Choi: The forgotten fire in Indian food
A food writer tracks a centuries-old fiery native horseradish that is all but lost to Indian culinary history
I have often wondered about the phenomenon of the chilli in subcontinental food, and its conquest of our palates. If the Europeans conquered half the world but failed to stomach the chilli, what made South Asia, South-East Asia and some parts of the Orient take to it in such lascivious abandonment? Historian and food writer Lizzie Collingham says: “No Indian had ever seen a chilli, let alone cooked with it, before the Portuguese came to India in the early 15th century."