Many meals are made with Chillies, where it has its main purpose as a spice rather than a vegetable. Here its role changes from being a main ingredient to something that complements the main ingredient it is served with maize, which is a staple food in many countries. It is the most consumed grain in the world, with millions of people eating it every day. As with rice, with so many people eating it, many ways have been developed to cook with it
Many countries in Africa, where maize is a staple, have their particular recipes for preparing it. Many of these recipes are based on it being served with a spicy sauce or gravy with the main ingredient. For example, in South Africa, Phutu or Krummel pap is eaten with fiery tomato relish or Chakalaka in Shisa Nyama. In Angola, maize is used to make a dumpling called Fufu served with Muamba da Galinha (spicy Angolan chicken curry with Chillies). In Nigeria, it is eaten with Egusi soup.
Other countries in the world where maize is often combined with Chillies include - India, the USA, and Mexico. In India (where it is called Makai ka atta), Maize and Chillies are combined to make Methi paratha ,Tikkar and Methi Makai dhebra. ( deep-fried bread with fenugreek)
Mexico is a country where maize is combined with Chillies, including making tortillas, Tamales, and corn soup. Similarly, in the USA, maize (or corn as it is called there) is found combined with Chillies in dishes like spicy shrimp and corn grits. Spicy corn dogs, seafood chowder and corn on the cob
More main ingredients
Chillies combine wonderfully with almost every ingredient used in cooking. In particular, any dish that contains tomatoes will benefit from the addition of Chillies. Similarly, Chillies combine particularly well with chocolate. Other main ingredients often included in dishes made with Chillies are:
Are very popular in countries that like spicy food. There are lots of dishes made with Chillies and eggs like the following
In India, eggs and Chillies are found in a host of egg curries, omelettes and scrambled egg dishes. This combination is also used to make Shakshuka from Isreal, Heuvos rancheros from Mexico, Ugandan Rolexes, spicy Scotch eggs from Scotland, Devilled eggs from the USA, and various dishes from Thailand, Indonesia and Korea.
Very similar to lamb when young, goat's meat can be found in a variety of dishes with Chillies, including Goat's meat curry from Jamaica, Asun from Nigeria, Chivo Guisado Picante from the Dominican Republic and Ghosh Biryani from India.
Squashes and Gourds
Evidence was found that Chillies and squash were being eaten together more than 7000 years ago in the Guitarrero Cave. This means that these two have had a lot of time to become acquainted. Just how good this relationship is can be found in dishes like Kaddu Ki Subji ( spicy squash from India), Spicy butternut soup, Crema de Zapallo ( Peruvian pumpkin soup) and Calabacitas ( Mexican sauteed squash).
Once again, this list is hardly all-encompassing. There are many more combinations of meals with Chillies with other ingredients just waiting to be discovered. Venison, insects (believe it or not) and rabbit are just a few of the possibilities. Certainly, something to be explored!