After several months of dormancy, Tuesday's Tastings makes a triumphant return with my review of Trader Joe's Butter Chicken Masala. When I was at my local Trader Joe's about a month ago, I noticed a few new frozen Indian meals that looked like they had some promise. I took a look at the ingredients of this Butter Chicken Masala and saw fenugreek, an herb commonly used in much of India's native dishes including curry. The inclusion of this herb added some credibility to Trader Joe's claim on the box that this was an "Authentic Indian Recipe"so I thought for a few dollars I would give it a try.
After about 10 minutes in the microwave - 5 minutes on defrost, 4 minutes on high, and 1 minute to cool - I peeled back the cellophane cover and was greeted with a familiar smell, that of slow cooked, tender, spicy chicken masala. The basmati rice lacked much of any fragrance and with my first bite I was greeted with some slightly rubbery grains, but the chicken was very tender, very flavorful, and actually quite good. Like many Indian dishes, the chicken was spicy, but not hot spicy, just spices spicy. It tasted very close to some real butter chicken masalas that I've eaten in India and that's a big compliment to Trader Joe. I did find that when I mixed the chicken and gravy (what Indian's call sauce) with the rice, the whole meal was very good and certainly tasted like an authentic Indian recipe.
If you like Indian food, real Indian food, I recommend you pick up some of this Trader Joe's Butter Chicken Masala the next time you're at the market. Once you've had a taste, come back here and leave a comment; let me know what you think.