A Keswick Curry

This week, everyone, I’d like to bring back a style of product that we haven’t seen in a long while: An exclusively cooking sauce.

An item type that I don’t often use in my daily life and, when I do, it’s usually just to amp up a left over stew. So, while I found Mahi’s three marinades pleasant enough, it takes a lot for me to actually go out and buy such a product. Something a little bit more exciting, like Mr. Vikki’s Keswick Market Curry Sauce.

A unique “curry sauce concentrate” which won me over way back when I was visiting Brighton Fiery Food Fest and checking out the stall of my favourite banana habanero chutney maker.

His freshly prepared sample was a stunningly flavourful, rich yet mild, dish. But will it still hold up, now that I’m making it at home?

From the outside, it looks very much like that chutney. Only, this time around, Mr. Vikki’s have put more emphasis on the flames, slapped on a black and red text logo for their “Chilli Mafia” brand and added a bunch of fake bullet holes, in order to ram that mob theme home.

The various shades used may be slightly different, too, or it may just be the greater quantity of dark red but, either way, it feels a touch less tacky than before. Even if it actually says less about the item inside.

I mean, what part of this newer, more fiery and more gun-shot label says “mild indian curry” to you? There’s no allusion to the regions architecture here, like there was before, and I see nothing that replaces it.

The only indication of anything useful is the thermometer, ’round the side, pointing out the product’s metaphorical temperature. Which still seems quite at odds with those large flames on the front.

Design-work aside, though, the sauce, itself, looks great.

A rich, almost creamy-looking shade of reddish, brownish-orange, with just a little bit of oil separating off the side and a whole load of seeds contained within.

Yet what actually impresses me the most is just how much I can heap onto my spoon and how little it moves when I do so. It isn’t solid, per se, but this sauce is definitely thick. Definitely as concentrated as it claims and really quite full-flavoured, too.

Straight from the spoon, its taste is as rich as its appearance. Lightly tomatoey, full of onion and with earthy turmeric and rapeseed notes. Yet there’s also a little bit of a more perfumed spice, from its mustard and cardamom, and perhaps the creamed coconut is also adding toasted notes to complement the base.

There’s only one thing that I don’t like about the uncooked curry concentrate and that’s the acidity.

Mr. Vikki’s have used citric acid – An acid naturally present most citrus fruit – to preserve their sauce and, unfortunately, I can taste it quite strongly. It makes today’s product rather tart.

But I can’t judge Mr. Vikki’s handiwork on that because, as I mentioned up top, this isn’t a pour-on sauce or a spread of any sort. It’s exclusively meant for cooking.

So here’s how it was meant to be tasted:

And, as you might hope, the vast majority of that acidity has cooked off. Only a tiny bit of tanginess remains, giving the curry slight undertones of indian pickle. Yet far less than a proper achari or 💀naga💀 style.

It’s still all about that rich, oniony and slightly earthy, red curry body, which doesn’t quite match any existing style but definitely tastes like a top-tier takeaway. A perfect indian-style sauce to pair with rich, yet otherwise lightly-flavoured meat, like my chicken. Or to add a tonne of taste to your taters, and any other veg that might take your interest, should you prefer the vegetarian/vegan option.

The Keswick Market Curry is just as enjoyable as I remember and it’s good for the whole family, too. What with its ability to pair with a wide variety of ingredients and its

heat, which anyone should be able to handle.

I can’t even detect it, once the dish is cooked, but I’m not missing it, either. And, if you are, that’s just an excuse to amp it up with some of Mr. Vikki’s other sauces and pickles. Products which I feel are almost tailor made to pair with this one.

So there you go, everyone. A delicious, rich and hearty curry, to suit all chilli tolerances. Made from:

Onion, Rapeseed Oil, Tomatoes, Garlic, Curry Powder (MUSTARD){Coriander, Turmeric, Cumin, Fenugreek, CELERY} Carrots, Cream Coconut, Salt, MUSTARD Seeds, Citric Acid, Green Cardommon, Chilli Powder & Spices.

and cooked up with an equal volume of water. Though you might find that adding a little extra water and a spoonful of gram (chickpea) flour stops the oil from separating off so much.

That’s the only change that I’d make to Mr. Vikki’s super simple recipe. Enjoy!

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