You can get an ordinary chilli sauces in most high streets and supermarkets, but did you know there is a growing number of specialist chilli shops opening in the UK. So if you are looking for a special artisan sauce or that unique chilli gift for Chile-Head in your life then what could be better than make a pilgrimage to one of these shops where you can ask advice get a taste before you buy.
Best to check the opening hours before you visit to save disappointment.
I had not come across Howdah Gourmet Indian Snacks before I was emailed and asked if I would like to try some, a few days later a box of 6 different varieties arrived at ChileFoundry HQ. Before we start the review I would like to cover the name Howdah which I am told is derived from the Arabic (Hawdaj) and means “bed carried by a animal”, if you look at the logo on the packet you will see an elephant carrying a Howdah.
These snacks are distributed by Mumbai Foods and are made in India, so they are not some made in the UK copy..
What we are going to taste today are the Bakarwadi Bites, these are described as tiny, savoury pastries, rolled and filled with a blend of spices. and that is exactly what they look like.
The bites have a good crunch, with a great flavour from the coriander, cumin and fennel, the more I eat the warmer things become, but only warm, these are supposed to be a snack not a torture.
As a snack they are excellent and very unusual, much more appetizing than a pack of peanuts even if they have been dry roasted..
Ingredients: Wheat Flour (28%), Palmolein Oil. Sugar, Green Chilli Powder, Gram Flour, Fennel, White Sesame Seeds, Ground Spices (red chilli, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, curry leaves, stone flower, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, bay leaves, mint leaves, fennel seeds, black salt, cardamom), Salt, Coriander Powder, Asafoetida, Citric Acid.
Looking at the ingredients list, I wanted to know more about a few items:
Stone flower:- Aka Parmotrema perlatum or Kalpasi is a kind of lichen and is used as a spice in India.
Black Salt:- Aka Kala Namak / Sanchal is a kind of rock salt with impurities (sodium sulphate, sodium bisulfate, sodium bisulfite, sodium sulphide, iron sulfide and hydrogen sulfide) that colours and gives the salt a pungent sulphur smell.
It is very hard not to eat the whole packet, but I do want to try them on the family later.. My wife’s first reaction was that would be good with a glass of red wine, enough said, they are a very welcome addition to the UK snacks marketplace, if you see them buy some, you wont regret it.
Here at ChileFoundry HQ we have been playing with Pulled Pork recipes, I have tried some commercial packaged kits from super markets will very little success, they tend to end us a a bit of roast pork that you need muscles of iron to pull.
So after a few attempts we have got a process that works very well using our Panasonic combination oven. First select a shoulder of pork with the bone in, place this in a roasting disk and rub in some a mixture of paprika and brown sugar all over, then cover the roasting dish with some foil and place in the oven, setting the timers for 18 hours at 100°C.
18 hours later you can remove the skin, normally it falls off, then using two forks pull the pork apart and serve with some good quality BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
Then we got a jar of the Pulled Pork Recipe Paste from M&S, this has its own recipe, which we have found it best ignored so instead of using my simple rub, we used 3 tsp of the paste to cover the pork shoulder, opening the jar there is a smell that is of rich roasted tomatoes, garlic and smoked chillies.
Ingredients: Chopped Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Vinegar, Rapeseed Oil, Slow Roasted Tomatoes (8%) (Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, White Wine Vinegar, Roasemary, Marjoram. Oregano), Oak Smoked Tomato Puree (7%), Muscovado Sugar, Water, Maple Syrup, Red Peppers, garlic Puree, Smoke Paprika, American Style Mustard (3%) (Water, Vinegar, Yellow Mustard Flour, Ground Turmeric, Sea Salt, Yellow Mustard Bran, Mustard Flour, Brown Mustard Flour, Ground Paprika, Dried Garlic), Black Treacle, Concentrated Lemon Juice, Salt, Cornflour, Oregano, Chipoyle Chilli Powder.
After 18 hours at 100°C we did as normal and ended up with nice pile of pork, into which we stirred the remaining paste, the smell almost makes it impossible not to nibble you way through the pork at this point, and once served to the family there was not much left. No need to add BBQ sauce this paste adds all the flavour you need to compliment the pork.
We are all very impressed, M&S has a real winner in the flavour of this paste.
I am not sure I will use the recipe from the jar as they cook the pork at 180°C for an hour and then 150°C for another 4-5 hours and then finally removing the skin and them adding 1/2 the jar over the pork and returning to the oven for another 45-60 minutes. While this may work, we have found the low slow method works without fail.