Trader Joe’s Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable BiryaniTrader Joe’s Vegetable Biryani with Vegetable Dumplings. I’ve never been to India but I have always wanted to visit at some point in my life. My wife went years ago, before we had kids on her own on a trip for women studies as a part of her degree work at the university. She spent 3 weeks there and while she thought most of it was crowded and filthy, the people were beautiful and the food was excellent. Fast forward several years, I work in the tech industry outside of Seattle. Mostly dominated by Microsoft where there are more than their fair share of Indian programmers. It’s not uncommon to eat at Indian restaurants for lunch and visit Indian markets for food. I have worked with many Indians in the tech industry and the vast majority of them are vegetarians. They have known no other way and if I was every to be a vegetarian, I would eat a heavy rotation of Indian food.

 

biryaniI have no idea why Trader Joe’s tries to make fake meat all the time. Most of them are gawd awful and I don’t know why anyone would purposely eat them. Chicken-less nuggets? Even my dog wouldn’t eat them! Needless to say that Trader Joe’s offers up a variety of other vegetarian and vegan dishes that have way more flavor and enough protein to keep even me satisfied.

Biryani is mainly a rice dish. I can have meat or just vegetables. I am not much of an expert on Indian food, but I have had my fair share of Biryani and they can vary widely depending on region. I’ve heard that some restaurants can have many different preparations on the menu. Obviously this one is vegetarian. I think they are trying to cater to the vegetarian crowd. Probably not a whole lot of Indians eating this dish, but I could be wrong. I think it is a product of India so it’s pretty authentic, at least from an ingredient standpoint. I also don’t know why this dish isn’t vegan, there is not a bit of eggs, meat or cheese that I can find. I would definitely list this as vegan.

I think the big difference with this dish is the vegetable dumplings. I’m not sure that is a traditional preparation, but it sure looks appetizing on the cover of the box. I have to say this is one of the better “heat in the microwave” dishes I’ve ever had from Trader Joe’s! Preparation is simple. Poke holes in the plastic and stick in microwave for 4 minutes. Trader Joe’s lists this as two servings, but in reality it’s a good meal for someone like me at lunch. I really liked the flavor of the rice. Lots of good spices and full flavor. The “dumplings” look like little meatballs, but once you pop one in your mouth you’ll realize that they are more like pastry bites with some vegetables in them but savory and full of flavor. I really liked this dish and I am running out to Trader Joe’s and buying more for the freezer so I can take them to work! I am going to give this product 9 Bells!

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11 Replies to “Trader Joe’s Vegetable Biryani”

  1. you should have tried the bags of frozen biryani they had but discontinued…that was even better, and the bags properly allowed the ‘pour out servings as needed’ – not an option with the single serving dishes…

    1. For some reason I never tried the bags of biryani so I can’t tell you how it was. I found that the single serving dish was (trader joe’s actually says there are two in the box) to be just right for me and not too much.

  2. A Trader Joe’s representative informed me that this biryani is not marked vegan because the sugar cannot be verified as not being bone-char processed, which is one of their requirements for the label.

    This product is more authentic than the bagged version, but they are (were) both very tasty! This one is even better when heated in the oven, so the nuts and dumplings get a little roasted. The dumplings mimic an Indian favorite “soya chunk” which is often a meat substitute in biryanis and other dishes.

    1. I have been wanting to venture into Indian cuisine, but do not handle spicy very well. I can do a mild spice, but nothing too much more. I was wondering if ya’ll had some good recommendations. Frozen or fresh 🙂

      1. I have found all the frozen Indian food pretty darn good and not a whole lot of heat, if that’s what you are worried about. There isn’t too much fresh Indian food. There are some canned Indian food that is ok, not great.

      2. I agree with Steve, all of the frozen Indian dishes at Trader Joe’s are good and mild. Before I cut out milk, the “Paneer Tikka Masala” dish with spinach rice was one I was absolutely obsessed with. My boyfriend loves their bags of “Jaipur Vegetables” (not frozen). The frozen dishes taste pretty authentic, and as Steve said, the cans are only OK, they are very salty and not as “authentic”… “Fresh” bags are OK too, but not as authentic-tasting to me.

        I believe Trader Joe’s will let you return any item if you are not satisfied, so try them all! 🙂 If you are concerned about the spice, you can do what Indians do: use “raita” – cold, unsweetened/plain yogurt as an accompaniment to the meal to cool down your tongue.

        Good luck! I really adore South Asian food (but very spicy!) and I hope you enjoy it as well 🙂

  3. They’re not all mild. The Lamb Vindaloo has some real kick to it (and is good). If you want something particularly mild but flavorful, this dish is the one I’d recommend trying as a side. After that, for something a bit more intense I’d try the Aloo Chaat Kati pouches, described elsewhere as “Indian Vegetable Hot Pockets”, nice strong taste.

  4. I really enjoyed this dish. I am not able to tolerate very much spice so this is perfect for my taste buds. I like the different textures and sweet and mild flavors throughout the dish. The rice is cooked perfectly.

  5. This is pretty unappealing and greasy compared to the original biryani curried rice in the bag which was fat free and YUMMY! Now you added tasteless dumplings with less veggies and raisins. Even my kids refuse to eat it. PLEASE bring back the original !!!!!!!

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