A Black Pepper Curry

So it’s finally happened, folks. The day that I’ve been dreading. The one where, despite my best efforts, all of my time in quarantine finally takes its toll and I lose track of the passing of days.

This post was supposed to be up last weekend, for the end of february, but the date escaped me and I genuinely thought that I had another week to finish it. I’m really sorry that things didn’t go to plan but I guess that you’re getting two big recipes this month.

So, without further ado, here’s my latest curry:

And this one’s something quite unique, since it’s not the north indian cuisine that we’re used to, here in the UK, but something from the south. As well as being a dish that, despite containing chilli, gets far more of its heat and flavour from black pepper.

It’s called a chettinad and it tastes absolutely nothing like what we tried last tuesday. Despite both being classified as indian cuisine.

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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?

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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?

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