Could this be a suggestion for these recessionary times?
Eat more chilies – you’ll want to eat less of everything else…
Though my tongue is firmly in my cheek, it’s not as daft as it sounds. Capsaicin, which is the hot stuff in chilies, is actually thought to supress appetite. And if you’ve even been faced with a nuclear-grade curry, it can be less a case of eating and more of overcoming (or being overcome) in the battle between you and your dinner. In a very practical budgetary equation, the more chilies you put in, the less you are likely to be able to eat, which works well when there isn’t that much food to go around (and always assuming you like curries of course…!).
Adopting this as an economic strategy would not be without its pitfalls, however. You have to know how to handle your chilies and underestimate them at your peril. The memory of my first encounter with those small dried red chilies is etched forever on my mind, most probably because the lamb curry I had created made its own lasting impression on the roof of my mouth. I had added 20 miniature heat seeking missiles to the pot instead of the much smaller quantity that was recommended because, well, they just looked so small… What I managed to eat of the curry was mouth-watering in every sense, but I didn’t get much past the third forkful!
With due care and understanding, however (and always remembering to wash one’s hands afterwards…) chilies, in suitably restrained quantities, can be a worthy addition to the shopping list, if not necessarily one’s first choice in cost-saving measures!