Are Indian foods (Curry) spicy hot?
Indian foods are spicy, but not necessarily hot. More often, curries are mild than hot
Spices and herbs used in making curry can be categorized in four groups: Curry Powder spices, Curry base Herbs, Hot Chili peppers
Turmeric, Ginger powder, Cumin, Coriander, Fenugreek seed, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Black Pepper
These spices generate savory and warm aroma associated with Indian Curries. The amount of black pepper added is just sufficient enough for warm aroma and not to make curry pungent.
Souring gents such as Dried Mango Powder (Amchoor) or tamarind may be added to temper and mellow the effect of these spices
Fresh Curry-base herbs
Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Lime (for juice), Cilantro, Peppermint leaves
Onions garlic and ginger are are normally fried in cooking oil. These items are pungent, but pungency becomes mellow by frying process
Hot Chili Peppers
Fresh hot green chili peppers (Same as Serrano), Dried red hot chili peppers (Same as Cayenne peppers)
- North Indian Curries are mild. The Chili peppers are used in limited quantity for flavor rather than for pungency
- South Indian Curries are more pungent than North Indian Curries. Use of Chili peppers is more liberal in South India.
- 'Indian British Curries' are notorious for pungent curries. They go above and beyond Serrano and Cayenne peppers. Habaneras are used to maximize pungency. These curries originated at Indian Restaurants in UK. British Indian Restaurants have created their own pungent curries such as: Phall Curry, Tindaloo, and Madras Curry.