February 2013

Back in 1992 Anila Veghela had the idea of bottling some of her home made curry sauces and selling them at a local craft fair. These sauces proved popular and were well received by customers. Necessity is the mother of invention so when Anila was made redundant in 1997, she decided to take things further and form her own company, Anila’s Sauces with an expanded range of sauces. During the intervening years the product range has increased to a total of 24 products that now include pickles & chutneys in addition to sauces.

Anila’s products have won an impressive 11 Great Taste Awards too so I was certainly looking forward to tasting the Hot Methi curry sauce I was sent for review.

For those not familiar with Hindi or Urdu, “Methi” is the word for Fenugreek which is a common ingredient used in many Indian dishes. The versatility of the Fenugreek plant is such that it may be used as a vegetable (by using its fresh leaves as greens), as a spice (using its seeds) or as a herb (using its dried leaves. The seed & dried leaf forms are the most commonly found in this country and they add a very distinctive taste and a pungent aroma to any dish.

Ingredients:

Tomatoes, Fennel, Celery, Rapeseed Oil, Tomato Puree, Chilli Powder, Gram Flour, Fenugreek (Methi) leaves (1%), Ginger, Green Chillies, Salt, Spices, Tamarind  [Gluten free product]

Product kindly supplied by Anila’s Sauces

Labelling design on the jar is quite simplistic listing ingredients and nutritional information on the outer label which can be peeled back to reveal some company information and the serving suggestion instruction. The cooking instructions themselves couldn’t be simpler – just pour the contents of the jar into a saucepan, add you chosen veg / meat ingredient, top up with up to a jar of water and then simmer until ready.

The fragrance is such that by just opening the jar it’s abundantly clear that Fenugreek is one of the ingredients. The pungency of Fenugreek means only a small amount is required in a dish in order to imbue its properties, hence the low percentage used. Indeed looking at the rich brown sauce, I can see tiny bits of the dried Fenugreek leaves therein. I decide to cook some of the sauce with lamb (a full jar serving would be enough to serve 4-6 people) and after a few minutes of cooking the aroma of the Fenugreek intensifies. My kitchen has been filled with the aromas of a curry house kitchen but that’s not a bad thing in my books though, given I’m a fan of curries and Indian food.

Tasting the dish some thirty minutes later doesn’t disappoint either. Although the tomatoes are the largest ingredient, their taste isn’t over dominant nor at the fore. It’s the flavour of the Celery & the distinctive tanginess of the Fenugreek that are more prominent; the taste of the tomatoes with hints of sweetness from the Fennel & Tamarind help round out the overall flavour. There’s a lush, unctuous like quality to the sauce without it being very greasy or oily. Although no onion or garlic have been used in the sauce, ingredients often used in your British curry house restaurant, the combination of other flavours ensure this a great tasting sauce that feels like you’ve ordered in from your local.

Heat wise the warmth comes through quickly hitting both the front of the mouth and the back of throat, but doesn’t have much longevity. The ingredient list just notes “green chillies” so I’m not 100% certain as to which variety has been used but as I know Indian cuisine commonly makes use of long thin green cayenne or finger chillies I would take an educated guess that they have been used in this instance.

Overall, this is a great tasting sauce that I’d definitely recommend any curry lover to try. No matter what level your culinary skills are in the kitchen, it will allow anyone to produce an authentic tasting curry at home with the greatest of ease.

Anila Sauces are available from many local food retail outlets in the UK (a list of stockists is available on their website) or they can be purchased directly from the company website for £4.00 for a 300g jar.

Flavour
(8.5/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (7.5/10)
Overall
(8.5/10)

 

 

{ 0 comments }

This beautiful madras style sauce is crafted by three pairs of talented musician hands in Croydon. Mad-Ass Chilli Sauce Co create some gorgeous sauces, and this one is no exception. Dave, Tony and Matt know how to create fresh flavours with as many UK based ingredients they can, and are working hard on attending some of the big shows in 2013!

Mad-Ass - Mad-RassAs with all of the Mad-ass range, they sell in both 30ml and 150ml measures, so you can have a taste or a supply, whichever way you feel.  The labelling in this range are all similar, differing only in colour variety. Not an original concept BUT used in a different way to most. The text on the 30ml jars is a little too small, especially when the ingredients list is quite long.  Still an attractive label, with the addition of a QR code!

Ingredients:

Green & Red Chillies, Demerera Sugar, Vinegar, “The Garlic Farm” Garlic, Root Ginger, Lime Juice and Zest, Tumeric, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Cayenne, Ground Ginger, Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, Powdered Cloves, Rock Salt, Cracked Black Pepper.

A relatively thick, almost paste-like, seedy, light brown coloured sauce with plenty of colourful finely chopped spices. The first scent to hit you, lime. Such a fresh hit really makes your mouth water. The tumeric and fennel help keep the lime from becoming too overbearing. With each taste you notice something different.

