Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Review: Chilli Papa's Spice Mixes.



I have had the privilege of sampling some of the Chilli Papa's range in the past. When Darren Mollan, the company director announced that he had produced a new mix into the range, I jumped at the chance of giving it a test drive. The new spice mix is Chilli Papa's Hot Vindaloo.

Now for the science bit. Our bodies release things called endorphins which are neurotransmitters that function to transmit signals to the central nervous system. These endorphins can decrease feelings of pain or can increase feelings of euphoria and can enhance immune response. Certain foods can increase the secretion of endorphins in the body, namely chocolate and chili. The less dilute kind of chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids is the one to go for for the maximum high and the same goes for chillies. The hotter the chili, the more endorphins are secreted. Now I use this as an excuse to eat copious amounts of both, sometimes together!

The first thing to say about the Chilli Papa's Hot Vindaloo is that they are not joking when they say it is hot. Out of us here at team Oh Mammy, I am the one with the highest heat/pain threshold. I season almost all of my food with my own pot of crushed, dried chili flakes so I did scoff a little bit when I read that it was supposed to be hot. Previous pastes and mixes I have tried in the past have either not been hot enough to warrant using the word hot, rather than a just bit spicy or have either been so hot that all flavour is lost on the recipient.

I am delighted to report that the Chilli Papa's mix is neither of these being both properly hot and so very tasty. You can still detect the ground coriander, the cumin, the ginger and garlic behind the mustard and chilli and cayenne pepper heat.

Darren has worked hard to make sure that making a curry using his mixes is incredibly easy and accessible for even the novice cook who may have had to rely on flavourless jars in the past. I shall share with you here, the official version of Chilli Papa's cooking instructions here just to demonstrate how easy it is before showing you how I made it more complicated, because I was cooking for the kids too.

To make the curry you need to:
  • Chop one onions
  • Chop 300-400g of meat or meat substitute, fish or vegetables. 
  • Chop 1 2cm piece of ginger
  • Chop 3 cloves of garlic
  • Add one stock cube
  • Add 1 Papa's Vindaloo curry mix
  • Add salt and pepper to season
  • Add 5 tbps of vinegar
  • Add 250ml of water. 

Add all of the ingredients in a pot and cook on a low hear, storring on a regular basis until meat is cooked.
Best served with rice or noodles.

It really is that easy!



I adore opening up the packaging to discover the spice mixes within. They are so colourful and appetising. Again, similar to the previous mixes we tried, making the Chilli Papa's Hot Vindaloo is incredibly simple with very few ingedients needed. I complicated the above process by cooking it in stages and dividing up the fried meat and onions into two pots. I put the Vindaloo mix into one and the Cracking Yellow Curry which is very tasty but lacks the heat of the Vindaloo.


Fry the garlic and ginger


Add the chicken and onion.


Once I had split up the meat and vegetable mixture, I added the spice mix and dried fried to really bring out the flavours of the spices. Already my eyes were watering at the heat!


The colours are so vibrant!


The finished dish.


I served both curries with coconut and almond pilaf, a tomato salad and cumin and cucumber raita, chutneys and popadums. 


We really enjoyed the taste of the new mix. The heat of the peppers with the vinegar created a fantastic hot and sour flavour. It packed a punch and I think both adults were grateful for the raita. We love this brand and wholeheartedly encourage you all to try these mixes. You wont regret it, we promise! Well done to Darren on another fantastic product. 

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