Happy international spicy food day – in celebration of the chilli!

Some chilli facts, our curry night, and why spicy food could be good for you!

Do you like spicy food? 16th January is international spicy food day and I’d like to celebrate by telling and showing you what we got up to at the weekend!

I’ll start off by saying that we like our food to be hot and spicy. I don’t even realise I’m doing it sometimes. Once, when cooking for friends, I put “a little sprinkling” of chilli flakes in a dish and sent one of them running for a drink! I didn’t think it was particularly spicy, so in part it’s just what you’re used to!

Here are a few spicy facts for you!

  1. If you eat something that’s too spicy, drink some milk. Water won’t help because it will just spread the burn to another part of your mouth. The casein protein in milk binds to the capsaicin in the pepper, which prevents it from binding to your tongue’s pain receptors.
  2. According to archaeologists, people have been eating spicy food for around 6000 years.
  3. Scoville heat units are used to measure the heat produced by hot foods such as chillis.
  4. If you were a bird, you wouldn’t get the fiery sensation in your beak when you pecked at a chilli because you’d be immune to its effects.
  5. Chilli peppers are a good source of vitamin C.

Pathia night

We’ve been getting spice boxes from the Spicery for about 3 years now. You may remember the review that I did last year.

I don’t post about them every month, but we cook them every month – It’s a kind of stay-at-home date night idea. We cook the food together and then enjoy what we’ve made. The curry night box serves four, so we make two meals for two out of it. There are also other boxes if you prefer, such as street food, date night, curry favourites (more well-known dishes than the ones we get), and I believe there is a vegetarian option too. You can buy individual meals, or set up a subscription. If you don’t fancy the meal that has been chosen for one particular month, you can swap to one of the other boxes for that month.

You still need to buy the main ingredients yourself, but all the ingredients that are harder to get have been measured out, ground, and packaged up for you.

I like it because I wouldn’t have a clue how to make a lot of the dishes that we’ve tried, but you also get a step-by-step recipe that shows you how it’s done.

Sunday night was Pathia night. Pathia curries mix sweet, sour and hot flavours because there are sweet mangos, sour lemons and not one, but two types of chilli powder! I suppose if you wanted to, you could make it less hot by not adding the crumbled, dry-fried chillis at the end, but we didn’t want to do that!

Our meal consisted of the Pathia curry, red cabbage palya, home-made poppadoms, mango pickle, and cardamom rice.

Really this was supposed to be a prawn dish, but we don’t like prawns, so we used chicken instead. This worked out fine – you just need to remember that if you swap out ingredients, you need to think about the cooking times too. Chicken cooks more slowly than prawns, so it needed to go in sooner. Occasionally I make small changes to the shopping list because of my allergies, but we didn’t need to change anything for this one.

I’m not usually a fan of cabbage, but I ate this dish because it soaked up all the other flavours. As a child, I really wasn’t a fan of vegetables, but I eat so many more now that I know how to spice them up a bit!

If you’re interested in the pathia kit, you can get it here rather than as part of a subscription.

So, will you be doing anything to celebrate international spicy food day? What’s your favourite spicy dish?

I’ll leave you with an article from the BBC about chillis because I thought it was an interesting read!

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