11 October 2012

King Prawn Madras Curry - sampling Patak's curry products

As I write this blog, it just happens to be National Curry Week (8-15 October).

We do like a curry in our house.  We're obviously not alone in this, as there seems to be a great love for curry across the country, these days.

It's not surprising then, that there is a big market for curry pastes, cooking sauces and ancillary products.  There are a few names out there that are relied upon to bring great results - and Patak's has always been one of the most popular.

I can remember, way back in the late 1970's/early 1980's when I began fending for myself and started to try and cook, finding a pot of Patak's curry paste and being overjoyed that making curry had suddenly become a lot less scary (huge lists of ingredients! Waah!) and a lot more do-able.

Over the years, Patak's have vastly increased their range of ingredients and moved away from the generic "curry" style, to the more focused types of curry.  So hence, you will now find several different types of curry paste, depending on what sort of curry you wish to make.  Not only that, but they now produce cooking sauces for people in a hurry, jars of incredible pickles and various bread products like naans and pappadums for you to eat alongside.

So when I was contacted and asked whether I would like to receive some Patak's products to review, I naturally said yes.

Now, this wasn't without some trepidation on my part.  I have recently moved on from using the Patak's curry pastes to spicing my home made curries myself.  In fact, when I - for some obscure reason that eludes me now - decided to go back to Patak's quite recently, I made such a botch job of using the curry paste that I'd decided not to go there again.

However, when someone offers you curry - it's a difficult thing to say no.  Anyway, I thought I should be able to produce a good curry with the Patak's products, so long as I followed the instructions on the jar and didn't try to tamper with the spicing.

So for our first attempt, we decided to use the cooking sauce.  Now, for some reason, the majority of the products we had been sent were all either hot or blisteringly hot (as in a Phaal cooking sauce - *gulp*).  However, chilli is no stranger to us and we're all game.  We thought we'd start relatively gently though, with the Madras Cooking Sauce.

Following the advice on the jar, we bought some King Prawns to use in the curry - and freelanced a bit by adding a chopped onion and some peas.

Hubby was in charge of this one and reported back that the cooking sauce was easy peasy to use - he just followed the instructions on the side of the jar, which were easy to understand.  Because he was using pre-cooked King Prawns, it was a simple matter of cooking the onion, adding the sauce and the peas, then adding the prawns and giving them long enough to heat through.

He served the curry with some plain boiled basmati rice and added some of the Patak's Mixed Pickle and a handful of mini Pappadums alongside.

a.k.a. Dynamite!
The flavour of the curry was spicy-hot, fruity and quite tangy - although the flavour didn't have a lot of longevity on the palate.  The real star of this particular show, however, was the Mixed Pickle.

Now hubby and I had only recently been discussing Lime Pickle and how we liked it very much.  With this Mixed Pickle, you have all the benefits of the Lime, along with Mango and Karamda (which is a sour fruit, apparently).  However, it's that salty, spicy chilli hit along with the lime flavour that is the complete winner.

Hubby and I cried, sniffed and gasped our way through our meals, enjoying every minute of them.  The curry itself was hot enough - but when you add the Mixed Pickle to the equation, the chilli factor just goes through the roof.

Patak's Mixed Pickle - Branston, this stuff ain't!

There is, however, a bit of a note of warning that I must sound here.  Both hubby and son & heir have been fine and dandy since their curries, but I haven't.  Something in either the cooking sauce or the pickle (and my feeling is, that it was the pickle), just didn't agree with me, as I've had eosophagitis ever since (inflammation of the gullet).  Right at the moment, I'm reduced to eating scrambled egg and mashed potato in an attempt to heal the damage and settle everything down again.  I have a horrid feeling that I may have eaten my last really hot chilli meal.  *sob*

So - all those of you out there with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or with a tendency towards heartburn and indigestion - be cautious!

Still, I really enjoyed both the curry and the pickle at the time - and can't fault the ease of preparation for the curry.  The pickle is just magnificent and I can't recommend it highly enough - and the mini pappadums were a lifesaver for those moments when you'd over-pickled your spoonful!

As something to keep in your food cupboard and whip out on those nights when you're back home late, have to go out early or just can't be bothered to get creative - you can't fault it.  Just be careful if you're prone to digestive conniptions - and maybe go for a milder version!




  1. Lucky you, Patak's are The Best and their Madras Paste on of my favourites. I have Patak's for years and their Chilli Pickle has been a staple in my storecupboard for as long as I can remember. I was even the cause of having it imported into the British Virgin Islands so great was my need!

    1. Goodness, you're a real dyed in the wool Patak's fan then! :) I reckon we'll have the parcel up the Phaal and send it to you. LOL I'm not going anywhere near it, not after a week's worth of eosophagitis after just the Madras with a teensy bit of mixed pickle!

  2. Oh no - hope you are feeling better - the curry looks delish but would be too hot for me. Mind you after trying Lorraine Pascales last week - bland, bland bland!! I was surprised the kids actually ate it - but I left half of mine :-( back to jars I think. (your Sausage & Mozarella tonight!!)

    1. It seems to be slowly improving - largely thanks to Manuka honey dissolved in warm milk, it would seem!

      I don't mind so much when a curry comes up bland, because I know if I liked the flavours I can always make it again and increase the spicing. It's when it comes up too hot to eat, that's when I've got problems! lol

      Aaah, the good old Sausage & Mozzarella Bake. Hubby has been asking for that for a week or so now. I guess I'll have to make it soon! :)

  3. fantastic review! I never use premade sauces which means I can make the curry hot, or not, as the mood takes me :)

    1. Thank you, Tandy. :) I agree, except it does take a bit of practice to get to know how much heat you can stand and how much spice to put in to a curry, to achieve the different flavour levels. I suppose if you don't eat curry much, it might take forever before you've worked that out - and in that case, having a pre-made curry paste is just perfect.

  4. OMG!!! That looks soooo freakin' good!!! I want some NOW!


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