Mr Vikki’s Hot Tamarind Chutney

by David Kelly on November 27, 2011 · 0 comments

in Product Reviews

Being a long time curry fan over the years I’ve become a lover of tamarind, a tart fruit used in Indian cuisine and other equatorial regions such as Latin American & Thailand. So it comes as no surprise then that I was very much looking forward to tasting this chutney from Mr Vikki’s.

Mr Vikki's Tamarind Chipotle

Mr Vikki's Tamarind Chipotle

For those not in the know, the tamarind tree produces (Arabic for ‘Indian date’) is long bean shaped fruit inside which is a sour pulp than can be processed to make a paste. Tamarind taste somewhat like a date (tamarind is actually Arabic for ‘Indian date’) but is much less sweet and more sour. The chances are that many Brits, be they a lover of Indian cuisine or not, have probably unbeknownst to them tried tamarind as it is a key ingredient in two great British sauces, namely HP & Worcestershire.

The labelling as with other Mr Vikki’s product is a minimalistic bright yellow label with the company name, product details & a 3 chilli rating. Mr Vikki’s use a heat rating system based on graphics of chillies on the front label to denote the heat level. Their current hottest product has a 8 chilli rating, so I wasn’t expecting this product to be about the heat.

With such a minimalist approach to labelling the contents of the jar can clearly been seen and the chutney has a deep brown treacle coloured interspersed with flecks of mustard seeds. Although not indicated in the labelling this chutney was a “2 star Great Taste Award Winner” back in 2010 so I was anticipating something special when I opened this jar and I wasn’t disappointed. Opening the jar releases a wonderful aroma – the combination of the smokiness of the chipotles with the underlying fruit tones of the tamarind & dates and traces of ginger, is a delight to smell.

Ingredients: Tamarind Pulp (40%), Dates, Sugar, Chipotle 15%, Fresh Ginger, Garlic, Vinegar, Mustard, Celery, Salt and Pepper.

The chutney’s rich brown colour comes from the tamarind pulp, and the natural stickiness of the pulp gives the chutney a thick jam like consistency. Tasting a generous spoonful of the chutney you get hit with the tartness of the tamarind, enhanced with the sweetness of the dates. Mustard seeds within the chutney add to the texture of the tamarind pulp. Underneath this initial hit, the flavour of the chipotles comes through leaving a pleasant lingering aftertaste. For me the heat wasn’t massive and more of a mild warmth but nonetheless it balances well with the other flavours present.

One of the serving suggestions on the jar is to serve it in a bacon sandwich, so I duly obliged and cooked some dry cured bacon, and placed between two slices of bread with a generous covering of the chutney therein. Biting into the sandwich did not disappoint and the taste was bliss! The natural saltiness of the bacon contrasts so well with the sweet/sourness of the chutney.

Although it’s a chutney and so easily works as a sandwich pickle I’d definitely use this to make a marinade or for basting on meats. The natural acidity of the tamarind pulp will help to tenderise any meat marinated in it. Whilst chicken goes good with tamarind, I think stronger flavoured meats such as pork or beef would work really well with this chutney. At only £3 from I think the chutney is excellent value for money. Given that we’re entering the Christmas period I’d thoroughly recommend getting some of this chutney in time to accompany your Christmas cold meat cuts this year.


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