The Chile Cuisine of India, Part 2

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By Dave DeWitt  An Introduction to Curries     Recipes: Quick Curry Powder (Bafat) Indian Minced Meat Curry (Keema Bafat) Pork Curry Gurkha-Style Moghlai Chicken Curry (Nimbu Masala Murgh)     Indian Chile Vendors, ca. 1880 The word curry refers to both a spice mixture and a style of cooking. The spice mixture usually contains chile peppers in the form of …

‘Red Light’ Fried Morning Glory

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The vegetable sold as “morning glory” in stores like Silom is sometimes called “water spinach”—the leaves are slightly bitter, but taste absolutely perfect with a handful of burning red Thai chiles. The exact quantity of each ingredient in this dish is somewhat variable; I like to use approximately the proportions given here, but Sanamluang’s version is a little more salty and less spicy. I’m not sure where the name comes from, but perhaps the red chiles have something to do with it.


  • 1/2 to 1 pound morning glory (found in Asian markets)

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 4 to 8 bright red Thai chiles, chopped finely

  • 1 teaspoon fermented whole soybean sauce

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)


Rinse the morning glory and trim the thick stems. Leave water clinging to the leaves. Heat the oil in a wok over high flame until it begins to smoke. Add garlic and chiles and cook for just a second, then add the morning glory and Thai chiles. Add the fermented soybean sauce and keep the ingredients moving over the highest heat possible for two to three minutes more. Add the oyster sauce, fish sauce and sugar, and cook for another few seconds.

Serve with fresh white rice.

Preserving Peppers in Oil?

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Q: Dear Dave: A couple of years ago an acquaintance gave me a mason jar full of peppers in oil. He unfortunately would not tell me what kind of peppers they were and was closely guarding the recipe. The peppers were green and about an inch to two inches in diameter. I was able to find out he soaked them …

Datil Peppers: Heat with a History

Lois Manno Chile History Leave a Comment

by Richard Villadó   Editor’s Note: According to an announcement in the St. Augustine Record dated February 3, 2010, Johnny’s Restaurant (described in the text below) has changed owners and will re-open as the Hastings Cafe on February 11. The location will remain the same. Some people crave a big, juicy, medium-rare steak or a decadent chocolate dessert. Me, I’m …