Comments: Sharwood v. Patak: the Indian War of the Tastebuds


God, I have really learned to fear these things. I pretty much go to a restaurant, cook things from scratch or don't eat them at all. I've never been crazy about Indian pickle though, so I don't lose much on that count.

Paul, I used to rely on the pre-made sauces when I first met my (English) husband and was less confident with Indian cooking. I would usually use one as a base and then jazz it up with fresh spices of my own. The Marks & Spensers ones were not that bad. These days I still occasionally use the tandoori paste, simply because I think it makes a great (and easy) barbecue sauce. And I love the pickles and chutneys. One of these days I'll try making some myself, but I suspect they won't taste "authentic" to me because even the Indian restaurants I know use bottled stuff!

I forgot to mention that in fairness to my guests I also prepared from scratch samosas, a fish curry, potatoes in cumin and peas in cheese, as well as a really tasty pulau rice dish. I wasn't too hopefully about the quality of the store-bought curry either!

I really like the Patak's Chile Relish - it's addictive. I posted about it on my blog a couple months ago. Thanks for the taste test! Fun!

I have always loved Mr. Patak's hot lime pickle and hot mango pickle. And I went through a phase of not being able to get enough of Mr. Patak's garlic pickle - sweet but not that hot. We usually have them when we are eating rice, dahl, and a vegetable or with what I consider to be the ultimate comfort food: kitcheree (basically rice/dahl/potatoes/onions porridge).

Like yours, our curries are homemade and in those cases, pickle is generally not really appropriate. But with the milder Indian dishes, I guess we're into more violent flavours.

Of all the various commercial pickles I've tasted, Mr. Patak's is really the best. I'm not sure that I've ever seen Sharwood's here in Toronto. But it would be interesting to taste!

Thanks for sharing your taste tests! I'm really looking forward to seeing your samosa recipe!

(love your advertising policy!!)

Hi, I'm looking for places to buy Sharwood's Green Label Mango Chutney in Toronto, Ontario. Would anyone know where I would be able to find it? Thanks

A friend of mine from New Delhi whom I consider a gourmet cook told me years ago to use Sharwood's Tandoori Mix. It's not the liquid jar of Sharwood's Tandoori paste I see in the photo and their other line of cooking sauces in a jar I've spied in mainline groceries here. I'm going to visit an Indian grocery store for their dry tandoori spice mix because I thought its use with the recipe on its label and her personal recommendation as a good substitute for using the individual spices told me to try it. She also told me most tandoori chicken served in restaurants (at least in Dallas, where there is a substantial Indian population) isn't the real deal because they don't take the time to marinate the chicken or meat overnight, or at least a few hours. I have a gut feeling Sharwood's tandoor sauce in a jar may have replaced the spice mix. The spice mix version is just a tad larger than the dry spices in glass or plastic containers sold in groceries, e.g. McCormick's/Schelling brands. Because North Americans are so into faster preparation at often the expense of better taste, I assume the new Sharwood's sauces may have a lot of preservatives or added sweetening from corn-based stuff. Anyway, that's about the only Indian dish I know how to make very well. I need to get out the new cookbook she gave to me!
* she said her Indian husband is even better in the kitchen and does most of the food preparation, including Latin American and European cuisines

Does anyone know where I might purchase Sharwoods HOT mango Chutney? I think it is the best of all the chutneys.

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