A couple of months ago I became an uncle for the third time which was very nice. It meant I had to make my well practised journey along England’s motorways ( M4, M25, M40, M42, M6 and M58 if you’re interested) from London to Ormskirk to meet my new niece Amber for the first time. It was of course a delight to meet her, hold her and see her cute, puking face staring up at me. However meeting Amber was not the only reward after my long journey I also got to go to a newly opened branch of what I believe to be the UKs greatest supermarket Booths. If you’ve never heard of Booths it’s probably because they’re trading exclusively in the north of England focusing on Lancastrian, Cumbrian and Yorkshire suppliers. Booths are like Waitrose but better, they’re ethically sound, treat their staff well and if you’re ever near a branch you should treat yourself and take a look around.
The last time I went to a Booths they had a frozen James Martin meal that I had never seen before, nor have I seen it since – unfortunately at the time I wasn’t anywhere near a freezer so I let the opportunity pass and have had to add it to the growing list of celebrity endorsed products that I missed. That list also includes a Hairy Bikers Fish Pie, A Stavros Flatley (remember them???) kebab and some Liz Hurley Beef Jerky. What I am able to review however is some Anjum Anand Mango Chutni which I spotted and put in the trolley.
Anjum Anand is the host of Indian Food Made Easy as well as the face of the Spice Tailor brand. I hadn’t seen the chutney or as Anjum says “chutni” anywhere before but I have tried her Mangalore Herb Curry and that was delicious so I was quite hopeful about the chutni. I made a few different curries and invited my office round for dinner and put the chutni out with some Sainsbury’s papadums and it seemed to go down very well. I have always used mango chutney in this way just plopped on the side of a curry, but Anjum’s packaging tells me that it is far more versatile than that and can be used as a marinade or a glaze. The website goes one step further and makes this confusing statement “Try it in dishes instead of ketchup, it I in tastes more flavourful and cleaner.” so make of that what you will.
The chutni looked nicer than your average one which tends to be a slick of sweet, bright orange jelly. Anjum’s version was a deep orange colour like a posh marmalade and was flecked with blacks seeds, I’m not sure exactly what kind of seeds they were but they made the chutni look appealing. I broke off a bit of papadum and dunked it in the chutni, it was sweet, it also had a sharpness and complexity of flavour from the spicing, it was delicious. It was nicer than any supermarket chutney I have had before, and nicer than most of the stuff you get from a take away as well. I won’t make any claims that it is more or less authentic than any chutney I have tried before, because in all honesty I wouldn’t know what an authentic one tasted like but, it is the one I have enjoyed the most. Anjum has not broken the mould here, it still has the comforting familiarity of a mango chutney, it’s just that it tastes nicer.
The Spice Tailor brand has been around for a while now and is appearing in more and more supermarkets, this can only be a good thing as from the two products I have tried they are well ahead of the competitors. Next for me to try is one of their naans when I can track one down.
Anjum Anand Original Mango Chutni – 225g jar (sorry I’ve lost the receipt so don’t know the price)