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.

Continue reading

Beardy Butter

Hello again, everyone, and welcome back to the last of my Gingerbeard reviews. At least for now, since I’ll probably be picking up something new when I go back for more of their fabulous piccalilli.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves too early, though. That product may have been a real winner but today’s was always the one that I was most looking forward to. And the one that sounded most representative of the company, themselves.

This Gingerbread Satay may be another of their many collaborations but it’s the only one to give their namesake spice and company logo a starring role.

GingerbreadSatay

Plus, are those almonds chasing down the gingerbread man? Could this perhaps be a little more indian and a tad less thai than its “satay” name implies?

Well, the label’s light-green, bamboo-patterned background does say asian but I’m intrigued, either way, and, as always, I intend to get my answers in the form of a taste test.

Continue reading

Lantern Fruit Gulab Jamun

Hey folks, I’m back again for another recipe and, this week, it’s something special from my childhood. Not, this time, anything involving the nesparo from my summer holidays in spain but, instead, something both closer to and further from home.

Today, I’m going to be making gulab jamun – An indian dessert that I grew up sharing with my muslim neighbors and one that is, in fact, named for its similar appearance to another regional fruit.

Yet I’m not making them just to relive my childhood. No, I have indian supermarkets near me if I need a quick fix of those sweet milk dumplings. And they’d be rather more traditional than mine.

What I’m making are, in fact, the “lantern fruit” gulab jamun from one of my favourite cooking games, Battle Chef Brigade. And I’m going to be using some rather more authentic ingredients than the other recreations that I’ve seen. Properly highlighting the flavour of fire that the in-game dish is known for, without sacrificing the fictional fruit’s lighter, more refreshing qualities.

Gulab

Before I get started, though, I’m sure you’re all wondering what exactly the “lantern fruit” really is.

Continue reading

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

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?

Continue reading

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:

2018-08-23 15.22.20

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.

Continue reading

Loveable Pickles

Hey folks, it’s nearly valentines day so, this week, I’m going for a themed review of Love Pickle.

It’s a simple brand with a single family recipe, based on indian classics and tweaked to hit five different heat levels – Everything from mild to super hot, if their labels are to be believed.

There are a couple of offshoot brands as well, in the form of Love Chilli and Love Chutney but, for now, I’m going to stick with the slightly questionably named original range and bring you its green and blue label variants.

Lovejars

The mildest and hottest that they have to offer.

Continue reading

Mano a Mango

Hello and welcome back to another Reading review. I honestly can’t believe I’m still doing these but there’re still plenty more to be uploaded.

It was a very fruitful festival and today, we have two very fruit-full sauces. If you’ll pardon the pun.

What I’m about to show you is a pair of products that share a single genre but take it in completely different directions. They’re both rather unique twists on the classic mango and habanero blend:

mangoes

Continue reading

Passion Fruit Dansak

It’s that time again, everyone. Time for my recipe of the month. And this month, I’m going to be using one of the peppers that I picked up in challock.

Cereja

The cereja roxa*.

Why? Well, two reasons really. One, they’re starting to look a little old and wrinkly so I really do need to use up the last of them. And two, I was wanting to revisit this dish anyway and I thought that it would be the perfect fit for such a fruity chilli.

If, however, you don’t have access to the cereja roxa or its relatives, today’s curry will still work great with the scotch bonnet’s more savoury, earthy fruitiness. Just don’t expect it to have the same light and refreshing top notes.

Because, despite being a rather gentle flavour, this rare pepper really pulls its weight when cooked into my passion fruit dansak.

And yes, this is a dish that I’m rehashing but it’s one that you’ve never seen before. One that I first made for a shokugeki, prior to ever writing this blog.

It was formulated to showcase lentils as an ingredient, without sitting heavily on the stomach like a full on daal, and it was created to capture the hearts of vegetarian chilli lovers, without relying on overly rich additions like soy or black garlic.

It was a winner at the time but, with the light and refreshing quality of its new chilli and a few years worth of refined cooking techniques, today’s version is greater than it ever was before. I just know that you’ll love it.

Continue reading

Pineapple Joy

Welcome back, everyone.

Last week we looked at 🔥 a german sauce brand 🔥 imported into the UK by my friend Russell at Grim Reaper Foods. So, following on from that, I’d like to show you another of his recommendations. One that, this time, he isn’t the one selling:

joywala

Prices Spices’ fabulous Pineapple & Dorset Naga Chilli Chutney. Their “India Joywala”.

Apparently a great taste award winner back in 2014 and definitely a great taste, it’s one of the best items that I picked up from Reading but there is something about it that I’m not as fond of and I’d like to get into that first.

Continue reading