Creating spice in the kitchen

Spicy food has always had a certain appeal to it. It’s understandable; whilst traditional food can be great, it may be rather plain in comparison to more exotic offerings.

Spicy food, be it Indian, Chinese, Mexican or from anywhere else, adds extra flavour and challenges the taste buds. It doesn’t need to be strong either. Whether it’s extra spicy or mild, spicy food has a certain charm and atmosphere that’s hard to replicate. From the taste to the simple smell of an exotic hot dish, this charming cuisine isn’t hard to make either.

Curry

Perhaps the first idea that comes to mind when considering spicy food, curries are one of the most flexible and versatile both in terms of flavour and ingredients. For example, an easy dish to make would be a chicken curry. This staple meal can be made from simple ingredients, namely chicken and onions with a rich curry sauce forming an effective and filling curry.

Additionally, changing the curry sauce will then allow you to experiment with various flavours. From chicken tikka to a chicken vindaloo, there are a wide range of curries available. Furthermore, changing the ingredients will again change the flavour and texture. Whilst typical restaurants favour chicken and lamb, there is nothing stopping you from using pork (an ingredient more common in Chinese cuisine but just as versatile here).

Mexican cuisine

Whilst a lot of spicy food, such as Indian and Chinese food, is often associated with the East, there are still other areas that can offer some surprisingly refreshing spicy food.

Mexico, for instance, is famous for its Chilli con carne. This is essentially a spicy stew, thanks to its use of chilli peppers, garlic and onions. Beef is used for additional flavour but this is optional; there are plenty of vegetarian options with Chilli con carne.

The chilli peppers, the dishes namesake, adds the most flavour but experimenting with the rest can reduce or improve the flavour depending on your tastes. Cumin, for instance, is a common seasoning which is added and you can always buy flavours such as these in pre-packaged mixes from companies such as Schwartz.

Chinese cuisine

Whilst it’s not as famous as Indian food, there are a lot of dishes in Chinese food that can be quite spicy. These are often similar to Indian curries, too, using simple sauces to add flavour. Whereas Indian food traditionally focuses on chicken and lamb, Chinese cuisine is open to traditional meats, such as beef, pork and duck. This will drastically provide a different taste sensation, opening up more possibilities for experimentation and versatility.

Chinese food does diversify from Indian food with its additional ingredients. Whether its noodles, nuts or other seasonings, a simple change in flavour can create an entirely new dish.

Experimentation can prove very rewarding; if you add something you know you prefer the chances are you’ll be happy with the end result.

In short, whatever you want to try, there is plenty of fun to be had with spicy food. With a plethora of ingredients and recipes available, the choice is almost endless.