Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Of spices and spicy food.

Spices form an integral part of any food that we cook or eat. Though I am not a person who likes too much of spices but I do not detest them completely. For me spices should be put in the quantity that they lend a perfect flavour to the food. The spices should be put in food and not the other way round.

Of all the spices, something that I completely detest is chillies. Any sort of chilly in the food is a no-no for me... whether its white, red, black or green chilly.. I cannot enjoy or rather eat the food if it has chillies in it. A pinch (exact pinch) of chillies is still fine if it is just to provide the flavour but when there is a spoonful of chillies put, I am off. I dont enjoy masala wafers or kurkure... I have also noticed that eating chillies gives me a severe burning sensation in the stomach and it upsets my stomach as well.

One can make out if I am made to eat chillies... Nose running, eyes watery... I shall be drinking water after every bite. Though this behavior is not very nice to have, it has other problems as well. Whenever I eat out, I request for food which has no chillies. Its difficult to make others understand that I dont want chillies in the food. There is a difference between food which has spices and spicy food.. Many find it difficult to digest that food can be cooked without chillies as well. For them, if there are no chillies, the food can never be tasty. There are times when people ate food from my lunch box and found it surprising that its so tasty despite having no chillies in it..

Many a times I have eaten food at home and then went for any formal gatherings, where I know that I will not get the food which has no chillies in it. I dont eat food in my office cafeteria, even though they offer a wide variety and its free..

When I travel abroad, I never have to worry about the spicy food. Since I know the food that I get there, is perfect and according to my choice.. For me, spices do not just contain chillies. I remember an incident in one of the fine restaurant in Taj, Mumbai. We ordered food and we requested the chef not to put chillies in the food. His first question was: 'Ma'm, do you want no spices at all in the food?' Thats where we made him understand that he can put all the spices like cumin seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon or cardamom, but only he should avoid chillies of any sort. He found it strange that an Indian is asking for a non-spicy food but he was kind enough to cook the food according to our choice and believe me, it was delicious. My mum still makes that dish of broccoli and I enjoy it thoroughly.

Similar incidents happen with our local vegetable shop. As the vendor's habit is, he puts a handful of chillies after I have purchased the vegetables and I have to request him everyday not to put any chillies, since we dont use them.. Even he finds it strange that we dont use chillies in our food.. But thats how it is..

I feel its a matter of personal choice what one wants to eat and can eat. Yes, I cannot eat chillies and I dont see anything wrong with it. I do not even miss them because I have realized that I dont enjoy it. Just a hint of it is still fine, but if you put a spoonful of it, you shall see me running out of the door.


Anonymous said...

I think that is okay. Over dose is chillies does no good. and it is indeed personal choice.

B said...

I love spicy food and think that chilli is an integral part of the food prepared..the spicier the better for me.
nice post on ur thots though..