Trader Joe’s Shrimp Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice Review

Trader Joe's Shrimp Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice

A couple years ago, we discovered a little piece of magic in the Trader Joe’s freezer aisle. The Trader Joe’s Korma Fish Curry with Basmati Rice is the sort of meal that only comes once in a lifetime. Or so it seems. We’ve been searching for years now to find another TJ’s frozen meal that compares to the Fish Korma, and we’ve thus far come up short.

So we’re really crossing our fingers today, because we’re checking out the Trader Joe’s Shrimp Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice. Will lightning strike twice, or will this dish fail to live up to the impossibly high standards set by the Korma Fish Curry? That’s what we’re going to find out.

The Shrimp Tikka Masala is easy enough to heat. Simply pop it into the microwave for four minutes, give it a quick stir, and pop it back in for another minute or two. We found that the second round of heating only required one minute rather than two. In fact, it almost seemed done after the initial four minutes, though we decided to give it an extra minute just in case.

Trader Joe's Shrimp Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice

The star of the show here is undoubtedly the shrimp. This stuff is delicious, and it has a lovely crisp texture to it. Not crispy, but crisp — firm and satisfying to bite into, as it cracks open with a delightful snap. Unfortunately, there’s really not that much shrimp here. We had six pieces of shrimp in the entire dish.

Trader Joe's Shrimp Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice

The sauce is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here, flavor-wise. It’s a red, tomato-based sauce with a bit of spiciness to it. Unlike a lot of the spicy food we’ve tried here at Freezer Meal Frenzy, this doesn’t have the spice level that sort of accumulates as you eat it. In fact, we’d say it’s the opposite — this seemed super spicy when we took our first bite, but it became less spicy as we continued to eat.

The sauce has a pretty okay flavor, but it’s kind of subtle. We certainly wouldn’t call this flavorful. Perhaps that’s a deliberate choice to give the flavor of the shrimp more room here, but since the shrimp portion is kind of scant (and the sauce portion is really, really generous), we’re not so sure that’s the right call for this meal.

Now, the cumin rice really isn’t anything special on its own, but it really is improved by dumping the sauce onto it. The tray this meal comes in is kind of flimsy and rubbery, which means you can actually fold one side upward to get the sauce to pour into the rice. Doing this improves the meal substantially, we would say.

Now it’s time to throw down some nutrition facts, Jack! This frozen meal contains 480 calories, which is certainly above average for a frozen meal, and 430 mg of sodium, which is below average for a frozen meal. Calorie-cutters might want to be a bit wary of digging into this, while those looking to reduce their sodium intake will find this to be more appealing than a lot of the frozen food on the market.

The Trader Joe’s Shrimp Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice is pretty alright. It’s certainly no Fish Korma, but it has a decent-tasting sauce and some delightful pieces of shrimp. The spiciness is a bit difficult to pin down, but we think it’s a slight spice level that bites hard at first and sort of settles down as you eat. If all of this sounds great to you, you’ll probably really like this dish. However, if you’re just looking for some tasty Indian-inspired food, we’d recommend the Korma Fish Curry over this any day of the week.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this Trader Joe’s tikka masala, check out our package scans below.

Trader Joe's Shrimp Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice