Get your tastebuds a tingling…
So, you’ve discovered you like spicy food. Epic! Welcome to the club! Once you’re hooked, you’ll be constantly on the look out to get your spice fix. But how do you best incorporate it into your cooking you ask? How do you become the Master of spicy cuisine?
Well, there are few things to bear in mind to create delicious nosh that quite literally makes your tastebuds tingle…
First up is to make sure you have a fully stocked spice cupboard of dreams.
Did you catch our article a while back about spices? We go into the fine details about different spices and their flavours. Definitely check that out then head to the supermarket to pick up the basics. Chilli powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper and cumin are must haves, ok?
There’s hundreds of different types of spice so get to know them and pick the right level of heat for you.
Get to know your spice and especially the different levels available. If you’re partial to only a hint of spiciness you don’t want to accidentally add Ghost Chili to your food (FYI that’s the spiciest chilli in the world.) Experiment with heat levels with a staple dish like Chili Con Carne.
Here are a few different categories of spice to try:
– Nasal: Wasabi & Horseradish are what we like to call ‘nasal’ because the spice tends to hit you at the back of your nose. A tiny amount can go a long way and spruce up meat and fish. (It’s delicious on tuna.)
– Chilli: Chilli peppers are a fruit! Fun fact for you there. They come in all variations and degrees of spice which is measured in Scovilles. It’s easy to buy whole chillies fresh or ground chilli powder from the shops. We’d recommend starting with simple green or red chillies. If you want a level up, add a teeny birdseye chilli but protect your fingers from the burn.
– Fiery: Ginger. Not the first thing you think of when it comes to spicy food but ginger sure can pack a punch. If you’re looking for something easy and flavourful then consider ginger. A stir fry dish is great and packed with flavour.
– Curry: Curry powder is a popular staple ingredient used by many to add heat to their dish. It’s different to chilli powder because it’s a blend of spices such as turmeric, cumin and chilli. It’s best to use it as a base for an actual curry or saucy dish.
Add the heat slowly, bit by bit.
If you add the spice a little at a time and taste test as you go along you’ll be able to find the right balance for your mouth. Remember you can always add more spice, but it’s very hard to take it away!
Or if in doubt, serve it up on the side!
Be aware of other people you’re cooking for too! Remember that you want the food to remain edible for everyone so if you’re not sure tastes around the table you can pop some chilies, hot sauce or jam in the middle for people to dip into if they so choose.
If still not feeling confident then make your own sauce.
Sauce is fab because you can control the amount that you spread over your food. If you whip up a batch of delicious hot sauce then it’ll be lurking in the background whenever you desire a mouth full of flames.
How spicy do you like your food? If you think you can handle the ultimate heat try the fantastic Lamb Vindaloo by BistroBattle featured in the header image. Prepare for a spicy curry.