Let’s face it, the big chill has settled in across the UK. As rosy cheeks and woolly scarfs become the order of the day, we’re embracing the fiery spices that make the colder months a little easier to bear.
A long day in the cold can have you feeling run down and all together sorry for yourself; so it’s times like these that call for a hit of spice to clear the airways and warm the soul.
A classic soup always goes down a treat, but adding a few pinches of punchy spice will really take your winter warmers to the next level. I personally love a rich, beefy goulash in the height of winter. This traditional Hungarian staple has been keeping its inhabitants warm through characteristically cold winters and biting winds for generations; the key ingredient? Sweet, smoky paprika! Goulash or stew is a great place to start for those who like a bit of spice, without the eyewatering heat.
For the self-confessed chilli heads who are looking for more tongue tingling heat, look no further than the masters of fiery food, Asia. From the notoriously spicy cuisine of China’s Sichuan province, to the British influenced Bangladeshi dish Phall, lovingly named the ‘world’s hottest curry’, this region certainly knows how to bring the burn! Fresh seed-in chillies and ground spices offer a real zing, especially when cooked low and slow to allow them to really penetrate the other ingredients.
As Brits, we have a strange relationship with spice. Some love the subtle pain of a scorching dish while others dread the prospect of too much heat. Spice should always have a flavour orientated purpose in that the essence of the ingredient should add something other than just spice to the dish. There’s no shame in enjoying mild dishes, and when you’re feeling adventurous, begin adding spices slowly. Include them for the flavour and quell the heat with natural coolers like yoghurt, coconut milk and lime juice to increase your tolerance, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying spicy dishes with the best of them!
Written by Tom Gore
Heavily influenced by his global culinary experiences, from working in kitchens all over the world, Tom’s ethos is to keep the basis of his dishes simple and use classic flavours, to create recipes with unusual combinations to a fine-dining standard.Bringing his vitality and passion to the kitchen, Tom has pushed the boundaries of clients’ expectations for conferences and events, and working with his brigade of chefs, cater for all in-house events from private parties to award ceremonies and conferences for up to 1,000