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Thread: Top tips for spicy food addicts

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    Top tips for spicy food addicts

    If you're a bit like me and like your spicy food then here are my top tips for somethings you might like to try or, if you've already had them out try at home:


    1) Thai curries.

    Go to your local oriental supermarket type place and pick up some ready made pastes:

    Red curry is hottest and goes really well with beef or lamb
    Green curry is mildest so better for chicken or prawns

    My personal favourite is Penang curry paste (named after a region IIRC).

    To make the curry you'll basically need whatever meat and veg you're using plus coconut milk (or creamed coconut and hot water). To make it really nice and fresh tasting also get some kaffir lime leaves and some lemon grass.

    Cook off (stir fry) your meat and veg, add 1-3 tablespoons of the paste (depending on how how you want the meal), mix it around and fry off for 30 secs or so then add the coconut milk (or creamed coconut and water). Add a small bit of lemon grass (bottom 3rd of the stick - the 'head' part that is - bruise it - AKA bash it about a bit first) and 3-4 lime leaves. Simmer until you've got a nice smooth sauce and serve with some decent rice.


    2) Chilli Bean paste - 'Toban Jhan'

    A salty, chilli bean and soy bean paste (chinese). Bloody spicey (40-50% chilli!) and bloody salty and not at all good for you but very tasty. Amoy make it so it shouldn't be too hard to find.

    I like this best with chicken and some veg that will cool it down a bit (bamboo shoots, water chesnuts). So again - fry off your meat, then veg, add a tablespoon or two (at most) of the paste (you want a 'dry' meal not a proper sauce with it), heat it through (1 minute or so) and serve with rice or noodles.


    3) Whole chillies in slow cooking food.

    If you make anything that uses fresh chillies and can / should cook down for a long time use a whole chilli (or two or three) that's been topped, halved down it's length and de-seeded. If you cook it down for long enough only the skin will be left visible - the flesh will have gone into the sauce imparting the flavour of the chilli instead of just the heat.


    4) Black bean sauce + fresh chillies.

    Add freshly chopped chillis (sliced with seeds still in or finely diced) just before the end of cooking (most take-aways do this now anyway).

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    5) cheap spices!

    go to a halal meat center, you won't regret it!

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    No more Mr Nice Guy. Nick's Avatar
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    Here's mine...

    If you're using dried spices be it chilli flakes, garam masala pwoder, parika or whatever, gently fry your spices in a little oil first beef then adding your meat or whatever it is you're cooking.

    This lets the falvour of the spices come out and removes the bitterness that dried spices tend to have. (Particularly good if you're making a curry)

    Oh, and if you are making a curry, particularly tomato based ones like tikka masala or a balti, fry the tomato puree with the spices for a few minutes... it really helps develop the flavour.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dareos View Post
    "OH OOOOHH oOOHHHHHHHOOHHHHHHH FILL ME WITH YOUR.... eeww not the stuff from the lab"

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    Also - if you are buying your spices cheap from an Indian / oriental supermarket they might not be labeled as the English name. Some of the stuff I've had from Chinatown (London) has been labelled in what I presume is the common (Hindi/Punjabi?) 'Indian' name (as the import labels say they were imported from India):

    E.g.

    Cumin = Jeera
    Coriander = Dhania
    Tumeric = Haldi

    Edit: Hindi -> English for some comons spices + foods

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    we use the indian names on our jars of spices now

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