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Old 01-14-2011, 11:55 PM   #1
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The thing about chillies (in need of substitution)

Here I give you my little tale of woe -

I like chillies. I mean I like the smell, the flavor, it's quite unique and robust in some. Except I have one teensy, weensy, not-so-pleasant problem: I happen to be allergic to them.

Specifically the Capsaicin in the chillies. I can eat capsicums/bell peppers without any problem, but even the mildest of mild varieties of chili make me feel this terrible burn from my lips right to my stomach (not spicy burn, nauseating allergic burn). It entirely takes away any chance of enjoying the actual flavor.

Because of this, at least when I am cooking a dish known for having the vegetable, I will use a combination of bell peppers, Hungarian sweet paprika (as that's the only kind I can get) and black pepper. If it's just asking for powder then the paprika will get used with black pepper again.

This is lovely, don't get me wrong, but I was wondering if anyone else had any ideas for substitution, or if other versions of paprika (smoked etc) are perhaps a closer choice to emulate the flavors without there being an issue of Capsaicin (I can't remember off the top of my head if the smoked has it).

So... any ideas from those who aren't snickering at the silly predicament I have?

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Old 01-15-2011, 12:23 AM   #2
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Try jalapenos!!

Any jalapeno you buy in any grocery store should suffice.Someone somewhere has figured out how to make them totally devoid of flavor and spice.They still look like peppers though.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debraj View Post
Any jalapeno you buy in any grocery store should suffice.Someone somewhere has figured out how to make them totally devoid of flavor and spice.They still look like peppers though.
I met some of those and their cousins, some chilis that tasted like bell peppers. It was when I moved to the suburbs. Now I get real ones at the ethnic supermarket or other ethnic stores.

PNP, I have never tried it myself, but what about mustard oil? Or even mustard powder or freshly ground mustard seeds. That would give some heat. Ginger and horseradish give heat as well.

Paprika comes in sweet and hot. Only the hot one has capsaicin. Either one of them can be smoked.

And just the teensiest bit of freshly ground nutmeg.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:42 AM   #4
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I've had Bullhorn Peppers, which look like large yellow chillies. Pricey but delicious. Then I've had very similar looking ones being sold as Banana Chillies. When I had them, I had a reaction. I tried to research to see if they were indeed the same type with a different name but came up with name alternatives for the two so perhaps those kinds are the best choice in that sense (the Bullhorns that is).

Mustard oil could be a go, there's an Indian grocery store I can get to that would probably have it. It's not so much the heat that's the issue as it is just trying to get closer to the actual flavor (black pepper works well for heat for me). Maybe my memory is too faint and my notion of chili flavor is completely different to what it actually is. To me they always had a different taste to bell peppers and the like.

I might have to tinker around in the kitchen a bit with these ideas, thanks Debra and Taxlady!
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