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Trader Joe’s Indian Fare Palak Paneer (10.5 oz.)

Item Purchased: Trader Joe’s Indian Fare Palak Paneer (10.5 oz.)
Location Purchased: Trader Joe’s / 1840 N. Clybourn Ave. / Chicago, IL
Price: $1.99 + tax

Review: Palak Paneer is one of my favorite (and one of the most ubiquitous) dishes in Indian cuisine. I don’t usually like to go the convenience route with a dish I enjoy so much, but while browsing the aisles at Trader Joe’s I just couldn’t resist.

Palak Paneer looks like a leftover fluid prop from The Exorcist, but don’t let that turn you off. The pea-colored viscous stew in Palak Paneer is a mixture of pressure cooked spinach, garam masala, garlic, ginger, green chili paste and a handful of other spices. The cubed chunks are a form of mild unaged cheese (no rennet used in its making, for those of you who are strict vegetarians) called Paneer. The dish can range from mild to hold-on-to-your-hats spicy. I prefer the latter.

I didn’t expect much from this modest and inexpensive box of pre-made palak paneer. It has been so long since I have had Indian food, that I would have been happy with something resembling it the way Chef Boyardee foods resemble fresh pasta.

To my surprise, this boil-in-bag convenience food was not only moderate in flavor, but extreme in spiciness. Despite all of the reaching for my water glass that eating this stuff caused me to partake in, the mild-but-competent flavor was still present and somewhat impressive.

Though nowhere near the quality of flavor that one can get on Devon Ave. here in Chicago, Trader Joe’s Palak Paneer is a convenience product I can get my taste buds behind.

Rating: 3.75 / 5

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