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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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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The True Vindaloo

Hey there spice lovers, this month I’m hanging out at my buddy Exban’s place for a nice romantic wine and dine.

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Why? Partially because his girlfriend dumped him but mostly because I felt like making a proper vindaloo and needed someone to finish off the booze with. An explanation that, if anything, only raises more questions.

Since when did a vindaloo have wine in it? Why is there alcohol in an indian dish when the nation’s religions are so against it? And why can’t I drink it all myself?

Well, for starters, the vindaloo, or vin d’ aloo, isn’t an indian dish. It comes from goa and uses indian spices, certainly, but goa wasn’t a part of india at the time. Goa was officially portuguese and portuguese cooking had no such anti-alcohol restrictions. They were more than happy to be working with wine.

Their earlier dish, the “carne de vinha d’alhos” from which the vindaloo was derived, got its name from its three key ingredients: Pork, wine and garlic. Three ingredients to which the goan people added coriander, turmeric, chilli and a whole host of other spices, along with potatoes to bulk it out and keep the heat from getting too high.

Because, unlike today’s vindaloo, their vin d’ aloo wasn’t meant to be the hottest dish on any menu. All they wanted was a full-on fiery flavour to their marinated meat.

And, while even most “traditional” recipes pull from a later date, once the wine had been swapped for vinegar, I’m going to be taking it right back to its origins, today, with a rich and fruity red wine.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

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Peri Peri Paneer Wrap

Guess what, everyone?

It’s another surprise recipe sunday and, this time, I’m working with one of Mahi’s samples for a simple, tasty, lunchtime wrap. Like the one I mentioned back in my review of their Peri Peri Marinade.

It’s a dish with a tiny bit of indian flare from its paneer cheese filling but also the crispness of fresh veg paired with a the smooth chilli taste that very product. Not that you couldn’t go a little bolder and more traditional with their tika if you really wanted.

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Tikka Time

Happy tuesday again people. Last month I took a look at Mahi Fine Foods’ Lime & Coriander Rub & Marinade, only to find it absolutely heatless.

It wasn’t bad but it did leave me scrambling for something else to feature. It was a mistake that I won’t be making twice.

As I sit down to write about their Tikka Marinade, I can assure you that I’ve already read through the ingredients at least five times:

Water, Tomato Paste, Onions, Red Chilli Paste, Garlic Paste, Rapeseed Oil, Salt, Ginger Paste, Citric Acid, Ground Paprika, Yoghurt, Mixed Spices, Beetroot and Stabilizer: Xanthan Gum.

This one has chilli in it and, if the taste is anything to go by, it’s got a fair bit at that.

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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.

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Pronouncing Peppers

Greetings everyone, it’s time for another thursday post. But not another sauce review.

Unlike the last two thursdays, this post isn’t about a product but it is inspired by one: The Dorset Chilli Shop’s chipotle extract. Because that one little bottle changed the way I talk.

It came labelled with the ancient aztec name of it’s chilli, “Chilpōctli”, which turned out not to be pronounced the way I thought.

So today we’re looking at pronunciation. At how to say the names of your favourite chillies and why they’re pronounced the way they are.

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