March 20, 2013

A cautionary tale of a habanero pepper

     A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to make pork tikka with curry.  This is the curry we should have recorded. It still brings back painful memories.

     I decided to use a habanero pepper in the curry instead of a serrano. Daniel deseeded it and removed the membrane, and then I tossed it in with the onions and garlic and ginger. Fumes and smoke filled the kitchen immediately, and as I breathed some of those fumes in, my nose and the back of my throat began to burn (as did my eyes).  I removed the pan from the heat, and ran outside, my eyes and nose streaming. As my nose ran, the skin between my nose and lip began to burn badly, like I had just touched a hot iron. I went back inside and got some ice to hold under my nose and relieve the burning. Then I diluted the curry I was making, before heading back outside where Daniel was grilling the tikka.
     Daniel suggested I take a walk to get away from the fumes, it was nice of him to be considerate like that even though he was also laughing at me. That is when I let him in on the real disaster. Our kitchen is not well ventilated, the smoke and fumes were going into the bedroom and living room and down the hall. "We are going to have to pitch a tent outside if we want to get any sleep tonight!" I said. Maybe I was over dramatic, but I was the one holding ice under my nose.

     That is when we went inside propped open the doors and turned on fans. Oh how did supper turn out? It did not burn our mouths, after all the diluting I did it almost tasted bland. I had to go back in and add more masala to the dish.  Still next time you can bet I will be using a serrano pepper in my dish and I will cook it out on the grill where I don't have to worry about ventilating the kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the warning about those powerful peppers. I would not live through that.