The Chocolate Curry Combo

Hey folks, today’s going to be a bit of a weird one.

You see, I’m celebrating international chocolate day, for the very last time, but it’s also the end of national curry week. The same bizarre blend of food holidays that we saw in twenty eighteen but, this time around, it falls on a tuesday.

So, instead of a recipe, I’m bringing you a thematic review. Or two, since I have nothing on hand to match both celebrations and haven’t had since Monteƶuma’s satay bar.

That said, though, I still think I’ve got some pretty exciting products to share with you today:

Fire Foods’ Tandoori Butter and The Chilli Alchemist’s Dark Matter chocolate.

One’s a blend of indian spices with a peanut butter base and the other’s a seventy percent dark chocolate with mint and popping candy, in tribute to the Alchemist’s Melliculus range. The first thing to come from the brand since Russell, of Grim Reaper Foods, took over.

Though it’s taken me a little while to get to it, because I wanted to hold off on writing about this one until its second batch.

I’ll explain why that is and why I won’t be celebrating international chocolate day again in my main post but first, I want to quickly mention the one thing that links today’s two products: Their use of ghost pepper.

Probably not a tonne of it, judging by everything else that I’ve had from Fire Foods and the Grim Reaper. Just enough to provide a pleasant, medium warmth and maybe some of that delicious, full-bodied, red chilli flavour.

Let’s have a closer look, shall we?

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Cauliflower Curry Bites

Happy national curry week, everyone! It’s back around again and, oncemore, I really wanted to put together a topical recipe for the occasion.

But I also wanted it to be a bit different to my other curry recipes and, after a little deliberation, I figured that it’d be fun to try out something from one of my favourite producers – Daddy Cool’s.

Now, this little dish of his isn’t the main event. It’s not strictly a curry but it’s a pleasant side, made using his gorgeous Okra and Garlic Pickle, to carry its delicious flavour through these light potato and cauliflower bites:

A particularly delightful addition to your curry platter, if not a delightful recipe to follow.

Hopefully I can fix its issues for you.

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Feeling Phaal

Hey folks, it’s the last weekend of the month and, as always, that means that it’s recipe time. For july, though, I felt like going quite a bit hotter than usual and making something with trinidad scorpion.

Why? I’m honestly not sure.

Perhaps being cooped up indoors has got me craving some excitement in my life. Perhaps I’m in the mood for some fiery, acidic flavour. Or perhaps it was simply the desire to see a new number on my recipe page.

Whatever the case may be, I felt like half-arsing a phaal, this month. Making a simple, flavourful and at least semi-faithful recreation of a superhot, british curry, without all the effort involved in the real dish.

One which utilised my old shakshuka recipe as a starting point, in order to do away with the need for fresh ingredients and use only store cupboard essentials.

Well, so long as you, like me, consider indian spices and dried superhot chillies essential…

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Tri-Garlic Time

Hey folks, I’ve had this review in the back of my mind for a while now and, with so much sweet stuff on the site lately, I reckon now’s the perfect time for it. The ideal moment for the savoury garlic comparison that I’ve been planning ever since a garlic sauce proved my favourite in my tri-ginger tournament.

So, let’s meet the contestants, shall we?

GarlicTrio

On the left, we have Torchbearer Sauces’ Garlic Reaper, as seen on Hot One’s eighth season. Probably the hottest of the bunch and definitely the palest, creamiest looking.

Then, on the right, we see Fire Foods’ Fire Garlic, with its equally to the point name and the bold, yet uninformative, branding that we’ve seen on all of the company’s products.

And finally, in the middle, lies Chilliscrumptious’ First Date. A sauce who’s packaging could say everything or nothing, depending on how much you’re willing to turn the bottle. Here it is from a couple different angles to show you what I mean:

FDPair

The art, company name and sauce name are all on different sides, making this bottle a real pain in the neck to display, but the garlic bulbs in the background certainly ram home what it’s all about and I did love their coffee sauce.

So I have to know, how does this little scotch bonnet number stack up against the ghost and reaper of its equally garlic-themed competitors?

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Joker Ramen

Hey folks, it’s recipe time again but, this month, I’m doing something that I haven’t done in a while – Reviewing someone else’s recipe.

You see, as I mentioned at the beginning of the year, I’ve had plans for ramen for quite a while. Yet my dreams of fiery tonkotsu were scuppered at the very start.

As it turns out, that milky-looking pork bone broth comes not just from making your own stock but from boiling the hell out of it for hours and hours on end. From getting every single ounce of fat and flavour out of the meat, which neither you, nor I, are likely to have the time for.

