02/25/14 1:20pm
Ramen noodles get the chaat treatment.

Spiced correctly, sandheko waiwai is one of the fieriest snacks around.

Welcome to the eighth installment of C+M’s ongoing series of audio guides on how to order authentically spicy food in ethnic restaurants. As a service to C+M readers Anne Noyes Saini has been compiling a series of audio guides demonstrating phrases in several relevant languages, which can be used to navigate ordering situations fraught with tricky cultural and language barriers. Today a primer from Kamala Gauchan chef and owner of Dhaulagiri Kitchen in Jackson Heights on how to make sure your Nepali fare brings enough fire to melt the Himalayas. (more…)

02/24/14 10:35am

China’s Hunan province is renowned for its fiery cuisine, so much so that’s there’s even a classic folk song “La Mei Zi,” or “spicy girl,”from the region. A savvy C+M reader tipped me off to this rousing video by superstar Chinese soprano Song Zuying. Much as I enjoy hearing her sing the title refrain I am even more amused by the proliferation of hot peppers and the reckless abandon with which they are handled. There’s enough chili peppers in this video to keep the Sriracha plant in business for a year.

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02/17/14 10:06am

Welcome to the seventh installment of C+M’s ongoing series of audio guides on how to order authentically spicy food in ethnic restaurants. As a service to C+M readers Anne Noyes Saini has been compiling a series of audio guides demonstrating phrases in several relevant languages, which can be used to navigate ordering situations fraught with tricky cultural and language barriers.

Today a primer from Kedija Sraje of Brooklyn’s Bunna Cafe on how to order authentically spicy Ethiopian food. Kedija hails from Addis Ababa. “I think Ethiopian food is the spiciest compared to other parts of Africa.” Check out today’s lesson to make sure that next time you tear into that injera bread you’re dipping it into food that brings the heat. (more…)

02/05/14 12:08pm
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The guacamaya, pork skin and avocado with incredibly spicy pico de gallo.      Photo: The Mija Chronicles

Welcome to the sixth installment of C+M’s ongoing series of audio guides on how to order authentically spicy food in ethnic restaurants. As a service to C+M readers Anne Noyes Saini has been compiling a series of audio guides demonstrating phrases in several relevant languages, which can be used to navigate ordering situations fraught with tricky cultural and language barriers.

Today a primer from Ignacio Morales on how to order authentically spicy Mexican food. Ignacio hails from Guanajato, a small city in Central Mexican where the guacamaya is a signature street food sandwich. The Guanajatan gutbomb consists of little more than pork skin, avocado, and spicy pico de gallo. “It’s like the most unhealthy thing in the world, it’s just a pork skin sandwich but it’s amazing,” Ignacio says. Incidentally guacamaya means macaw in Spanish. The sandwich is so named because it’s so spicy you’ll squawk like that tropical bird when you eat it. On to today’s lesson . . . (more…)

01/28/14 11:14am
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Sichuan ox tongue and tripe is a classic spicy Chinese dish.

Welcome to the fifth installment of C+M’s ongoing series of audio guides on how to order authentically spicy food in ethnic restaurants. As a service to C+M readers Anne Noyes Saini has been compiling a series of audio guides demonstrating phrases in several relevant languages, which can be used to navigate ordering situations fraught with tricky cultural and language barriers.

Today just in time for the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities, a primer from Rain Yan Wang on how to order spicy food in Mandarin. At most of my favorite Flushing haunts, like Lao Cheng Du and Cheng Du Tian Fu, they don’t pull any punches when it comes to fiery chili heat and tingling Sichuan peppercorns. That’s not the case everywhere though. Click through to learn how to get real deal spicy Chinese. (more…)

12/03/13 10:15am
Zabb Elee's crabtastic Lao papaya salad.

Zabb Elee’s crabtastic Lao papaya salad.

Welcome to the fourth installment of C+M’s ongoing series of audio guides on how to order authentically spicy food in ethnic restaurants. As a service to C+M readers I’m compiling a series of audio guides demonstrating phrases in several relevant languages, which can be used to navigate ordering situations fraught with tricky cultural and language barriers.

If (like me) you’ve ever tried to order a spicy dish in a restaurant and been refused (or served a clearly less spicy version), this series of audio features is for you. We’ve already covered Korean, Indonesian, and Hindi / Urdu; this week’s lesson: Thai.
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11/19/13 10:28am

North Indian "mirch" (hot green chilies) front and center,  with laal mirch (ground red chilies) in the background. Photo by Anne Noyes Saini.
Front: hot green peppers (called mirch in Hindi and Urdu). Back: ground red pepper.

Welcome to the third installment of C+M’s ongoing series of audio guides on how to order authentically spicy food in ethnic restaurants.

As a service to C+M readers I’m compiling a series of audio guides demonstrating phrases in several relevant languages, which can be used to navigate ordering situations fraught with tricky cultural and language barriers.

If (like me) you’ve ever tried to order a spicy dish in a restaurant and been refused (or served a clearly less spicy version), this series of audio features is for you. (more…)

11/12/13 12:28pm
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Javanese bubur ayam with a dollop of fiery sambal.

Welcome to the second installment of C+M’s ongoing series of audio guides on how to order authentically spicy food when dining in ethnic restaurants. As I mentioned in last week’s Korean primer, getting grub prepared to adequate spice levels isn’t much an issue for me. That’s not the case for my good friend and Desify columnist Anne Noyes Saini who often finds herself having to convince the waitstaff that she actually wants her food spicy. So as a service to C+M readers she’s compiled a series of audio guides demonstrating phrases in several relevant languages, which can be used to navigate ordering situations fraught with tricky cultural and language barriers. Today’s lesson: Indonesian. (more…)

11/05/13 10:20am
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Spicy Korean soondubu jjigae.

I’ve been a chili head since I was child. Today I relish the many fiery foods of Queens from Liberian to Thai. Getting my food prepared to adequately authentic spice levels is not so much an issue for me. That’s not the case for my good friend and C+M Desify columnist Anne Noyes Saini who  often finds herself having to convince the waitstaff that she does indeed want her food spicy. So as a service to C+M readers she’s compiled a series of audio guides that demonstrate phrases in several relevant languages (e.g., Korean, Thai, Spanish, Hindi, etc.), which can be used to navigate ordering situations fraught with tricky cultural and language barriers. (more…)