I am fairly new to the world of spicy foods. I never liked them, could never handle them and never understood why anyone would want to burn their mouth off rather than just taste the food. Dan, on the other hand, loves spicy foods. He’s not quite a ‘suicide’ hot, but he’s pretty close. We spent the first part of our relationship not sharing certain meals because mine were too bland and his were hotter than all hell.
Then a group of us went to an Indian restaurant in the Byward Market. Haveli’s is well known for it’s fine cuisine and we were not disappointed. I admit that, before walking through the door, I was afraid. I did not have much experience with what I considered ‘exotic’ cuisine and if the food was going to be spicy or fishy (yet another food group I had decided I didn’t like before ever trying it) I knew I wouldn’t like it.
The waiter must have sensed that most of us hadn’t tried Indian before and offered to just start bringing out dishes so we could sample everything rather than try to order on our own.
It was that day that changed my opinion about spice (and Indian food, for that matter). I finally understood that spicy didn’t just mean hot. It was also tasty. Very tasty. So tasty, in fact, that Dan and I regularly make our own Indian dishes (from scratch) at home on a very regular basis.
While the time it takes to make these feasts isn’t always at our disposal, we found an easy way to get our fix. Patak’s. This company makes the delicious sauces from any of the Indian dishes you’ve ever enjoyed in a restaurant – and sells them in a jar, at your local grocery store.
A few years after the first Haveli’s experience, I ordered Beef Vindaloo at a restaurant in Winnepeg. It was so good. I have since ordered Beef Vindaloo every single time I’ve seen it on a menu. So when Dan brought home a jar of Patak’s Vindaloo Curry Paste, I was ecstatic. Vindaloo at home!
Turns out that Patak’s makes the hottest Vindaloo (or anything) that I’ve ever eaten. And it came pretty close for Dan too. It was beyond hot. I immediately started sweating, my stomach cramped a little and I could barely feel the back of my throat. I actually only got through a quarter of my plate before I had to stop. It became physically painful. Dan agreed, though he was brave enough to finish his plate. I think he saw it as a challenge.
Over the holidays, we decided to try it again, though this time we halfed the recipe and added more tomatoes. That would have to help. No. It was still blazing hot. I was starving and ended up finishing half of my plate, but, again, had to stop.
So you may ask why this is getting an OAFe if I can’t even eat it. Well, I figure that if a jar of curry paste can scare off the experienced (Dan) and amateurs alike (me), I figured it’s worth the mention. If you like spice, love Vindaloo and are short on time, give this stuff a try. Though I warn you, you may not thank me for it.