Lunch with Chillies

Lunch with Chillies. Pepperoni Pizza

Food on the move

Lunch  made with Chillies are really  great. Invariably, unless you are sitting down to a formal lunch, you will want to have something that you can hold in your hands.  Normally this would involve a burger, hotdog or sandwich. In this section, in addition to the choices mentioned, we provide other suggestions for a spicy lunch on the go. Enjoy

Lunch with Chillies. Recipes

Chilli dogs
Low carb Pizza

Lunch around the world

Lunch with Chillies. Spicy burgers

Who eats spicy lunches ?

Lunch is undoubtedly not the same in everyone's eyes.  Indeed.  During the week in the USA,  burgers (or pizza) are a favourite. In the United Kingdom, the ham sandwich takes top position. Both these countries are recognised as having a large part of their population that enjoys dishes with Chillies, but their lunch choices don't reflect this at all.

Okay, so the hamburger has  Jalapenos on it , the pizza is a pepperoni & the ham sandwich maybe a touch of hot sauce,  Does that make it a spicy lunch?  Nope (maybe a bit), but there are parts of this globe when it comes to lunch, where Chillies are really part of the scene. When you consider that about twenty-five percent of the world eats Chillies in some form or the other every day, there is a lot of Chilli eating going on!

So where in the world  you more likely to encounter really pungent food being eaten (by a significant part of the population) for lunch?


Definitely, a country that likes its spicy food, Thailand has some delicious lunch dishes, with lots of Chillies.  Not all the options are spicy, but there are certainly a significant number. Portions are generous, and the cost is incredibly inexpensive.

Some Thai lunches with Chilies include Khao Krapow Gai Kai Dao (holy basil stir-fry with minced pork),  Som Tam (a spicy green papaya salad), Kai Jeow (Thai omelette), Gai Tod  (Thai Style fried Chicken), Sai Au ( Thai sausages) with rice noodles and Massaman Gai ( Thai Yellow chicken curry).

And that's not even counting a variety of skewered choices, soups and many other noodle dishes.  Noodle dishes are particularly plentiful, with dishes like (amongst many more) Kanom jin (fermented rice noodles with a spicy yellow curry), and Pad Kee Mow ( Stir fried noodles with pungent Chiili sauce) receiving massive appreciation from the locals.

Pad Thai  (stir-fried noodles), which frequently include vegetables or Tofu, are really popular.  They are found everywhere, and probably the most common lunch dish of all. The basic Pad Thai dish is not generally spicy, as condiments and spices get added at the table to personal taste.


This small landlocked country between China and India is certainly not a place to go if you are a fast food junkie. Here the food is simple, healthy, and very spicy. Indeed. Bhutan is recognised as the country that eats the most Chillies per capita in the world.  One of the reasons they consume so many Chillies., is that they eat them . not so much for their pungency, but rather more as a vegetable. This does not mean their Chillies are not hot. One Bhutanese Chilli, the Dalle Khursani has a Schovile heat rating of between 100000 and 350000 SHU

A favourite lunchtime meal in Bhutan is the cheese and Chilli curry called Ema Datshi. It is recognised as being one of the country's national dishes. Other lunchtime favourites in Bhutan include Shakam Paa (dried beef with Chillies and potatoes), Phaksha Paa (pork, Chillies, vegetables and spices), Sikam Paa (Pork belly fried with Chillies) and Goep (tripe, Chilles, onions, herbs & spice) - to name but a few.

These dishes and many Bhutanese lunch dishes are served with Ezay ( Bhutanese Chilli sauce).  Ezay is made with dry red chillies, green Chillies, onions, garlic , tomato and cheese. It is served very much like a chutney would be, and is served with virtually everything. Another favourite served with lunch is chopped Dalle Khursani and an Achar made with the same Chillies.


When it comes to spicy lunches with Chillies, Mexico is right up there with the best. They have, after all , been eating Chillies for a long time. It's part and parcel of the fabric of this society.

Typical lunchtime meals include Tacos ( tortillas stuffed with meat, vegetables or seafood, topped with cheese and salsa), Enchiladas (corn tortillas rolled around a filling and served with a spicy sauce). Burritos ( Tortillas wrapped around spicy ingredients) Birria (marinated meat cooked to a stew in broth. Served with Tortillas ), Tlayuda ( Mexican style pizza), Gorditas ( pastry made with masa and stuffed with cheese, meat, or other fillings), Tortas ( Mexican sandwich made by filling a soft roll with meat, sauce and other toppings like cream, avocado or salsa), and Fajitas (grilled meat served on a Taco)

One thing that there will never be a shortage of in Mexico for lunch is condiments and salsas. Salsas like Salsa Taquera ( tomatoes, onions, chillies, garlic and oil), / Pico de Gallo (fresh sauce made with tomatoes, onions, chillies and lime juice) and Roasted Jalapeño Salsa and Salsa Verde   are widely used


India is another country that consumes vast amounts of Chillies. Again, this is very much part of the culture. Not having Chillies with your lunch is almost unthinkable.

India's foods for lunch include street foods like Samosa (fried pastries with a spicy filling). Vada Pav (spicy mashed potatoes, dipped in a batter and then fried), Pav Bhaji  ( thick vegetable curry served with a bread roll), Kathi Roll (skewer-roasted kebab in paratha bread), deep-fried Bhaturey and Chole ( Chickpea curry with leavened fried bread), Momos (spicy dumplings), Mirchi Baji  ( stuffed Chilies fried in a batter) and Bikaneri Kachori (to name but  a few).  A variety of vegetarian curries like Saag (spinach), Alloo (potato), Chana Masala (chickpea curry) and paneer cheese) curry are eaten with Indian flatbreads like naans and chapattis.

Chutneys and pickles made with Chillies are very popular in India, as is eating raw green Chiilies with your meal. No Indian lunch would be complete without a good dollop of Chutney like  Pineapple Pachad ( pineapple Chutney with Chillies ) , Tamatar Ki Chutney (chutney made with tomatoes and Chillies) or Lahsun ki Chutney (made with garlic, ground nuts, Chillies and coconut). These are served with pancakes like Dosa, Besan Chilla and Pudla

A well-known Indian lunch concept is that of the  Tiffen carrier (or dabbas). The Tiffen carrier is a kind of multi compartment lunch box .  Its name comes from an Indian English word for a meal. Although being understood to be lunch, in certain parts of India it can mean a light breakfast or afternoon tea.  A Tiffen box (with up to four compartments), can contain rice, rotis,  spicy vegetables, dhal and even a dessert . It is food that is normally made at home  and taken to work ( typically by an office worker) for a hot  lunchtime meal. In some parts of India (notably Mumbai), Tiffin boxes are delivered to the offices (for a fee) by a Tiffin delivery service.

A final note

These lunch dishes are typical during the week lunches when time is limited. Obviously, when it comes to meals, when people have time off, the character of the food will change.   The emphasis will then shift to  more family type cuisine rather than fast food.

Image credit

Shreeram  Narayan/ CC BY 2.0 / via Flikr