TJ’s Indian Masala Simmer Sauce


Trader Joe’s Indian Masala Simmer Sauce makes a wonderful base for authentic Indian meals.
Masala Simmer Sauce is a Indian style spiced tomato-based sauce which can be used as the main sauce component to easily make a tasty Indian inspired dish that could come together in as little as 15-20 minutes. We made a very tasty Indian style stewed dish with chicken and vegetables using the Masala simmer sauce. It turned out really tasty, served with basmati rice and Naan and some chutney. The sauce is concentrated so you can thin it with water as they suggest (TIP: after emptying the jar into the pot just half-fill it with 8 oz of water, shake it up and pour that into your pot). Or if you want to make a coconut milk version use 8 oz of coconut milk instead of water. I haven’t tried that yet but I know that would make a wonderful dish.

The spices used in this include: pureed ginger, tumeric, cumin, fenugreek, red pepper, cinnamon and clove. All of which combine perfectly with the tomato base to make a very delicious combo. Naturally there’s nothing stopping you from adding some more spices, and I’m in that camp. I had added additional chopped ginger and fresh garlic plus a 1/2 chopped onion which I browned up first in some ghee (butter) before adding the sauce. As they suggest on the label, this sauce works very well to make a stewed dish with boneless chicken, either breast or thigh meat. Even tastier might be chicken on the bone which one would cook 20 minutes more but boneless works fine and is easy. Add in some frozen veggies (peas, or haricot vert green beans, or edamame) during the last five minutes if you like. I do. Serve the finished dish with basmati rice and some Naan for sopping up all that delicious sauce. We ate this with TJ’s MANGO GINGER CHUTNEY which matched beautifully. Of course one can make this strictly vegan or vegetarian. Just use either tofu and/or just vegetables (veggies, plus beans for protein like chick peas or lentils….) In short, TJ”s MASALA SIMMER SAUCE can be the base of a very tasty dish which is easy and delicious. A 15 oz jar was $2.69.

TJ’s TANDOORI NAAN (frozen)


I really enjoy the Naan Indian breads that TJ carries. These frozen Naan breads are tasty and super convenient, only requiring warming up. They are “handmade in India”. A package of 4 Naan is just $1.99, wow! TJ sells two frozen versions, this plain Tandoori Naan and a Garlic Tandoori Naan version which includes garlic and cilantro. I buy a pack of each kind to keep in the freezer. They’re both really convenient and quite good.

Naan breads can be used for so many things. Of course these flat-breads go great with any of TJ’s pretty numerous Indian food offerings but Naan can be used anywhere a flatbread type bread would be good… with saucy foods, soups, etc. Bake these with cheese on top, or some ham or prosciutto, and you have a terrific easy creation. Pizza with sauce? Sure, I’ve done them that way*. Your imagination is the limit on what you can do with these.

To heat them you can throw these into a regular or toaster oven, or sometimes just throw them in a cast iron pan. Hit them with some olive oil or butter or ghee and they become even more tasty and a little crispier. I sometimes add butter and fresh crushed garlic and these are fab. Or just buy the excellent Garlic Naan version if you don’t want to smash your own fresh garlic. The Garlic Naan ones are really flavorful with some green stuff (cilantro or scallions).

So with your next TJ Indian feast, grab some Naan while you’re at it. A package of maybe TJ’s frozen Channa Masala ($2.29 and delicious) or foil pack of Tadka Dal ($1.99) plus some Naan and some tomato and you have a dinner in 3 minutes for a few bucks that is as good some takeout. I even made my own Tadka Dal and ate it with this Naan. Since I had extra dal, I gave some and 2 naan to my upstairs neighbors who thanked me profusely and told me they devoured it in minutes and that it was as good as an Indian restaurant.

TJ also sells some non-frozen Naan breads in the fresh Bread section. These Naan however cost more, they’re bigger and thicker.

  • You can make these in pizzas using Naan as your base. These naan are kind of thin so if you want a bit thicker base, get the fresh Naan version TJ carries in the fresh breads section. Though they sell a Pizza base there too!

RAVE

TJ RECIPE: Channa Masala Tomato Soup


This is a reprint of a Recipe combining 3 or 4 things reprinted from TJ’s Fearless Flyer here. I have not tried it yet but it sounds like it would be good, and will make this at some point in the future. Generally I have found some TJ Indian items to be pretty good. Also, I didn’t know about Malabari Paratha but found info on it here, in another Fearless Flyer

Channa Masala Tomato Soup

Overhead view of Channa Masala tomato soup in bowls, garnished with sour cream, and served alongside Malabari Paratha for dipping

A veteran of our line of frozen Indian entrées, Trader Joe’s Channa Masala is moderately spicy, belly-warming, and undeniably comforting—basically everything you’re looking for when it comes to cold weather cuisine. Paired with full-flavored Organic Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup, it’s ready before you can ask “What’s for lunch?” (Well, almost.) Don’t forget to warm up Trader Joe’s Malabari Paratha for dipping!

DIRECTIONS

Add soup to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally.

While soup heats, microwave channa masala according to package directions; stir.

Divide soup among 4 shallow serving bowls. Divide channa masala and gently spoon atop center of soup. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. Enjoy!