The Chilli Pickle – Authentic regional Indian food
Sunday 24th January, 16:03
Earliest arrival time quoted was 6:15 pm arrived 6:07 pm
- Grand Thali Box – Kashmiri gosht
- Railway Tray Box – Chicken xacuti
£35.95 inc. £2.50 Deliveroo delivery charge
Takeaway Boy Rating:
Sunday morning had been spent planning a three week trip across India for later in the year. The excitement and anticipation of the trip, along with all the jaw-dropping images packed with colour and food we had been reviewing had left us hungry. There was only one choice of cuisine we wanted: Indian.
Like a large amount of Brightonians I’m a fan of The Chilli Pickle, but I have only ever dined in. With takeaway now available through Deliveroo, the decision was easy. Even though it was over two hours until the first available delivery slot, I placed the order for a Grand Thali Box & Railway Tray and slowly counted the minutes till its arrival.
For a brief moment when I answered the door, I thought I was receiving an Amazon delivery, such was the size and extent of the packaging dinner came in. Opening the boxes was like opening presents on Christmas morning, and the visual that it revealed along with the mix of wonderful aromas certainly had a WOW factor to it.
I’ve never had takeaway come with instructions before, but each box had a cheat sheet of the ingredients, not that dissimilar to the guide you get with IKEA flat pack furniture.
The Thali was the bigger box and came with 13 separate items, the curry being selected by us and the additional items standard across any selection. This included: Kashmiri Lamb Gosht with Rice, Naan, Toor Dal, Tamil Rasam, Potato Riata, Carrot Thoran, Wonderberry Pickle, Tomato Raisin Chutney, Cauliflower Pakora, Rice Pepper Cheese Kebab, Masala Papad and Mango Toffee Rice Kheer.
We started with the Cauliflower Pakora & Rice Pepper Cheese Kebab. Full of finely chopped ingredients each of which was bursting with flavours that complimented each other perfectly.
The flavours in the curry were exquisite. The lamb was melt in the mouth tender and the rich gravy-like sauce had a great kick of chilli, whilst still allowing the flavour of the tomatoes & onion to come through.
I knew I’d not be overly keen on the Toor Dal simply because I don’t like lentils, but this was a sign of preference, not quality. One of my biggest surprises was how much I liked the Carrot Thoran. A cold item, the carrot had a sweetness to it I wasn’t expecting, which along with the naan helped soak up the spices and cleanse my palate.
The Railway Tray was slightly smaller with 9 items. With this, we had chosen the Chicken Xacuti Curry with Kashmiri Chillies, Roasted Coconut & Spice Masala, Poppy Seeds, Onions & Tamarind. This had more of a chilli kick to it than the Gosht Curry, but the coconut in the sauce countered this well, leaving my lips tingling after each mouthful.
It wasn’t just the flavours that made this meal so good. It was the attention to detail in the presentation that was surprising, something not commonly found with takeaway. Whilst the wonderberry pickle’s very sour and potent taste did nothing for me, each had been coated in sesame seeds showing the level of care that had been put into preparing the meal.
As the feeding frenzy continued, our hands weaving in and out of the dishes, Eshé suddenly proclaimed she wasn’t keen on one of the sauces she had just coated a piece of naan bread in. On reviewing the instruction sheet I advised I wasn’t surprised she didn’t, considering that was the Thali box desert; Mango Toffee Rice Keer!
The little pot of dessert was the perfect end to the feast. Like a posh rice pudding it reminded me of school dinners, school dinners if they had been taken in a palace in India during the height of the British Empire’s rule. The creamy texture was sweet yet slightly perfumed and left me wanting more.
Simply amazing. I really can’t find much to fault. Sure it was expensive but for the quality and the quantity, (there was enough left between the two boxes for lunch for one the next day), it justified the price. The variety of dishes were good, and whilst not all were to my liking, they certainly gave a taste of India.
If I had to find any fault it was the volume of packaging, but there’s no other way to provide the variety of food without doing so and keeping close to the authentic nature of the thousands of Railway boxes that travel to the workers in cities across India every day.
It’s not an everyday takeaway experience but I will certainly treat myself to this again. Now roll on October and our Indian adventure to try it firsthand.
Need to Know
- The takeaway service is closed Monday – Tuesday and open Wednesday – Sunday 5.30-10:00pm
- If you order direct from The Chilli Pickle, rather than Deliveroo and collect, you’ll receive a 10% discount on the bill
- A fully Vegan Grand Thali or Railway Tray is also available, just make this request in the comments box when you order
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