Usually, for someone who is particularly scared of spicy food, when you go through a restaurant’s menu and you notice some meal selection with a good amount of spiciness to it, you are quick to avoid them and move on the next sweet and savoury selection.

While food with a lot of spicy in it may not be for everyone, it is advisable that you try it once in a while. You may not build the tolerance to munch on some raw pepper, but you might be helping your body to remain healthy. One of the main ingredients for our meal today is the Chili Pepper.

Chili pepper, while a hot spice also contains a rich amount of capsaicin (gotten from Capsanthin, which gives its red colour), which serves as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. This very small sauce has been known to be a major ingredient in treating inflammatory diseases and cancer.

This very interesting benefit of chili pepper is not the only one that can be derived from it, as it also helps to build immunity in the body; the beta-carotene contained in chili pepper can be converted into vitamin A (gotten from the Lutein in it) which is essential for good eyesight and developing membranes to fight against pathogens. Vitamin C is also another vitamin that can be gotten from chili pepper to help increase the white blood cells and fight germs.

Other benefits of chili pepper are; reduction of insulin levels, relief of congestion and prevention against sinusitis, it also keeps the good old ticker ticking.

In parts of Asia, especially Indonesia, the Sambal is a paste made from mixing a variety of chili peppers. Usually, this can be accompanied with secondary ingredients like shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, palm sugar, lime juice and rice vinegar.

The word “Sambal” has its origin from an Indonesian loanword of Javanese origin, Sambel and is a native in most Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Singapore dishes.

Sambal has many recipes that can be served with other dishes as a hot and spicy condiment. Since not too many people are comfortable with eating spicy food, the Sambal has gone through variations over the years and different recipes with ranging consistency have been developed. They could either be mild, hot or extra hot (for the adventurous ones).

Preparing the Sambal is an easy straightforward process that can either be gotten off the shelf or prepared traditionally with a stone pestle and mortar. You just need all your ingredients and then grind it up all into a paste and you are good to go. Based on how you like your Sambal, it can be served either raw or cooked.

Since chili pepper is one of the main ingredients in making the Sambal, some of the most common varieties of chili pepper used in preparing it are:

  • Habanera: also known as Adyuma and can be identified with yellow colour and block shape.
  • Cayenne pepper: this pepper is red, shiny and has an elongated shape.
  • Madame Jeanette: also, an elongated pepper with a yellow-light green colour and irregular shape.
  • Bird’s eye chili pepper: is green-red in colour and very spicy.
  • Chili pepper: also, green-red in colour but has a mild spiciness. It is important to note that the green chili peppers are milder than the red ones.
  • Cabe taliwang: much spicier than the Bird’s eye chili, the Lombok Island or “the Island of Chili” supposedly derives its name from it.

So, while you might want a glass or two of water beside you, or maybe even a jug, having a bit of spicy chili or just the mild ones can be good for your health.

For a healthy life, go Chili

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