Well, it may be hotting up at times out there in the Dili streets but for me, there’s another form of hotting up.
In my early 20s, I lived in a “group house” for a while and quite a number of very silly things happened during that period. One of them occured with my mate John when the house consisted of me, John and 2 members of the opposite sex. John and I developed a very male thing of competing over who could cook the hottest curry. Yes, I admit that beer was involved and we had a quaint “thing” about notching up the number of beers consumed on the fridge door. (I won and still have the graphical beer consumption chart specifically designed to stir up the female members of the household about our superior drinking performance ! Yeah, I know – it’s a boy thing.)
Anyway, the curry competition was quite competitive and involved both exceeding the last curry in heat and seeing who could last the longest before breaking out into an uncontrollable sweat.
This “training” has stood me in good stead but it is possible that I have met my match. I have a few acquaintances who are exponents of the constant acquisition of hot chili sauces and line their kitchen walls with any number of sauces from all over the world. I think they may also have met their match.
Soon after the destruction of the Taibesse markets, I passed by and felt obliged to buy something from the half dozen vendors (out of a hundred or so) who were valiantly trying to resume some sort of normality out of the mess. I bought some woven baskets for a US dollar and 3 small sachets of chili paste for 10 cents a sachet. Each sachet held about 2 teaspoons of chili paste in a small clear plastic bag tied with string.
I tried some of this chili paste and merely passed a teaspoon over one of these sachets and my scalp levitated from my head. I reckon a teaspoon of this stuff would give half a bottle of tequila a run for its money for sheer effect.
You can buy these 20mm chilis at the markets most of the time and often one can buy chili paste which has been bottled in re-used drink bottles (often small juice bottles). It will take a while to sample all of this sinus clearing material but someone has to do it.
Yep, it sure is a chili lovers delight here.