Tikka masala is one of the most iconic Indian food flavors in the U.S. and over the past couple of years, I’ve been seeing lots of new tikka masala products in the stores. And since I’m a huge fan, I had to give Trader Joe’s Mini Chicken Tikka Samosas a try recently. If these frozen appetizers are new to you, be sure to keep reading what I have to say about them and see my Exclusive Two Cousins Cart Review at the bottom of this post!
What are Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Samosas?
Before I get to the heart of what these frozen appetizers are, let’s first chat quickly about what tikka actually is. I know some of you are familiar with the Indian dish called tikka masala, but I know some of you may not be as well.
What Is Chicken Tikka Masala?
Tikka masala is a spiced sauce that’s common in Indian cooking. The base of the sauce is made with spices like garam masala, paprika, ground cumin, and turmeric, as well as fresh garlic, fresh ginger, diced onions, and tomatoes. All of the spices combine to make the most delicious and aromatic sauce EVER!
You can make chicken tikka masala by simmering cubed chicken in the masala sauce.
Chicken Tikka Samosas
Samosas are triangular-shaped Indian street food that have a fried, crispy crust filled with a variety of Indian-inspired fillings like vegetables, potatoes, meats, and legumes. You can compare them with pasties in the UK, hand pies in the US, or Spanish empanadas.
So, the Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala Samosas are savory pastries filled with a small amount of chicken tikka masala and wrapped in flaky pastry crust. While there isn’t much of it in each mini samosa, the filling tastes like chicken tikka masala but without much spicy heat.
The crispy pastry crust might have been my favorite part of these samosas though! It’s different from the phyllo dough the Buffalo Chicken Poppers are wrapped in and not as flaky as puff pastry. The samosas crackle when you bite into them – they’re so crispy!
The crust is more like a wonton wrapper, like what I used years ago for these Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls, yet it’s more tender and pastry-like than wontons wrappers are.
In any event, the flaky pockets for these samosas are excellent and I’m curious to see if I can replicate the recipe at home so I can make these samosas from scratch!
Where In the Store?
You can find the Mini Chicken Tikka Samosas in the Frozen aisle of Trader Joe’s in the Indian-inspired section along with the Garlic Naan and Chicken Tikka Masala dinners.
How to Cook and Serve These Mini Chicken Tikka Samosas
We air fried these samosas and they turned out perfectly crispy and browned. I love using the air fryer to make small batches of snacks like these!
Air Fryer Instructions
Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s still hasn’t put air fryer cooking instructions on their packages so I had to wing the baking time a little. In case you want to air fry them yourself, I air fried these samosas for about 8 or 9 minutes at 400 degrees F.
I made a few of the samosas for lunch one day recently and dipped them in some of Trader Joe’s Tzatziki, a garlicky Greek yogurt cucumber sauce. If you don’t have any tzatziki on hand, you can easily make your own!
Tzatziki is a Greek-inspired dip usually served on top of gyros but I think it’s versatile enough for dipping things like these samosas and for using as a dressing in my Middle Eastern-inspired falafel bowls.
If you’re not into tzatziki, try some garlic or red pepper hummus to dip these samosas into!
The long and short of it with these Chicken Tikka Samosas is that they’re good. They’re not excellent, but I wouldn’t pass them up if they were passed around to me at a party.
The flaky pastry crust was, by far, the best part of these samosas. As the box suggests, it was definitely crispy and I love how the convection heat of the air fryer browned them so nicely all over.
The filling was just OK at best. It was flavorful, with the usual tikka masala flavors I mentioned above, but I didn’t feel like the flavor “popped” enough. Know what I mean?
What I think I disliked most about the filling was that the chicken was so finely shredded that it was almost pureed.
I would have loved for the chicken to be chopped and mixed into the samosa sauce. This would have given the filling a little more texture and it would have filled the pastry up a little more.
The baked pastry was a little hollow because the filling was so soft and that left me feeling like I didn’t get my money’s worth from these appetizers. Womp womp!
Buy It Again?
I’m sad to say that I won’t be buying these samosas again. They had such potential to be a fantastic snack, appetizer, or light lunch but they just fell short for me. Oh well!