We recently went to a Taco Bell and got offered three sauces with increasing heat levels. I always get excited when there are multiple sauce and dip options. It makes me feel like I am conducting a science experiment with me trying each sauce and making a mental note of how it compares with the previous one. The first few sample dips are when I lock in on the preferred sauce and then double down with further dips. My wife always cautions me before I go for the highest heat sauce, however, a mixture of pride to prove that I can handle a higher heat level and a genuine interest in how hot is the sauce comes into play.
As I grew older I came across a particular set of people, they are a people who hate putting sauce on their foods, yes such people do exist. I wonder what motivates one to take such an extreme stance on such a delicious pairing to most snacks. That however is a discussion for another blog, and very likely if you have landed on this blog, you like me wouldn’t care for such preferences. So after politely asking those nauseatingly chemical-smelling sauces to bugger off and we present the best chilli sauces available currently in India (or at least what we think are the best ones)
Naagin Indian Hot Sauce Original + Bhoot Variant (Rs 450)
Taste preferences are uniquely localised, what is popular in one country/region may not be popular elsewhere. We are therefore a fan of homegrown businesses, especially food companies because they usually hit the nail on the head when it comes to taste. Naagin sauces are proof of all of the above. We love the balance between the tangy and the hot. With the hot on the higher side. The thickness and consistency may not be as per your traditional sauce, however makes for a perfect dipping sauce. Shipped in a glass bottle with an eye-catching design the product looks as good as it tastes. They seem to have a no-nonsense approach when it comes to variants, they just focus on two and both taste really well. The original variant is made using Sankeshwari and Bhavnagri chillies from the western part of India. The bhoot jholokia variant is made using North East India’s legendary Bhut Jolokia chilli. They taste fantastic. At the time of writing, we realised we ran out of this sauce and promptly went and ahead and reordered this.
HIMACHILLI Green Chilli Sauce (Rs 165)
We always love a great pun, it shows brand humour. No chilli sauce round up can be complete without evaluating a green chilli sauce. This subcategory deserves a special mention. Somehow we are visually more scared of a green chilli sauce than a red chilli sauce. These look menacingly radioactive and makes one wonder what secret heat levels does the green chilli sauce hold. This sauce doesn’t disappoint. It is just the kind of hot sauce one requires. A nice addition to a pantry that is already full of hot red chilli sauces. It tastes authentic and is handmade from Himachal Pradesh.
Real Thai Sriracha Extra Hot Chilli Sauce, 430ml (Rs 650)
A couple of years ago, we came across this sauce while reading a comic that expounded the heat level of this sauce, we wanted to try it then but it was nowhere to be found. But now thanks to amazon, finally saw this available. First the form factor, the bottle is plastic which takes away from the visual appeal. However, the plastic also allows for squeezing the bottle, an essential utility when running low on the sauce. Don’t let the name scare you though, this sauce is not burning hot. Spices and sugar are added to ensure a balanced heat delivery. So if you are sceptical about it being too hot, then don’t! It is slightly on the tangier side and is perfect for Asian/Chinese food preparation.
Tabasco Pack of 3 (Rs 519)
We first came across this peculiarly small bottle of sauce when we went to a restaurant. The kind that specialises in burgers. This was a couple of years ago, now it is available and every hot sauce lover knows this brand now. The sourness of this sauce comes from the use of vinegar and the fact that the peppers used in the sauce are mashed and fermented for about 3 years. Fun fact as noted here, the salt used in every Tabasco sauce comes from salt mines under Avery Island. The watery texture makes it rather cumbersome to act as a dipping sauce. It is best used when dabbing your food.