Love them or hate them, there’s a chilli for every tastebud.
For some mense their first introduction to chilli would probably be the threat of a rissie in jou mond if you were caught vloeking as a laaitie.
For others, it may have been ’n sterk bord kos that had you running for the toilet elke vyf minute.
Thursday, February 25 is National Chilli Day, so if you are looking to heat things up in the kombuis gaan koop vir jou ’n handvol chillies.
Some people don’t mind a bit of a mild kick in their curries and stews, while others just go all out.
Hulle eet laat die sweet tap en die trane loop, but they insist on a chilli of iets to heat up their dish.
A few facts about chilli that you may not know is that there are over 400 different type of chilli grown around the world.
According to drinksfeed.com, chilli is one of the most widely cultivated crops in the world. Some of the more commonly available fresh chillies include jalapeño, serrano, poblano, yellow wax, birds eye, habanero and cayenne.
Chillies are also natural painkillers. The fiery sensation is caused by capsaicin, a potent chemical that survives cooking and freezing, but apart from the burning sensation it also triggers the brain to produce endorphins, natural painkillers that promote a sense of well-being.
The world’s hottest chilli is the Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T” which was grown by The Chilli Factory in Australia.
And if you thought the hottest part of the chilli is the flesh or the pitte, then think again.
The hottest part of the chilli is actually the white pith that surrounds the seeds and runs in thick veins through the pod.
Fresh red chillies are two to three times hotter than green fruit, and dried pods are between two and 10 times hotter than fresh pods.
The next time you want to heat things up in the kombuis and want to add a few extra chillies to your dish just remember, you can add but you can’t take away so go easy on the hot stuff.
Recipe by: Rhodes Quality
500 ml (2 C) self-raising flour
5 ml (1 t) baking powder
10 ml (2 t) curry powder
5 ml (1 t) ground coriander
5 ml (1 t) crushed cumin seeds
5 ml (1 t) crushed cardamom seeds
5 ml (1 t) dried red chilli flakes (or to taste)
5 ml (1 t) salt
65 ml (4 T) coarsely chopped coriander leaves
2 large eggs
1 x 410 g can Rhodes Chick Peas
1 x potato, peeled, cubed and boiled until soft
Place the flour in a bowl and add the baking powder together with the curry powder, ground coriander, cumin seeds, cardamom seeds, chilli flakes, salt and coriander leaves. Stir lightly and set aside.
Whisk the eggs in another bowl and add the Chick Peas, add the potato and mix lightly. Sprinkle in the dry ingredients, mixing lightly between each addition to form a thick batter.
Fry spoonsful of the mixture in about 6 cm of hot oil (175 ˚C if you have a thermometer) for a few minutes on all sides or until cooked through and golden crisp.
Drain on kitchen towel and serve with lemon or lime wedges.
Spicy pilchard stew
Cooking from the heart 1
2 tsp (10 ml) sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1-2 green chillies or to taste, thinly sliced (optional)
2 tsp (10 ml) curry powder or to taste
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 x 425 g tin pilchards in tomato sauce
½ tsp (2,5 ml) sugar or apricot jam
½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt
lemon juice and black pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry onion and garlic.
2. Add chillies, curry powder and cumin and fry for a few minutes.
3. Stir in tomatoes, pilchards with the sauce, sugar and salt. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.
4. Season with lemon juice and black pepper. Serve with a small portion of brown rice.
1. Try this stew with a pasta of your choice. Pap or samp is also delicious.
Chilli Mushroom con carne
SA Mushroom Association
2 onions, peeled, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small red chilli, finely sliced
2-5ml cayenne pepper (according to taste)
5ml ground cumin
3ml ground cinnamon
250g lean beef mince
250g Button Mushrooms, sliced
30ml tomato paste
410g can chopped tomatoes
500ml beef stock
salt and milled black pepper
400g can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
cooked white rice
finely diced toppings: tomato, red onion, avocado
fresh coriander leaves
Heat the oil in a pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until it. Stir in the garlic, chilli, cayenne pepper, cumin and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute. Add mince and cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes, or until the meat is browned. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Sir in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and beef stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 35 minutes. Add the kidney beans and cook for 10-15 minutes. Serve with white rice, diced toppings and coriander leaves (optional).
