional oven.
To microwave, remove the tray from the carton and puncture the film 2-3 times. Heat on the high setting for 2 minutes. Carefully peel the film back enough to stir gently. Then heat for an additional 2 minutes. Let the tray sit for 2 minutes. then carefully remove the film to avoid steam burns, and serve.
To heat in the oven, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the tray on a baking sheet on the center rack (do not place the tray directly on the oven rack). Heat for approximately 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Carefully remove the film and gently stir before serving.
I baked this, and my family thought it was good. There are plenty of paneer cubes swimming in a generous amount of tikka masala sauce. It’s not spicy but it was quite flavorful. While the rice looks unusual because it is green, it tasted a lot like normal basmati rice to us.
This is a dish I’d buy again. It makes an easy and delicious lunch for one whether you’re eating at home or taking it to microwave at work or school.
Trader Joe’s Paneer Tikka Masala with Spinach Basmati Rice has generous amounts of paneer and sauce, and it’s flavorful and easy to heat. Recommended.