Last week I was confused over ‘corach’ sauce. Thanks to pointer from a regular reader and commenter (see the post here), I am now a little clearer. The name is sometimes spelled ‘carach’ and sometimes ‘carachi’ – knowing alternative spellings helps when researching old recipes, and sometimes the only way to start off is by trying various phonetic variations of the word! One theory is that name is related to the city of Karachi (Pakistan), and suggests that it was believed that the sauce originated there. An alternative theory is that the sauce takes its name from Carache in Venezuela.
One early recipe is from that marvellous book, The Cook & Housewife's Manual (1826) by Mistress Margaret Dods (the pseudonym of Christian Isobel Johnstone). The recipe is uber-simple:
Mix pounded garlic, Cayenne, soy, and walnut-pickle in good vinegar.
For those of you who prefer more exact measurements, a slightly earlier book - Five Thousand Receipts in all the Useful and Domestic Arts, (1825) by Colin MacKenzie has a more detailed version:
Take three cloves of garlic, each cut in half, half an ounce of Cayenne pepper, and a spoonful or two of Indian soy and walnut pickle; mix it in a pint of vinegar, with as much cochineal as will colour it.
A more elaborate version is in one of my favourite Victorian sources - Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery (c1870’s):
Pound a head of garlic, and put it into a jar with three table-spoonfuls each of walnut pickle, mushroom ketchup, and soy, and two tea-spoonfuls of cayenne pepper, two tea-spoonfuls of essence of anchovies, and one of pounded mace. Pour onto these one pint of fresh vinegar; let them remain in the liquid two or three days, then strain, and bottle it for use.
Note: After partly solving the ‘corach’ mystery (with a little help from my friends), I am now left with the concept of ‘Indian’ soy. Please do continue to share your insights, and to watch this space.
Quotation for the Day.
On England and the English: As a rule they will refuse even to sample a foreign dish, they regard such things as garlic and olive oil with disgust, life is unliveable to them unless they have tea and puddings.