I think I didn´t talk much about it here but I have a huge passion for hot and spicy food. Fifteen years ago or more, my family had friends (or let me say someone did marry into our family) which had Tunisian roots or let me simply say they were Arabs. So, sometimes on weekends we did sit together to have a chat and either we did cook or they, depending who was the host. I was still teenager at that time and when we did eat Arabic food, it felt like flying with a rocket to the moon, so hot and spicy was it, really. But at some point, if you eat hot and spicy stuff every weekend, you will become attuned to it.
We often ate stuff like Couscous but the really hot version of it. Or we ate things like hot pepper fennel grass salads. There were other things but basically everything was made with hot pepper and a hot pepper chili paste called Harissa. So really, if I talk about spicy food, I really mean spicy food. If you were new to this kind of food, it could easily give your body circulation problems. But as said, if you eat it more often, you will get used to such spicy stuff.
That just as a background. Today we don´t have contact to them anymore but my mother learned everything and she is today master in creating spicy food like Couscous and other Arabic cuisine. We still eat Couscous and other Arabic cuisine quarterly, I´d say. If my mother invited people, she always had spoken out a warning that this is not just a joke, as it will be extremely spicy. I remember when guests said “Oh my god, I didn´t expect this” while they instantly took a huge slug water even if we warned them, that this is not a very good idea because it will make things worse. They had to learn this lesson. The only drink that would really neutralize the spicy explosion would be milk or chewing on potatoes but even then just a little bit. It was always fun to see if other people got their first experience with extremely spicy food. I loved this.
Then I had a friend who was from Eritrea and he told me that his mother would cook for us, if I like spicy food and he warned me that it would be extremely spicy too. I was there and we ate and his whole family did look with big eyes and said “You are the first German, who does not have a problem with this kind of spicy food”. Weeks later I invited my friend to my mother and we ate super spicy prepared Couscous and my friend said “Oh damn, what the hell?”. He also said “Please give me some stuff so that I can show it to my mother!”. We did that and they wanted to know the full story why we as German eat such super spicy Arabic cuisine. It was a cool exchange and we had a lot of fun. Especially my mother and the mother of my friend did have a lot of fun, because we introduced them both and they talked a lot about spicy food and exchanged knowledge.
As said, today I still eat super spicy stuff sometimes. It´s even so that I did create my own versions of different meals. You probably know “Chili Con Carne” for sure. I love Mexican food too and I do prepare this sometimes but I really use a lot of stuff when I cook it, which you would otherwise rather use if you would cook Couscous or Arabic things. I put in ingredients like sliced eggplants, sliced zucchini, paprika, onions and the spiciest green chili peppers I can find. When I put in some Harissa too, it will be a super spicy Chili Con Carne but very tasty. I cooked it today again…
I did roast mincemeat, I did roast all the other mentioned ingredients and then I did put everything together, added the sauce and red beans to cook it for five more minutes. The result is a very spicy Chili Con Carne inspired by Arabic ways to add ingredients. The green pepper and the Harrisa alone make it so spicy. But it is super delicious if you like spicy food. I´d say this is really a mix of Mexican and Arabic cuisine 😀 But also very dangerous 😀 Do you like spicy food?