Welcome back, spice lovers, today we’ll be looking at the second of my freebies from Daddy Cool’s. His indian inspired Okra and Garlic Pickle.
A mild but flavourful addition to his range, intended to go alongside a good curry.
At first, its label design seems a touch plain, with just his logo, the product name, a heat rating and a small picture of the main ingredients, all against a green and brown gradient background.
Closer inspection, however, reveals that this background actually contains some rather subtle designs that are quite reminiscent of henna art, cluing us in to its indian theming. Not that his interesting, arabic-inspired font doesn’t pull its weight there as well.
But also worth looking at is the ingredients list:
This does spill over onto the front just a tiny bit but the reason I bring it up isn’t that and nor is it the exciting scotch bonnet chilli content. No, it’s the cascade of garlic, okra and okra slices that make up its background. A really pleasing artistic extra that still leaves the all important details completely clear.
I think the henna-like designs could be made just a touch more apparent and the spill over of the ingredients list could be tidied up but, aside from that, I really like what Daddy Cool has done with this one.
Yet, no matter what I think of the label, it’s what inside that I’m interested in most.
“Think Lime Pickle without the lime” says its creator but I can’t help but wonder how other garlic pickles and even okra curries compare. So I guess it’s time I dug in and found out.
It’s a chunky light brown, as you might expect, with a bit of red creeping in from the chilli infused mustard and rapeseed oils, though I’m sure the spices used also contribute.
I can see no obvious garlic pieces but its flavour definitely makes itself known. Not, however, to anywhere near the overpowering degree that solely garlic pickles I’ve had in the past have done.
And it’s not the almost raw, pickled garlic those tend to use, either. It’s cooked into the mix, blending with the fenugreek, mustard and asafoetida* that give this pickle its distinctively indian flavour.
As for the okra, the soft yet chewy texture of those chunks may be unmissable but their flavour is a lot less powerful than that of the garlic, making it very clear why Daddy Cool has kept that to the level that he has.
To my mind, he has found just the right strength to satisfy, without overshadowing the flavour of the okra. Or any of the product’s other flavours. Even the hint of lemon and subtle grapey notes of his white wine vinegar come through and lend more to the product than just their little tang.
The scotch bonnet content is quite minor and can be considered one of the spices, rather than a main ingredient, but I can still just about taste its presence and, with the very top of my scale’s
it can definitely be felt.
Yet, unlike his fatalii sauce, this one doesn’t exceed its stated heat. It is the mild it claims. Just.
I think Daddy Cool has done an excellent job on this pickle and on summarising its uses. This is, primarily, a side to a curry, eaten with your rice, chapati or naan, but might also make a good paneer wrap. And, like most pickles, it would work as a sandwich filling, with or without cheese, or even (and he really shows his britishness with this one) with the remnants of last night’s curry.
It’s going to disappoint if you’re looking for sheer intensity but it’s definitely worth a go if you’re an okra lover like I am.
*For those who aren’t aware, asafoetida, also known as “devil’s dung” is a lesser known indian spice nicknamed for its atrocious smell when raw. Once cooked, however, it mellows out to a rather more pleasant, savoury flavour that bears some similarities to garlic, raw onions and turmeric.