Spice up your dinner menu and invite the world into your home this winter with these hot and spicy foods from around the world. These traditional eats from other regions will not only fuel your wanderlust and prepare your palate for your next travels, they’ll warm your bellies during the February freeze.
Torment your taste buds with this common Indian dish traditionally made with vinegar and pork (though enjoy this dish with your favourite meat if you wish!). Originating in Goa, India, this curry dish is known for its fiery flavour. Turn up the heat by adding more chili peppers to the dish, or tone it down by adding potatoes to help soak up the curry sauce. Vindaloo is commonly served over rice or with flat breads to help balance the heat, and it’s one of my favourites when it comes to hot and spicy foods from around the world!
Bring a taste of the Caribbean into your home by serving jerk chicken. This spicy Jamaican dish has a smoky taste with the Jamaican spices rubbed into the chicken. Made with allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers, the jerk spice has a bit of kick but won’t leave you running for the fire extinguisher. The blend of flavours, from lime juice to the spices, and the juicy chicken breast cooked over a low flame will add a bit of spice to your dinner table. If your own rendition of this Jamaican delight isn’t good enough, try authentic jerk chicken at a jerk hut on the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean isle with our Jamaica vacations.
Eat your way through Asia with your own version of this southeast Asian delicacy. Otak otak is a spicy fish cake often served with a grilled banana leaf. Blend minced fish, dried chiles, a dried shrimp paste, and a pepper-flavoured plant root, turmeric, shallots and candlenuts to make this treat. Find it in coastal towns, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, or find it in your local Asian grocery store. If you can handle the heat, you’ll go bananas for this snack!
Indulge in the taste of Mexico with menudo, a traditional Mexican soup. Made from beef stomach tripe in broth with a red chili pepper base with lime, onions, cilantro and crushed chiles, this soup is perfect for your next family feast! Traditionally eaten as a celebration meal, menudo is also believed to be a hangover cure in Mexican culture. Whether you’re looking to sweat out last night’s alcohol, or looking for an authentic meal to introduce yourself to Mexico, menudo is a must for your dinner plans.
The Bhut Jolokia Pepper
Add a touch of the Bhut Jolokia pepper to your curry or chutney…if you dare. A former Guinness Book of World Records holder for the hottest pepper in the world, this pepper (sometimes called the ghost pepper) registers at over 800,000 scoville heat units. Traditionally used by the Naga people in north eastern India, it’s commonly added to chicken curry or a potato, bean, and bamboo mash mixed with the pepper. (I think I’ll pass, thanks.)
For more spicy Indian food, eat your way through the country with one of our tours.
What is your favourite spicy food? Leave us a comment and let us know!