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Nov 9, 2007 03:41 PM

Trader Joe's simmer sauces--any good?


So I generally labor over making my own thai green curry paste for coconut curry, and my own Indian dals, but I keep walking by the green curry and the masala simmer sauces at TJ's and have wondered how they are. It's so simple (you just add chicken!) it seems like it just can't be good! Am I wrong?

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  1. I like to use their Indian style spinach sauce with frozen chicken thighs.

    1. I wouldn't suggest that they're great, but back when I lived near a TJs in a corporate apartment with a galley kitchen, I used them at least once a week. I wouldn't suggest they're a substitute for doing it yourself, but they're not a bad compromise for the convenience.

      That said, I was less enthralled by the Indian/Middle Eastern varieties than I am the Cuban Mojo and Tangine. Probably because I'm pretty good with Indian but never tried to cook the other two.

      1. The Cuban Mojito sauce was a great marinade and sauce for grilled shrimp.

        1. We used to eat the Indian sauces frequently--usually with chicken or cauliflower. I completely overdosed on them and can't eat them anymore. When I started eating them they were a serviceable substitute for takeout Indian, but eventually they just seemed really bland and awful.

          The Thai green curry one is really fatty. Not sure if coconut milk is as fatty as the TJ's sauce--it freaks me out. Anyway, green curry is so easy to make from curry paste and cocunut milk--why bother with the canned stuff.

          1. I would say that they are okay -- good for emergencies.

            I generally dislike their Indian food in the boil-a-bag pouch things. Despite the claim on their package that they've been simmered for days, the spices taste rather raw and abrasive. In other words, the simmer sauces are better, in my opinion; maybe because you are supposed to cook them.

            And yes, coconut milk is very fatty. Some people say it's a very healthy fat; others say that it's a very unhealthy fat. I think the best course is just not to think about it.

            4 Replies
            1. re: willownt

              If you open a can of coconut milk that has been on the shelf for a while, you will find that there is an inch thick layer of coconut fat/cream on top. Normally that is mixed in so you get the full flavor and body in your dish. There are 'lite' versions, presumably with some of this fat removed.

              1. re: paulj

                I don't have a problem with it. I just don't spend a lot of time contemplating it, but yes, I know there's a lot of fat in there.

              2. re: willownt

                I will say I love the Tastybites Madras Lentils in the foil pouch at TJ's. :)

                1. re: Bratdawg

                  I've got a couple of Tastybite foil packs I like for a quick & lazy lunch. I also find it amusing that the company is a supplier for MREs for the Indian Army.