Spice up your kitchen

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By AdFeatures | Thursday, June 28, 2012, 16:15

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Spicy food can make a nice change every now and then. Whether you like it exceptionally hot or milder in flavour, the addition of various spices and sauces can make some exciting dishes.

If you're looking to try something different in the kitchen, or revisit an old favourite, you should consider adding something spicy. Whereas traditional British cooking is often rather plain, by being open to spicier suggestions, you can cuisine from around the world. Adding spices needn’t be a difficult process either, as companies such as Schwartz sell a range of pre-packaged goods to help you incorporate additional flavours with ease.


The most obvious choice, curries are universally adaptable to a range of situations and ingredients. Whether it’s a vegetarian korma, or a light chicken curry curry, you can prepare virtually anything with the right curry sauce.

Furthermore, curry is perhaps the most flexible in terms of spices. There is a general scale, which starts with the more mild choices such as a korma and ends with the most spicy options such as a vindaloo, with plenty of options in between. Utilising ingredients such as coconut, tomatoes and various ground spices, there are a wide range of flavoursome curry sauces you can make.

Chilli con Carne

This dish hails from overseas in Texas, America. Focusing on the titular chilli pepper, chilli con carne is a very spicy dish which uses cumin, garlic and onions. It is traditionally served with beef, although there's no reason why a vegetarian version can't simply remove this; further vegetarian alternatives can use some form of bean to add texture.

Besides the rich chilli con carne sauce, there are plenty of variations on this spicy favourite. Many local variations across Texas and the United States have grown to make use of the meat that is readily available. Whereas Texas traditionally had a lot of cattle, not everywhere had the same ready access to quality beef and this means alternative varieties of this favourite dish have been created.

You could experiment with pork or chicken to create more interesting flavours and textures. Indeed, a popular alternative around San Francisco and Mexico is called Chilli Verde and uses pork and green chillies to create a spicier con carne recipe.

Likewise, white chilli favours some form of poultry; typically chicken or turkey. The white meat in addition to a strong use of white beans creates a white appearance and when combined with the sauce explains the common name for this dish.

Using similar meats as key ingredients in your recipes can help you create a variety of dishes and flavours by simply changing the sauce you use. Simple additions such as spices and beans can create further distinction without completely transforming the whole meal.

If you're looking to try something new such as this, just remember to keep it simple and let the sauce do the work. Change small ingredients at a time and experiment with flavours to see what works with what, and what doesn’t.



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