Review: Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo

I’d estimate at least 10% of me is curry at any given time. In fact that’s probably an underestimation. Lets just say, I’m a curry fan. Dopiaza to Dhansak, Korma to Keema – I’m there, and I want it all. Couple my love of Indian cuisine’s rich flavors with Trader Joe’s quality products – surely a match made in heaven?

The initial aroma and flavor from the dish is one of earthy richness: clove and garlic and coriander. It’s a rather encouraging smell as the dish slowly rotates to temp on the microwave platter.

The final finished flavor isn’t quite what I’d expect in this type of curry though. I’d prefer far more punch from a vindaloo dish; a more aggressive and riotous spice level plus a discernibly sharper stroke of vinegar cutting through the whole plate. That’s not to say this isn’t all quite tasty and plenty enjoyable – it just doesn’t have the boldness and vibrancy I’d truly love to taste. If a real vindaloo is punk rock, this is adult orientated rock.

Another slightly ding against the overall score, is the rather modest amount of lamb, lean though it is. I understand this product is substantially cheaper than a restaurant dish (see below for prices) but still, my curry came with two pieces of lamb which felt a little meagre. I ended up adding some extra Trader Joe’s gyro meat, pan fried in a little Indian seasoning to round things out. Oh, and a Trader Joe naan bread too. O.k. I’m a little piggie, I know.

Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo – what’s in the box?

Inside the outer cardboard packaging is a fairly routine microwaveable meal sleeve. You know the type: pierce the plastic, cook, give a brief stir and cook to completion. The curry and rice are separated too.

Trader Joe's Lamb Vindaloo - what's in the box
Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo – what’s in the box

Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo

Here’s the final product cooked. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to take pretty curry photos. So. Much. Brown. That said here you’ll see I’ve served it with a little lime pickle, and in the shot below that, the extra Trader Joe’s gyro meat I seasoned with Indian spices to bulk the plate out a little.

Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo plated
Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo plated
Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo lamb closeup
Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo lamb closeup

Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo cooking instructions, nutrition and ingredients

I cooked the curry per the microwave instructions which I found to be pitch perfect. I have a fairly mediocre microwave all said and done, but the 4ish minute cook time was fine for me.

Trader Joe's Lamb Vindaloo cooking instructions, nutrition and ingredients
Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo cooking instructions, nutrition and ingredients
Trader Joe's Lamb Vindaloo package front
Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo
  • Overall

Is Trader Joe's Lamb Vindaloo curry any good?

This is a decent Indian curry and certainly enjoyable. That said, the gravy lacks the real intensity of a true vindaloo and the lamb, while lean, is rather scant overall. Not to be overlooked, but you might want to add a naan, appetizer or extra protein to the final dish.

How much does Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo cost?

I paid $4.49 for this as of December 2018. The price isn’t terrible compared to local Indian restaurants. A restaurant quality lamb curry (with commensurately more meat) would cost me $14-$18. Not that I’m suggesting you should eat two of these once by any means…but it’d still be probably cheaper than a restaurant to do so.

Other Trader Joe’s products

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1 thought on “Review: Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo”

  1. Had the Trader Joe’s Vindaloo Lamb today. Yuck. Are they using mutton now? It waa like stew meat only less tasty. Very disappointing.


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