Spicy pork salad
Preparation time: 35 minutes
250g lean pork mince
250g button mushrooms, chopped and pan fried
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 chilli, finely chopped
5ml ground ginger
5ml lemon zest
2ml ground cumin
20ml sweet chilli sauce
125ml dried bread crumbs
2 handfuls of mixed salad leaves
½ avocado, peeled and sliced
1 chilli, sliced
½ punnet mushrooms, sliced and pan fried
15ml sesame seeds
In a bowl mix the lean pork mince, add the mushrooms, spring onions and chilli. Mix together and then add the ginger, zest, cumin, sweet chilli sauce, bread crumbs and egg. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Roll into balls and place onto baking sheet, brush with oil and bake at 180 degrees for 15-17 minutes.
Toss the rest of the ingredients together with the balls.
Cooks tip: For a variation make a stir-fry with peppers, courgettes, carrots, and cabbage to serve the pork balls with
Dry braai rub
Cooking from the heart 4
15 ml ground coriander
15 ml paprika
10 ml ground cumin
30 ml dried thyme
30 ml dried origanum
10 ml dried rosemary
10 ml dried parsley
Mix all the ingredients together. Meat, chicken, fish or veggies will only beseasoned with salt and pepper before braaiing it. Use no more than 1½ tsp (7,5 ml) salt per kilogram of meat.
Place rub in an airtight container or glass jar and store away from direct sunlight, like in a cupboard or drawer. The mixture will last for 2-3 months if stored correctly.
To use as a dry rub: rub 4 tsp (20 ml) or to taste onto 750 g meat, like steak, chicken, other meat or even veggies. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes or cook immediately.
To use as a marinade: mix 4 tsp (20 ml) of the rub with ¼ cup (60 ml) olive or canola oil and 2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice. This is enough for about 1,5 kg of food or 8 – 10 portions.
Place marinade in a large mixing bowl, add ingredients and mix until well coated. Marinate for 1-2 hours or overnight.
Braai over medium coals until cooked to your preference. Cooking time will depend on the ingredient used. Brush with any extra marinade during the cooking time.
1. For a spicier rub, substitute all, or half of the paprika with chilli powder or cayenne pepper..
Cooking from the heart 4
60 ml olive or canola oil
15 ml mild curry powder or to taste
½ tsp turmeric
5 ml ground cumin
5 ml coriander seeds, crushed
45 ml apple juice or rooibos tea
30 ml lemon juice
5 ml finely grated lemon rind
30 ml finely grated fresh ginger or 1 tsp (5 ml) ground ginger
black pepper to taste
1. Mix the oil with the rest of the ingredients together in a jug. Remember to only season meat once ready to braai, with no more than 1½ tsp (7,5 ml) salt per kilogram of meat.
2. Place the meat, fish or chicken in a bowl and pour the marinade over. Mix until well coated.
3. Allow to marinate for 1 - 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. Fish should not marinate for more than 30 minutes.
4. Braai over medium coals until cooked to your preference. Cooking time will depend on the type of meat used. Brush with any extra marinade while braaiing.
5. Any unused marinade can be heated and served as a sauce. It is delicious served with brown rice, pap or even potatoes in the skin and the meat. Make double the marinade and refrigerate in a sterilised jar for up to two weeks.
1. Crush the coriander seeds with a rolling pin to release more flavour.
2. The strength of the curry powder will determine the spiciness of this marinade. Or add a finely chopped chilli for an even spicier version.
3. Tandoori: add ½ tsp (2,5 ml) paprika to half the marinade and stir this mixture into 1 cup (250 ml) low-fat plain yoghurt. Marinate lamb or chicken in this mixture overnight and brush over the meat while braaiing.
4. Sosaties: thread 1 kg of marinated meat onto kebab sticks. Try beef rump, sirloin or chicken fillets. Add onion, mushrooms, peppers, pineapple and fresh lemon or bay leaves for colour and flavour. Braai to your preference.