Hello, let's talk some spice!
Hot peppers are a great way of making plain meals alive and flavorful. Do you know that adding spices to meals adds a healthy punch to it? Studies have shown that people who eat pepper have a reduced risk of experiencing several blood clotting diseases. Capsaicin, the main component in chilli peppers (cayenne, habenero, tabasco, jalapenos, paprika etc) has shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties that significantly reduces pain (analgesic effects) while also working remarkably against rheumatoid arthritis.
Chilli peppers (dried or fresh) are loaded with vitamins A and C, thus are great immune boosters and effective in fighting colds. Spicy foods are an excellent remedy for relieving sinus congestion; clearing nasal passage to promote easy breathing. While eating spicy food sometimes, you may break out in a sweat. Why? Capsaicin boosts your metabolism by stimulating your body temperature and increasing your heart rate. Thus aiding weight-loss greatly.
Other benefits of eating spicy (fiery) meals include:
- Reduced risk of tumor growth and cancerous cells due to the huge amount of antioxidants in capsaicin.
- Reduced chances of diabetes.
- Improved blood circulation.
- Reduced risk of heart attacks.
- Strengthened walls of blood vessels and heart muscles thus lowering blood pressure
- Increased production of pleasure/happy hormones endorphin and serotonin to combat stress/depression.
Although spicy/peppery foods are beneficial to health, it's however advised not to abuse its use. Deliberately eat spicy foods at least twice every week, your body will thank you for it! I love cooking with habanero peppers, but I consciously don't over-indulge in it for fear of bowel irritation (diarrhea). I guess this is same for most people (especially non-yorubas).
Just like the Caribbeans, I love seafood and I love it spicy! Here's something I enjoy making - savory shrimps in hot spicy and sweet sauce, with a nice tint of lime juice! This tasty recipe can be eaten with almost anything that comes (rice, noodles, pasta, and yam) or even as a dipping sauce for bread.
- 1kg large peeled deveined shrimps
- 3 fresh tomatoes, pureed (can be substituted with 1 Tbsp Tomato paste)
- 6 habanero (ata rodo), blended
- 1 Tbsp chilli powder
- 2 Tbsps Ketchup
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Tbsp Cajun spice
- 1/2 cup Chicken stock
- ½ Tsp Garlic powder
- 2 Tbsps chilli sauce
- 2 Tbsps Cooking oil
- 1 Onion, finely diced
- 3 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp Lemon/lime juice
Mix shrimp, Cajun spice and garlic powder together in a bowl. Heat pan on medium heat, add a spoon of oil and stir fry seasoned shrimps for about 2minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan add the remaining oil then toss in the minced garlic and onions. Fry until transparent. Add all other ingredients except honey, ketchup and lemon. Bring to boil, stir well and then add ketchup and honey. Pour shrimps back and leave to simmer for 2 minutes.