Season: Available all year
Forgive the pun, but the whole subject of chillies is a hotbed of confusion: there are so many varieties, and availability fluctuates from one variety to another. The only real guide is individual taste. I would avoid the fat, round, scorching Scotch bonnet pepper, unless you are a real hot-chilli lover. What I tend to do is buy the larger, fatter kind, which are usually not so fiercely hot, and if I want really hot, then the tiny Bird Eye chillies, used in Asian cooking, are the ones to go for because they are always reliably hot.
The other point to remember is that green is usually marginally hotter than red. There is a safety net, though: if you find you’re using fresh chillies and they haven’t given you quite enough heat, all you do is add a few drops of Tabasco to top up the fire.
How to prepare chillies: Very carefully. Why? Because the membrane and the seeds inside are the hottest part and can burn delicate skin. American cookbooks often advise using rubber gloves, but washing your hands with soap and water after handling should be okay. If your hands touch the delicate skin on your face or, worse, eyes, it can burn the skin. So slice the tops off, cut them in half lengthways, hold down the tip of each chilli half with your finger and, using a sharp knife, scrape away all the membrane and seeds and discard them.
After that, either slice the chilli, or chop it finely, then carefully wash your hands.
A simple and cheap vegetarian recipe for one that's certainly full of flavour! Adapt it to suit other vegetables if you prefer and serve it with filling and nutritious brown rice.
This is one of Delia's favourite curries - it uses lamb and fresh coconut which adds a vibrant freshness to the finished dish. Highly recommended!
Marinated Chicken with Honey and Ginger served with Mango and Sultana Salsa and Saffron-roasted Potatoes
Limes, honey, mangoes, chilli and ginger do wonders for the humble chicken in this light and healthy supper dish, served with gorgeous golden saffron potatoes.
Easy, healthy and quick to cook, this fish recipe makes a fine supper dish for two. And the pineapple salsa is one of those accompaniments that you can make and serve with everything from barbecue food to grilled chicken.
With its explosion of colour and flavours, a spicy mix of Caribbean spices, coconut milk, beef and vegetables brings this vivid, tasty dish to life!