Chilli always brings me back to a memory of four foolish choir mates competing in a green chilli eating contest which led to tummy aches (for the contestants) and peals of laughter (from the audience)! A hot-tasting berry in the nightshade family (of which tomatoes and potatoes are also members), chilli was apparently first discovered by Christopher Columbus in tropical America who called them peppers for their spicy hot taste.
Due to its strong flavour, the use of chilli spread like wildfire throughout the world. Grown in almost every tropical region, it is indispensable to Asian cuisine. In Singapore, the red, small and thin chilli padi, and the long and thick green chilli are most commonly eaten. They are also used fresh or dried, whole or powdered in cooking.
The spicy heat of chillies is measured in Scoville heat units, indicating the amount of capsaicin in the fruit, a chemical compound that stimulates nerve endings in the skin. The hottest chilli in the world can go up to millions of Scoville units!
Try the following recipe to fire up your taste buds. Rest assured though, that it uses the mild flavour of chilli to put a new spin on a classic favourite!
Serves 2 people
Written by: Debbie Chen, Assistant Director (Education, Programming)
Debbie is an ardent reader who often finds herself nose-deep in a dystopian novel. She has been involved in education since graduating from university, and enjoys bringing information to people in an engaging way that helps them see things in a new light.