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A chilli nearly burnt my tongue off. How do I handle this culinary mishap?

Friday, 28 January 2011 | By Ms Manners

Hi Ms Manners,


I went to an Indian restaurant the other day and my tongue almost got burnt off. I tried to stay cool in front of my new client but I felt like I had steam coming from my ears. Any ideas on what I should have done in this situation?

 

Do a little research. Indian food can be hot, so just like alcohol know your limits.

 

I have seen so many times men try and get one up on each other and take the Vindaloo as hot as it comes, but I tell you there is nothing impressive about a man crying, sweating and guzzling water by the gallons because he can’t handle his chilli.

 

So next time, try this little trick.

 

Firstly, don’t reach for the water glass – the capsaicin (which is where the hotness comes from) is not affected or broken down by water, so basically, besides making you look frantic it does nothing.

 

The capsaicin is broken down by oil, fat or alcohol (if there was such a thing as a whiskey donut, this would be perfect).

 

So here are your options – a very stiff alcoholic drink, milk, ice cream or yogurt (raita if you return to that same Indian restaurant).

 

The milk (well the protein in it; so don’t bother with skim milk as you need the fat in the diary for this to work) will break down the burn.

 

Actually, I say know your limits but I haven’t found mine as yet and after visiting countless restaurants that promise they have the hottest chilli in the country I have still never shed a tear or a bead of sweat.

 

If only chilli resistance was a sellable asset! On that note, please email me if you know any hot spots that serve up a painful chilli, I’m up for the challenge. Yes, sometimes even a lady will get competitive.

 

Enjoy your new confidence and the game of etiquette.

 

Kind Regards,

Ms. Manners