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ChoclateFrom being hailed as a nifty cooking ingredient to a fat-buster, there's a lot that can be done with the humble chilli...

Chillies are probably the most commonly used ingredients in cooking processes the world over. They can be had in fresh or dried form and are used in everything from pickling to sauces, roasted, fried, in a masala blend, as a topping on pizza and in desserts too! And forget any anti-viral drugs, chillies are known as one of the flu-fighting foods, so in this 'chilly' season add chillies to your food. Capsaicin in chillies acts as a decongestant and can work well to clear a blocked nose.

Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

Garlic cloves — 2 large, peeled
Red peppers — 2
Brown vinegar— 4 tbsp
Sugar — ½ cup sugar
Water — 1 small cup
Salt — ½ tbsp
Cornstarch — 1 tbsp
Water — 3 tbsp

Blend together all the ingredients, except for the water and cornstarch. Now bring this to a boil. Simmer to thicken. Mix the cornstarch and water and beat this into the boiled mixture. Let this cool and then store it in a jar in the fridge.

Homemade chilli oil

Olive oil—450ml
Red chilli flakes — 20g
Whole dried red chillies — 3 to 4

Warm the olive oil and add chilli flakes and whole chillies to it. Remove and cool slightly. Pour this into a sealable glass bottle with a funnel. Seal and use over time. Can keep for a few weeks.

Thai salad

Garlic — 2 cloves
Red chillies — 2
Crushed peanuts — 2 tbsp
Palm sugar — 2 tbsp (mixed with a little water) or
Sugar — 1 tsp
Lemon juice — 2 tbsp
Fish sauce — 2 tbsp
Finely chopped tomato — 1
Green beans — ¼ cup
Bird's eye chillies — a few
Green papaya— ½

Peel and grate the papaya. Chop tomatoes, garlic and chillies (length ways) and put in a bowl. Crush green beans and add. Now, add the papaya, crushed peanuts, fish sauce, lemon juice and sugar and mix. Serve.

Chocolate chilli ice cream

Caster sugar — 150 g
Milk — 225 ml
Salt — a pinch
Cinnamon, powdered — 1 tsp
Cocoa powder — 2½ tbsp
Egg — 3 yolks, beaten
Dark chocolate bar — 100 g
Chillies — a few broken into small pieces
Light cream — 450 ml

Boil the sugar, milk, salt and cocoa powder in a pan and simmer. Put egg yolks in a bowl and the boiled hot liquid to it. Stir and re-transfer to the saucepan. Heat till it thickens. Remove and add in the chocolate and chillies. Refrigerate, then remove and add cream and beat it.

Psst! They're good for health too 
Research says that not only do they protect the stomach lining and are able to prevent gastric damage, but can help burn fat due to capsaicin content. They have vitamins A and C. Studies say chillies may also be able to prevent diabetes and boost the metabolism.


Sourse : Times of India

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