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Dateline 04 October 2013

Lovedesh Artisan Slow Wood Fired Curry asks can food change the way we see Third World countries?

Founder Yasmin Choudhury is bringing a new style of curry cooking to the UK. Flaming wood fired curries that are a UK first. The dish was awarded the Slow Food mark recently and is an utterly new, alternative outdoor experience. Her mission is to help spread the good stuff about poor nations and food will help us to see and experience these nations differently. By sharing recipes from Bangladesh and other Third World countries it helps us appreciate the unrecognised food artisans.

Contact yasmin@lovedesh.com to learn more.

Dateline : October 2012


Despite Tikka Masala holding on to its title of 'Britain's favourite dish,' beating off competition from British classics including Toad in the Hole and Cottage Pie, three-quarters of us (75%) have never attempted to cook the much-loved curry, a new survey* by The Spice Tailor has found.

Indian food may already be a British institution, but Brits are not at ease with cooking our favourite food, it seems. The survey, marking the launch of National Curry Week 2012, found that 75% of us have never taken on a Tikka Masala, a shocking 81% can't cook a Korma whilst 83% have yet to tackle a Rogan Josh. And when it comes to impressing friends and family, only a quarter of us (26%) have put curry on the dinner party menu compared to 53% who regularly impress with British and Italian cooking. Despite this, it seems we aren't prepared to admit our ineptness in the 'curry corner' as only a third of those surveyed (34%) admitted to feeling feel under-confident about cooking classic Indian dishes.

Anjum Anand, TV Chef, cookery writer and founder of The Spice Tailor says "What many people don't realise is that you don't have to go out or dial a takeaway to enjoy Indian food. In fact, you really can create simple, healthy and delicious Indian food in minutes in your own kitchen! Whether you cook from scratch or use a few cheats along the way, don't be afraid to give Indian cooking a go; it really can be a brilliant everyday option for the whole family."

Cookalong with Anjum on 'Spice Nights', when Anjum will be showing how to cook simple and delicious Indian dishes in just 15 minutes, using some cheats and lots of scratch cooking. Spice Nights airs weekly on Tuesday evenings at 730pm from now until 6th November. Register to watch at www.thespicetailor.com

Dateline : October 2012

The bhut jolokia from India’s Assam state, once the world’s hottest chilli, has some competition now. The Bedfordshire Super Naga is reportedly the hottest commercially grown chilli pepper in Britain. Labelled “The Hottest” and “Super Super Hot”, the chilli pepper comes with a warning, “Do not touch without gloves”, the Daily Mail reported.

Salvatore Genovese, a 40-year-old farmer, produces 500,000 such chilli peppers every week. A chilli pepper’s heat is measured in Scoville units, and Genovese’s Super Naga measures 1.12 million Scovilles. The warning, in full block capital letters, also says: “Skin irritant. Avoid contact with eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after preparation to avoid irritation.” Inside the packet, the guidelines read: “Use with caution. Ideally used in Bangladeshi dishes, its scorching heat combined with a distinctive fruity aroma makes it the chilli of choice for cooks wanting a new experience.”

A chilli buyer said fans will love the Bedfordshire Super Naga as it has a “wonderful fruity flavour” to match its searing heat level. “The heat builds slowly allowing you to savour the full flavour. It’s very deceptive because it takes a good 30 seconds for the heat to really start working and then it continues to build for a few minutes,” he said

Dateline : April 2011


The fiery 'Trinidad Scorpion Butch T' claims to register 1,463,700 Scoville heat units, placing it ahead of the current 'hottest chilli' leader recognised by Guinness World Records, the Naga Viper, which comes in at 1,382,118. The previous record was the Bhut Jolokia at 1,041,427. By way of contrast the everyday Jalapenos measure about 2500-5000 and the hottest Tabasco is 30,000.

"They're just severe, absolutely severe," says Marcel de Wit, The Chilli Factory co-owner. "No wonder they start making crowd-control grenades now with chillies. It's just wicked."

The chilli is so scorching that Marcel and his team have to wear protective gear when handling the new variety. "If you don't wear gloves your hands will be pumping heat for two days later," he says.

The chillies primarily end up as a basis for a hot sauce, where the chillies still pack a punch.

"We went to Melbourne to cook our first batch of the sauce, the Scorpion Strike, we all had to wear full chemical masks and suit-up with full protection suits and gloves to cook these up." Marcel says. "Imagine, when you start cooking with it - those fumes that come out of the pot."

Marcel began cultivating the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T two years ago after Neil Smith, who runs The Hippy Seed Company, gave him one of the new chillies to try. "He said, 'Taste this.' We cut it up and we cooked it and - oh, it was so severe."

Neil constantly builds on his seed collection with new varieties from all over the world. But rather than just on-selling seeds to buyers, Neil first plants them on his Central Coast property to learn about the crops they generate.