So I was all set to move on and make something else. Until I saw this:

JokerBowl

A dark bowl of coffee curry ramen made by Pixel Tea, as part of his “Gourmet Smash Ultimate” series of Super Smash Bros. inspired dishes.

It caught my attention with its theming – Derived from the favourite food and drink pairing of Persona 5’s protagonist – but also provided a fresh spin on japanese noodle stew and just enough spice that I could make it a feature.

In fact, Pixel’s overview alone was enough to sell me on this one. But the fact that his dish makes use of a custom spice blend, rather than a custom stock, is nothing short of a godsend.

It doesn’t make this a quick meal but it still cuts down the cooking time considerably. From most of a day to around two hours, all prep included.

So let’s see how it works out, shall we?

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Honest Chutney

Hey there everybody. Last week, we looked at what was supposed to be a smoky mango sauce and, while it was pretty tasty, it most certainly wasn’t what it said on the label. So, in order to get our fix of the fruit and celebrate national curry week correctly, I’m going to spend today’s post looking at a pair of chutneys:

MChutneys

A pair that promise the same product type, yet take it in completely different directions, with completely different chillies.

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Summer Fruit

Hey folks, I hope that you’re all enjoying the summer sun.

Today, I have for you some rather summery sauces that I picked up a little over two summers ago. A pair of highly fruity products that I tried all the way back at Reading Chilli Fest and have been just waiting to post my review of.

But, between freebies, newer items and the fact that I wanted to spread such fruity sauces out, it’s only now that you’re finally seeing this pair. The final pair, in fact, of Mango sauces from that event:

BurningChillees

Both from companies that we’ve seen before and both from companies who’s fruitier items have impressed me in the past.

How will these two, in particular, compare, though, to the oodles of other mango sauces on the market?

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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?

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Vin D’ Blue

Greetings, hot things. This week, I’m back for another fiery twist on a traditional recipe but, this time, the traditional recipe is my own. My vin d’ aloo. I’m returning to that recipe, and to Exban’s place, to put a newer, bluer twist on it, using this sauce:

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Bravado Spice Co’s Ghost Pepper and Blueberry.

Why? Because the two are a perfect match. A sauce that’s full of dark berry tanins and pepper but has a tad too much vinegar tang, and a curry that wants more fire and a wine-like flavour but previously wasn’t the most religiously appropriate of dishes.

The sauce gives the curry all the depth and slight fruitiness that it needs without actual alcohol, while the curry gives the sauce a highly spiced base to tone down its unpleasant acidity.

All that’s left is to swap from pork to a more halal meat in lamb.

I will mention, though, just to be completely upfront and clear with you all, that this dish will still be only debatably halal. The vinegar in our sauce comes from white wine and, while it has been fermented to a point where it no longer has any chance of affecting one’s sobriety, some muslims may still be upset by the idea of alcohol byproducts in their food.

I’m sorry to say that makers and eaters of this recipe will have to assess the situation themselves and make their own decision as to whether my recipe matches their beliefs. All I can say for sure is that making vin d’ aloo with wine vinegar, rather than wine, has a historic and religious precedent behind it and that the added berries in this sauce make for a far more accurate flavour substitution than simply using such a vinegar alone.

It’s not going to be the same as our previous dish, of course, since this vinegary sauce adds rather more heat and tang, but it’s still going to be a fiery-flavoured, garlic and ginger-heavy, goan delight full of red meat, rich berry undertones and soothing spuds. A proper vindaloo, despite the extra acid.

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Spy and the Spice

Konnichiwa yet again, my chilli friends. It’s thursday and, while I’ve been providing seasonal blog updates as always, it’s been some time since I’ve given you a real “inedible” post.

From my greeting alone, I’m sure that you can all guess what this one’s going to be about. But, before I go right into it, I just want to say that I don’t hate my own language’s media.

I loved Lord of the Rings (both the film and books), eagerly await the appearance of the Great Lakes Avengers in Marvel’s cinematic universe and never fail to catch a christmas Doctor Who with my relatives. Heck, I even played for my local quidditch team for a few years, before they decided to reject the Harry Potter franchise and call themselves a “real sport”.

I’m a well-rounded nerd, with a particular interest in food, culture and mythology, yet most of the shows that I’ve recommended have been japanese. Not because I necessarily prefer them, but because they tend to be more relevant to my ever-hungry audience.

Outside of iZombie, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a british or american series that combined a focus on food with the dramatic stakes of something like Food Wars, Ben-To or Yakitatte Japan. Or the cute, homely feel of any of the four shows that I mentioned last time.

Japan just seems to make more out of their food shows but that’s not actually what today’s anime is.

No, this time I want to show you a spy drama called “Release the Spyce”.

rtspyce

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