--- Diana Chan is bringing the wonder of Asian cuisine to your homes in the second series of Asia Unplated with Diana Chan, Thursday at 8pm on SBS Food and streaming on SBS On Demand. ---
Whether it's a mild massaman or a hot bowl of tom yum, a hint or hit of chilli can make you feel warm no matter how cold it is outside. Overdone it? Mouth burning up? Yes, a gulp of milk really does help (this is why).
Here are 32 ways to enjoy a chilli hit, starting with a curry and ending with dessert.
The fish and potatoes combo make fish and chips a winner, and it does here, too, with a spicy, saucy spin.
Fresh chillies and chilli sauce are both used - along with soy sauce, turmeric, ketchup and marsala powder - are used to flavour the pork in this popular Thai dish.
"The rich, spicy sauce is thick enough to cling to the meat. We eat it with Indian breads and it is lovely with a little raita on the side," says Anjum Anand. Red chilli powder and whole green chillies are among the rich blend of spices adding flavour here.
Diana Chan says the unique thing about massaman curry is that it bucks the trend of a typical Thai curry, with a focus on warm spice and not a spicy kick. This recipe from Asia Unplated S2 is a good one for when you want a tickle not a burn.
A good cauliflower curry is a work of art. Use this recipe as a starting point to make up your own version.
A classic from my Ultimate Curry Bible, this dish is such as favourite with the British that I have to include it here. You could think of this recipe as "vindaloo light". It has the garlic, vinegar, black pepper and chillies - in this case chilli powder - that a vindaloo requires, but in gentle quantities. Serve with plain rice.
This one's rich and thick but only moderately spicy - although you can easily up the chilli heat.
Chilli is part of the spice paste that gives this warming fish stew its distinctive flavour.
Fresh chillies and Korean chilli powder (gochu galu) add a kick to this stir-fry, made with Korean rice cakes (like thick noodles, sold at Korean food shops) - or you can substitute udon noodles.
Spiced with long green chillies, dried red chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric and curry leaves, this is ready in just 30 minutes.
With chilli on the marinade and chilli on the side, this birdseye-packed Balinese grilled chicken recipe is sure to knock your socks off with flavour and a refreshin amount of heat. This recipe comes from chef Jerry Mai via Asia Unplated S2 where she cooked it for Diana Chan.
The ancho chilli, a dried poblano chilli from Puebla, is one of the most common varieties of chilli in Mexican cooking. Tamale batter is made from a corn-based dough called masa. It is spread over corn husks, then wrapped with meat and mole. Usually, tamales are made in large quantities for special occasions and sometimes, there’s a tamale-making party called a tamalada.
This fresh salad from Luke Nguyen has all the elements: sweet, sour, salty and spicy. The chicken is cooked in master stock, a poaching and braising liquid commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine. Top your salad with nuoc cham and crispy fried garlic.
On the side
This delicious dish is just as good served cold as it is warm - perfect for a winter dinner side or summer picnic fare.
It's a symphony of flavour in this side, with onion, green chilli, mustard seeds, dried chilli flakes, turmeric and tomato all contributing to the I-want-more effect.
I am rather fond of a cabbage salad and also quietly amazed at how far a single head of cabbage can go. On one particular holiday we discovered two heads of cabbage can last a very long time and the variations of salads you can make from it are endless. This version is great as you get a nice chilli flavour that balances well with the freshness and crispness of the cabbage. Because this salad is so simple, the way you cut the cabbage and the seasoning of it becomes very important.
This is a beautiful and stunningly simple dish to rouse the appetite at the start of a meal. Small red radishes are not a traditional Chinese vegetable, but a recent import. This recipe is based on one from a book of simple recipes for home cooking, Ji ben jia chang cai (shu cai pian), or basic domestic dishes.
Snacks with bite
Get crunch and flavour: smoky paprika popcorn combined with almonds and chorizo baked until crisp.
Pakora a popular street food in Nepal calls on green chillies for added flavour, which is then served with tomato chutney (adjust the chilli in the chutney to suit your definition of tangy).
Who doesn't love classic dumplings with a crisp pan crust?
Put this on top
You can use this versatile preserve in sandwiches, on grilled meats or as a dipping sauce.
The ginger adds a twist to chilli sauce - and this is one where you can go to town if you like things hot, hot, hot. The recipe uses "as few or as many as you like" red bird's-eye chillies. Serve as a dipping sauce for yum cha, drizzle over chargrilled chicken or use it to add pep to any sandwich.
Use small hot red chillies to make a punchy harissa, or the milder long red chillies for a less fiery result.
This version of the traditional Argentinian chimichurri sauce has been thinned down with oil, making it a great lighter dressing for a summer barbecue.
Keep it sweet
Did someone say no-bake treats? You're in luck with these sweet and spicy bite-sized balls, that pop chilli powder and a little kick in your step.
Chilli and chocolate take their friendship to the next level in this spiced tart. Don't be afraid to use small red chillies here as the flavours of this decadent dessert are balanced perfectly by the bitter chocolate and the sweetness of the vanilla bean.