South Indian Chutney

Hello again, everybody. We’re finally nearing the end of my Reading Chilli Fest review backlog but, rest assured, some of the best are still to come. As well as one of the weirdest:

Manjira

Today’s product is a pachardi – Something that I’d never even heard of, before the event. Looking into it, though, it appears to be akin to a chutney or pickle and is traditionally either served as a side or used as the base of a curry. Much as an achari would use a regular chutney or one might use Mr Naga, if they’re looking for serious heat.

Where the pachadi sets itself apart, though, is in its high coconut content and the use of oil, rather than acid, for preservation. And, when made fresh, it’s often blended with yoghurt to form the keralan equivalent of a raita.

So, that’s what Manjira’s set out to popularise, here in the west – Quite literally a different side of indian cooking. But how does her “Hot Garlic” version of the “South Indian Chutney” hold up?

Continue reading

Curry in a Bottle

Welcome to june, everyone. To kick this month off in a rather special way, I’m looking at a pair of imported hot sauces that harken back to the dreams of my youth.

Coconut.jpg

Byron Bay’s Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce, imported from australia by my good friend Matt Tangent, of Aussie Hot Sauces. And Hell’s Kitchen’s Rockin’ Rasta from the US, first imported by Russel of Grim Reaper Foods but, more recently, picked up by the UK’s largest importers, Hot-Headz.

And, if you’re one of my UK readers, you might recognise the coconut sauce on the left. It may be made in australia now but, until about a year ago, Byron Bay had a partner company producing it over here, as well. Matt actually brought this one over at my request, since I really wanted to talk about it. Thanks dude!

Yet, as excited as I am for the return of the Byron Bay range, theirs isn’t the only sauce on display today. Or even the only coconut one.

Neither of today’s items are quite the korma in a bottle that young me wished for but both are delicious, creamy, rich and sweet, coconut-based, curry sauces, all the same. Ones that my ten-year-old self would have been overjoyed to own.

So the question is: Do they still hold up to the more refined tastes of my mid-twenties?

Continue reading

Hot & Cool

As one bottle reaches its end, another two come to light. For today, dear readers, we’re taking another look at Daddy Cool’s. At his Ghost Pepper Extreme and Jeepers Reapers Revenge.

Coolbottles

Two of his hottest sauces, both in rather more current packaging than my past reviews, yet absolutely nothing to do with 📽️ the other Jeepers Reapers 📽️ that I tried. And still equally unrelated to Star wars.

But, while these sauces may be made for heat, they have a lot more going on than just that.

The Ghost Pepper Extreme is made with butternut squash, coconut water and an assortment of smoked ingredients to enhance the bhut’s flavour, while Jeepers Reapers Revenge contains scotch bonnet, roasted tomato and papaya to compliment its reaper chilli. I can’t say that I fully understand what that means for either but, having had Steve Cooley’s products before, I’m expecting the best.

Especially as this is only the second reaper sauce that I’ve seen boast a great taste award.

Continue reading

Spirit of the Caribbean

Happy tuesday again people, it’s time for us to return to wales and experience a second sauce from Chilli of the Valley. One with the same pineapple and coconut flavours that ruined Saucey Lady’s Fireman’s Watch for me but one that gives them the centre stage, instead of pairing them badly with other, more savoury fruit.

This one is their Calypso – A sauce designed to mimic the classic piña colada cocktail’s flavours, with pineapple, coconut and rum.

Calypso

And this time, I see no reason why they won’t work.

To be truly sure, though, I’m going to have to put this sauce to the test.

Continue reading

Dragon’s Breath Chocolate

Hey there chilli lovers, it’s the weekend again and, this week, I feel like paying a little tribute to one of my fellow bloggers.

Not a pure food blogger this time, like I’ve Got Cake’s Dana (who inspired my superhot brownie recipe), but one who I’m a big fan of all the same. One who’s stunning pictures of the australian landscape feed my love of bright colours through winter just as much as their recipes make me hungry throughout the rest of the year.

Today, we’re looking at Eat Live Escape and the simple tweaks that turn their recent Dark Cherry Chocolate Bark into an insanely hot, chilli lover’s treat.

Do be warned before I begin, though: This isn’t for the faint of heart or tongue. Today’s recipe uses one of the world’s hottest chillies and winds up reaching a crazy

7.5/10

Heat

that comes close to double the strength of my own hottest past recipes, let alone what restaurants will typically serve. And it’s not like you’ll just be putting a little bit on your meal like with a sauce, either.

If you’re sure you know what you’re getting into, feel free to click on through to the recipe but don’t say I didn’t warn you. For even most chilli fans, ELE’s original recipe will likely be more suitable. My chocolate bark really is just for the select few who eat things unreasonably hot.

Continue reading

Rhubarb Red

Today, everyone, I have another fruity red sauce for you but, even so, it’s nothing like the one that you saw last week. No, what we’re going to be looking at this time is another of the sauces I got from Saucey Lady and one that, as a specifically UK-based reviewer, I couldn’t pass up.

FiremanBottle

You see, this sauce, known as their “Fireman’s Watch”, is primarily a blend of scotch bonnets and the one fruit that yorkshire is really known for: Rhubarb.

Continue reading

White-Label Wonders

So this tuesday we’re going to be looking at another pair of products but it’s not a comparison post.

Instead, I have for you a couple of white label items from a single seller that we’ve already seen stuff from. It’s Daddy Cool’s!

Back again with some rather unusual recipes.

Continue reading

Cooking With Vanilla

Hey folks, it’s the last weekend of the month so it’s time for another recipe. This one, however, is a little different to most.

It’s an adaptation of something I found in Janet Sawyer’s vanilla cookbook, kept mild and made vegetarian (vegan even) to suit the relatives I’m eating with. Yet, for those who do want it, I’ll be giving instructions on how to sub the meat back in.

The tofu may add texture to the dish and it’s an unusual but lovely vanilla curry either way but, for those who do eat it, chicken would most definitely help to bring the flavours together and give them a base on which to build.

Regardless of which version you choose to make, though, I’ve made a few other tweaks to ensure that you get the best possible flavour from the curry, while also highlighting a more interesting chilli.

Continue reading

Formerly Mild

Hey everyone, this week it’s recipe week and I’d like to talk to you about one of my favourite curries.

The humble korma, however, doesn’t have the best of reputations, being considered both too mild and too desert-like to be called a “proper curry” by many.

It’s the sweet, rich, creamy, coconut-heavy and utterly chilli free dish used to introduce people to the spices of indian cuisine but, in my opinion, it’s a little more than that.

Made well, the almond, coconut and dairy base of this dish gives it the unique, rich, mild and milky flavour you might expect, ideal to be built upon with other things, such as its often quite complex spice palette. In fact, it’s a perfect carrier for these spices because, as with chilli, their flavours are mostly oil based, allowing them to be absorbed into the milk fats quite easily to spread throughout the meal.

But, depending on where you look, you’ll see many variations on the korma, some of which have rather different ideas on what flavours should permeate its thick, underlying sauce.

Continue reading