Foodstuff: Patak’s Chilli Pickle


In a recent post about Patak’s Hot Curry Paste I mentioned this Chilli Pickle and I am featuring it here, not only because it is a special favourite of my wife’s but because I recently used it in a recipe that I will be posting very soon.

The ingredients on the label list Chilli, vinegar and ‘spices’ but they do specify mustard as being one of the spices used. You can actually see little grains and partial grains in the pickle paste and there is a definite mustard bite in the aroma. I am not sure, but I fancy I can also taste the slight maple-warmth of fenugreek seed in there as well. Heat-wise, I would say that the chillies used are a bit higher on the Scoville scale than Jalapeño’s and, with the added spiciness of mustard, this product has good fieriness to it without being numbing hot.

As you can see, the Chilli is chopped very roughly so it has some pretty good size chunks in it. My only complaint about this is that, like many pickled chilli preparations the skin is left on and these can be a bit tough and not easy to digest. However, if you chop up or mince the larger bits, as I often do when I am cooking with the pickle, this is not a problem.

While I mainly use the pickle, finely minced, as a Masala, or spice paste, in more complex dishes, my wife tends to use it, as it is intended to be, as a condiment. In fact, she has often used it to add a fillip to ordinary cheese and crackers. She does cook with it occasionally, adding it to dal sometimes, but her favourite uses, which you may wish to try, are:

  • Stirred into plain rice as a simple meal;
  • A condiment on Tortilla wraps, along with other fillings;
  • Alone on Chappatis or Parathas;
  • Mixed with yoghurt or sour cream as a dip for Samosa or Pakoras.

The dip idea is very good but I am not terribly fond of the sour dairy taste of yoghurt or sour cream in their raw state so I often use a commercial cucumber salad dressing instead. Not an ‘authentic’ Indian taste, of course,  but the result is very nice. I have used the same combination, with the pickle finely minced, to make a dressing for chunks of cucumber which I then served as a side dish along with rice and other Indian dishes.

Finally, Patak’s has a very nice website where they list all of their products and, as they point out, these products are available in a wide range of grocery chains across Canada. I should perhaps point out here that I am in no way affiliated with Patak’s or any of their distributors. I am simply happy to recommend their foodstuffs because I use them regularly and really believe them to be top-notch.

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