Product Type: Pataks Sauces / Soups
Newest Review: ... Madras, Jalfrezi and Rogan Josh. We chose the Balti paste as we don't often choose a Balti curry and fancied a change. The jar cost us £1.9... more
Get pasty rather than saucy
Patak's Balti Curry Paste
Member Name: cerys82
Patak's Balti Curry Paste
Advantages: Versatile, keeps for 6 months
Disadvantages: Oily, vinegary
In general I am a huge fan of curries. I make a lot of curries, especially vegetable ones, from scratch but I also use sauces such as those by Pataks and Sharwoods for those times when I just do not have the capacity to do this - often trying to vary the ingredients so they contain pulses and veg and not just meat.
Previously I had been put off using paste instead of sauce because I was concerned that I would not be able to use it all between opening it and it going off, as the nature of it means that it goes for several meals rather than just one or two like a sauce would. However, I was encouraged to try this product when I saw that this jar when opened would last for 6 months, giving scope for lots of varying meals.
The 283g jar costs £1.83 in Tesco but is often on special offer and available in other supermarkets.
My favourite curry being a Balti, I thought I would start my experimentation with this variety.
On opening the glass jar, you will notice an amount of oil just floating on the surface. I believe that this is to help keep it fresher for longer, so have tried to mix it in more when spooning stuff out rather than just get a spoonful of oil.
The overwhelming smell that you get from it is of tomato, which is unsurprising given that it is a balti! However, it is much more noticeable than in the sauce version. Given that it is a concentrated curry flavouring, the texture is quite thick, almost chutney like.
I have used this paste in a number of different ways. The jar itself recommends that you can marinate meat with it either by itself or with plain yoghurt which can then me baked, barbequed or grilled. However, the regular way descibed is to add meat/veg, tomatoes and water and then simmer. I have bulked it up sometimes with spinach and chickpeas which works very well, but you have to remember when experimenting that being a paste it will require extra liquid if being cooked as a straightforward curries.
I have added small amounts to soups that I am preparing when I have added that stock if I want to add some spiciness to it. Be warned however, that a little will go a long way in this instance.
And so onto the taste. First and foremost, it is quite distinctively a balti flavour, and heat wise definitely on the hotter side of medium. However, and I noticed this more the more concentrated it was within the dish, it is very vinegary which can be quite offputting. This is a real shame because it can mask and distort the otherwise great flavours that are already in it. I assume that it is so strong because of the preservation element.
In conclusion, I am really impressed with the versatillity of this product - to get a variety of meals out a jar costing less than £2 is very economical in my view and also helps to reduce food wastage as it can be added to a wide number of ingredients that you may need to use up. However, the bitterness is a shame. I will probably continue to buy this product as a store cupboard stand-by, but will try other brands as well to see if I can get the same value without the aftertaste!
Summary: A good, but not excellent, storecupboard product
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