Dateline : March 2011


Foodies trawling the fresh produce aisles in Tesco looking for inspiration are about to discover something entirely new - Black Garlic.

Tesco have signed up to start selling the innovative new ingredient, available in-store from 27 May, which has already been tried by chefs Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and Nigella Lawson.

It's causing quite a stir with its unique flavour and texture. The colour is entirely the opposite of what you would expect, and tastes nothing like traditional garlic - it's subtle, sweet and evocative.

Foodies are already going crazy with new ideas for the ingredient and are using it on roasted meats, in pasta sauces, risottos and any kind of stock. Some have said the taste evokes a balsamic and molasses flavour, which add a sweetness and je ne sais quoi to meals without overwhelming them.

The company has coined the phrase 'garlic just got better' - after all, it:

* has twice the amount of anti-oxidants of its regular counterpart
* leaves no smell or bad breath - even when eaten straight from the bulb
* has a much longer shelf life
* is low in fat
* is rich in natural sugars and amino acids, making it a flavoursome cooking ingredient.

Produced by a carefully-controlled fermentation process, the technique combines the sugars and amino acids of garlic to produce melanoidin, a dark-coloured substance that is responsible for its unique colour. This unique ingredient will be available in a one-bulb bag, 50g of peeled cloves in a pot, and in paste form too, making it a versatile and exciting ingredient to experiment with in the kitchen.

Katy Heath, Managing Director of Black Garlic, said of the re-launch: "Since its launch in the UK in February 2009, Black Garlic has continued to grow in popularity as a cooking ingredient, as a healthy snack and also for its wide range of health benefits. While it is currently available online and in various smaller high street outlets, with Tesco now stocking the product we expect to see more widespread use of the ingredient both in the home and within restaurants too. My friends and I love it - and we can't wait to hear everyone's feedback when they discover it."

Dateline : February 2011


The newest Indian restaurant in Colchester - already attracting fans all over town -has laid claim to a title contested across the world: producing the world's hottest curry. The Ivory Scorcher contains 10 Naga Viper chillies, and owner Syful Alam says, "Anyone who can clear their plate will get their meal free and have their photo taken with me and the chef and posted on our website. We'll also give them a certificate. The first customer who manages it will get their next meal free, too."

Previous claims on the 'hottest curry' title have come from London's Cinnamon Club, the Brick Lane Curry House in Manhattan, The Engine In at Cark-in-Cartmel and the Rupali Restaurant in Newcastle. Last month it was the turn of Café India in Glasgow with their 'Tikka Chance'. All make use of Naga chillies, which score a searing million-plus on the Scoville scale, which is used to measure the heat in a chilli. Syful says, "Bird's eye chillies come in at up to 100,000 on the scale, but Naga chillies score between 850,000 and 1,359,000. They're seriously hot!"

The restaurant usually offers traditional and tandoori dishes with a modern twist from chef, Albert Gomez, who's worked in five star hotels in India and Bangladesh. Syful says, "the Ivory Scorcher is just a bit of fun, really. We'll still provide biryani dishes and chicken tikka massalas, of course, but Albert fancied the challenge, and we thought an army town might have a few guys who want to show us what they're made of!"

Dateline : January 2011


Daredevil customers at Glasgow's Cafe India must sign a medical disclaimer waiving their right to sue before even attempting to tackle the new fiery dish 'Tikka Chance'. Chef Bablu Rodrick's curry is packed with ten blistering infinity chillis - officially the world's hottest. Miss Scotland Nicola Mimnagh and BBC sports presenter David Currie agreed to taste test the mind-blowing dish...

Cafe India general manager Raj Bajwe had a warning for the guinea pigs. Raj said: "This is lethal. "I am only going to be selling the Tikka Chance with a serious health warning. If you have any health problems, especially a heart condition, then do not even attempt it. "These chillis are so hot the chef has to use rubber gloves to handle them. I normally like chillis and eat them all the time - but even I've been suffering since having a taste."

Using the scientific Scoville scale - used to rate food's spiciness - the hottest curries in the 1960s measured just 1,920. By the 1990s we were taking on Thai curries with a tongue-tingling 50,000 grading. Now Cafe India's Tikka Chance has hit an explosive 1,176,182. As the appropriately named David Curry put his taste buds on the line he spluttered: "My tongue is on fire, my nose is running and I'm starting to sweat. I'm even getting a throbbing pain in my sinuses. It feels like I'm having an aneurysm."

Guinea pig Nicola wolfed down a forkful and shrieked: "Oh my God. My lips are numb - they feel like they are melting. This is horrendous. "It feels like I'm eating lava and it's actually painful.

Cafe India will be presenting customers with a certificate if they manage to finish the £22 dish. Raj said: "I'll be amazed if anyone manages to finish a plateful and we'll be making anyone ordering it sign a disclaimer - we don't want to be sued!"

Previous claims on the title for the world's hottest curry come from restaurants in London, New York and Newcastle. All made use of Naga chillies.



















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