With such a variety of flavours really coming out, making a mix of sweet, savoury and sour all in one, there really is a lot going on in one little pot! For a madras styled sauce, I feel this is lacking in heat somewhat. The fruity flavour of the Cayenne is brought out with the ginger very well, but I feel most of the warmth comes from the black pepper. This is no bad thing. The heat is all round warming, not immediate, and it slowly settles after a few minutes.

A little cooler than a traditional madras, but has such a variety of flavours in play, that perhaps any more heat would ruin this. Use in a curry as the main sauce, as a dipping accompaniment. Try it as a marinade for meat to add a fantastic array of spices without doing too much. Purchase direct from the Mad-Ass website in the 30ml jars for £2.00 and 150ml bottles for £5.00, bargain!

Flavour
(9.5/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(9/10)

 

{ 0 comments }

Booya chilli heads, Scooby’s back with another review to get you salivating and the belly rumbling. So lets not waste any time and jump straight in with………..(Imagine drumroll)……….Tunisian Hot Chilli Sauce Harissa all the way from the man himself, STU!!! from Hot-Headz.com.

The product has the usual tasteful style, the label with its dark background and silver Hot-Headz stamp which lets the fiery sunset glow product name shine through. Looking at the back of the 175ml jar you can see an oily dark roasted red pepper colour paste. The odd seed floating about helping show how smooth in texture it is.

Out comes the nose (Yes I know its big enough that I don’t need to move it that far). Immediately I am greeted with a tomato puree aroma. Nostrils tingling with a slight chilli waft.

Ingredients:

Red peppers, Tomato puree, Rape seed oil, Piri piri chillies, Ground cayenne pepper, Salt, Garlic puree, Spices, Fruit juice concentrate, Ground coriander

Nice and simple with the ingredients, so lets have a taste and see where we go from here.

BOOOOM, Immediately I am hit with a burn, not a crazy crazy burn but definitely enough to wake you and get the taste buds firing on most cylinders. The puree gives this paste the feel and taste of a spag bol sauce with a punch.

To me, this tasting like a spag bol sauce is not a bad thing at all. It tastes amazing. The blend of spices and heat are perfect and nothing needs changing. Any hotter and I think this product would die, any milder and again I don’t feel it would work as well. Stuart has given this a 3/5 for its heat level and I agree with that, at least pushing towards a 4/5 for this style of product. Reading the label it states, to be added to meat, fish, stews etc or stirred through cous cous or rice???? I can taste that already and can imagine it being a real winner.

I strongly recommend grabbing one of these from Hot-Headz right now and at a price of £2.99 is crazy cheap. You will probably get 3 to 4 decent meals out of this. I cannot see you adding the whole thing, but hey there is bound to be some people that will hahaha.

So until next time guys, remember, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out.

Flavour
(8.5/10)
Heat
(7.5/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (9/10)
Overall
(9/10)

 

{ 0 comments }

Boasting this as their first sauce, its no wonder these guys have become very popular.  Very passionate about what they do, and keen to use what the Great British Isles have to offer. Matthew, Tony and Dave of Mad-Ass Chilli Sauce Co create such a diverse range of sauces for all kinds of heats and palates. Relatively new on the scene, but in no way unnoticed! 2012 brought them an award at the Fiery Foods UK Festival!

mad ass hot bonnetAs with all of their sauces, they come in 30ml jars or 150ml bottles, both excellent quality with their labels. The 30ml bottles are sometimes difficult to read with such small text, but the different flame colourings help you get a handle on flavours, distinguishing them from some other brands.

The Hot Bonnet is a well blended, thick, deep orange sauce with occasional tell tale seeds and peppercorns swimming about inside the jar. The initial scent is the unavoidable scotch bonnet. That bittersweet fruity smell that you know can bring seconds of sweet flavour followed by some pain. You also receive a salty undertone and a very subtle garlic hit.

Ingredients:

Red Scotch Bonnet Chillies, “The Garlic Farm” Garlic, Root Ginger, Lime Juice, Soft Brown Sugar, Malt Vinegar, Rock Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Cracked Black Pepper.

Wow!  I am surprised by the flavour. The immediate taste to me is ginger. It doesn’t last long before the Scotch bonnet sweetness jumps in, followed by the intense growth of heat all around the mouth, on the lips and back of the throat. There is no vinegary aftertaste, no bitterness. It is a subtley sweet sauce that grows with heat the more you have. All the flavour with no nasty shocks!

Bottle kindly supplied by Mad-Ass Chilli Sauce Company

How would you use this sauce? Well, I would use it as a dipping sauce for crudites, as an addition to anything you want to become hotter without losing flavour. I would add it to chilli dishes; cold or hot. Try it with mayonnaise to create a spicy dip for tortillas. Give a dash of this to a stir fry, or liven up a steak with a light glaze of this on the top. Possibilities are endless.  Available from their website  for a meagre £2.00 for the 30ml and £5.00 for the 150ml you’d be insane not to try it!

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(8/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (9/10)
Overall
(9/10)

 

{ 0 comments }

<div align="left">
Page 7 of 812345678
<br /></div>