Oak Tree Rd
Trader Joe's Princeton
3528 Brunswick Pike
Princeton, NJ 08540
Other New Jersey Indian Restaurants
Trader Joe's Princeton: A Brahmin's Friend
If you ask me, a lot of Indian restaurants in New Jersey exist solely to part you from your hard-earned money.
The food is seldom flavorful and the service often below par at several New Jersey Indian restaurants in Edison, Iselin, Princeton and Jersey City!
Unless you have an attractive Groupon deal, I'd recommend you shun Indian restaurants.
So what do you do if you have a constant craving for curries and other Indian food items.
If you're like me, you'll head to your local Trader Joe's.
During a recent visit to Trader Joe's, I picked up several Indian curry packets, Biryani and appetizers.
Here's my take on a few Indian Vegetarian treats at Trader Joe's.
Vegetable PakoraAmong the items I dropped into my red cart at Trader Joe's was Vegetable Pakoras.
Vegetable Pakoras are often served as appetizers at Indian restaurants and a constant fixture at 99% of lunch buffets.
Priced at $3.99, Trader Joe's Vegetable Pakora box included 10 pieces neatly packed in a plastic bag.
To my delight, there was a small pouch of Tamarind Sauce.
As any Indian will tell you, Pakoras are best with Tamarind Sauce or Chutneys.
Vegetable Pakoras - $3.99 for 10 pieces & Sauce
Ingredients of the Vegetable Pakoras included Potato, Spinach, and Onion.
To my great delight, the Pakoras were well cooked and more importantly very tasty.
Vegetable Pakoras - Inside Story
The accompanying Sauce with a strong flavor of tamarind was tangy and yummy.
Vegetable Pakoras and Sauce
Easily one of the best Tamarind Sauces I have had in recent times.
Hey it is better than the one doled out by most New Jersey Indian restaurants.
NutritionServing Size 4 Pakoras & 1 tbsp Sauce: 97g
Servings Per Container: 2.5
Calories per Serving: 150
Calories from Fat: 50
Madras LentilsPleased with the Vegetable Pakoras, I moved on to Trader Joe's heat-and-eat Madras Lentils curry packet.
Tip - Unlike Vegetable Pakoras, the Madras Lentils packet is not kept in the frozen food section.
The mildly spiced Madras Lentils turned out to be creamy and medium thick.
Madras Lentils - $1.99
Serving size was decent and easily sufficient for two meals for a light eater.
Madras Lentils a.k.a Dal Makhani was so good that I literally scrapped it till the last drop with the Trader Joe's Tandoori Naan bread that I picked.
Though my spice hardened Indian tastebuds found it mildly spiced, Trader Joe's Dal Makhani heat and eat packet was tastier than the one served at a lot of Indian restaurants in NYC, Philly and NJ.
Tandoori Naan - $2.29 for 4
Folks, the Madras Lentils at Trader Joe's is a steal for $1.99.
Most New Jersey Indian restaurants charge $7.99 - $11.99 for Dal Makhani entree which is usually nothing but finely cooked lentils devoid of any flavor.
NutritionServing Size 1/2 Package: 142g/5oz
Servings Per Container: 2
Calories per Serving: 130
Calories from Fat: 45
Vegetable BiryaniOn rare occasions, when it rains it pours blessings.
Vegetable Biryani with Dumplings - $2.49
That's exactly what happened to me with Trader Joe's Vegetable Biryani with Dumplings ($2.49).
There were several things in favor of Trader Joe's Vegetable Biryani with Dumplings:
Vegetable Biryani with Dumplings - Inside Story
- First, Basmati rice was cooked to perfect texture - Neither dry nor pasty.
- Second, Biryani rice packed a fine aromatic flavor of Biryani spices
- Third, Trader Joe's Vegetable Biryani with Dumplings included Lima Beans, Red Pepper, Green Peas, lots of Cashew Nuts and dry Grapes
- Fourth, the Biryani rice came with five small vegetable dumplings prepared with mashed Potato, Cilantro, Carrot, Green Chilli. While the dumplings were tasty they were a bit rubbery in texture.
- Fifth, Trader Joe's Vegetable Biryani with Dumplings packed right amount of grease without suffering from either too much oil or dryness.
- Finally, the serving size for $2.49 price paid was decent and sufficient for one meal for a light eater.
NutritionServing Size 1/2 Tray: 142g/5oz
Servings Per Container: 2
Calories per Serving: 260
Calories from Fat: 70
Trader Joe's PrincetonLike me, if you're as tired of the crappy Indian food and crappier service doled out by Indian restaurants in New Jersey, I recommend you head to Trader Joe's.
Spend some time at the frozen food section as well as at the regular aisles. There's plenty of Indian vegetarian and meat items at Trader Joe's to get you salivating.
I bet you'll strike gold with some nice Indian curries or appetizers like I did with the Pakoras, Biryani and Madras Lentils at Trader Joe's. - © Sagar.com