In this post, we wanted to outline healthy and easy ways to bring some spice to your dishes. We know spice isn't for everyone, so all the spice blends served at Shah Foods come mild. That said, some of us absolutely adore a little kick with each bite, and we have some tricks any and all levels of spice!
Firstly, we want to bring in a certain understanding of spice. You can add anything 'spicy' you want to a dish, but when you do, add it lightly. Like most things in life, you have to know where your limit is and what is acceptable for you. Some people can just take things to the absolute limit, and some of us just need a little bit for a big burn. Be careful using spices you don't understand or haven't tried before, you never know what kind of 'spicy' it will bring!
The standard, most authentic way to bring a level of spice to a dish is to use the chili pepper (also known as capsicum). Found in almost any grocery store, it has become a staple all across the board for Indian cooking. We always recommend using a little bit to spice up the dish and it is our favourite go-to pepper. That said, we find a mix of red and green chili peppers to be the best as opposed to just choosing one. Try cutting up only a little bit and mixing it in next time you cook a meal. You'll notice the spice profiles can be quite tame.
An interesting approach to spicing up a dish can be using a more foreign pepper, like the jalapeno. A lot of us are well versed with jalapenos in their pickled state, but sadly by that point they've lost much of their luster. Try getting some fresh ones and chopping it up to add to your next dish. Jalapenos are nice because they don't bring anything too hot to the table, but they add a very flavorful kick that is famous in many regions of South America. Recently, we've had many people give us feedback saying jalapenos have made their Indian dishes quite interesting and fun! Give it a shot, and let us know what you think!
Finally, we're going to give you a broad answer and say cayenne peppers. We know there are a few varieties and it ranges quite substantially, but that's the point. Try it. Go out to the local grocery store, check their pepper section and grab a few. See what you like, what you don't, what's too hot and what's too mild. The whole cayenne family is famous for it's 'more than spicy' flavor, so don't be afraid!
Some last tips here. When adding spice profiles to a dish, try adding more than one. Perhaps a dash of something quite hot, and quite a bit of something more mild. Give yourself layers of heat, and you'll find your dish has a whole new face. Also, try to stick to fresh peppers. While it may be tempting to just get ground chilies or a hot sauce ( and don't get us wrong, we love both! Especially hot sauces, they can be quite interesting!), the freshness of peppers adds a ton of health benefits and will cook well with the meal.
Just some ideas to spice up your dishes guys! If you have any feedback or have your own little method, we would love to hear from you!
All the best, and keep eating clean!