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Hot Peppers

On 19 May 2006 at 6:36, Krishna wrote:

> Dear Phaedrus,
> Greetings from India.
> Thanks for the letter regarding mangos. The recipies were great, and
> the  information was very helpful.
> I have one more question for you...
> What kind of system of rating is there for determining the hotness of
> a  chilli pepper? What is also the hottest chilli known? I know that
> in the  states jalapeno is considered to be hot...but it's not really.
> In Mexico  Habenero is probably the hottest. In India the most
> commonly used pepper  is Serano, but they are not always very hot. A
> couple of months ago I  bought a jar of pickled chillies from Sikim (a
> North/easter state of  India). The chillies are small red balls
> (sometimes called "fireballs")  and their name is Dalle. On the label
> of the jar it said "probably the  world's hottest chillies..." How do
> they stack up to other chillies? I was  somehow thinking that there is
> a chilli in Nagaland (another Northeastern  state in India...very
> tribal place) that is the hottest in the  it different from
> Dalle?
> Sorry if that's too many questions...but all related.
> Thanks!
> Krishna 

Hi Krishna,

The hotness of chili pepper is measured in Scoville units. In 1912, Wilbur Scoville, a pharmacist for Park Davis, created a scale for pepper hotness based on the amount of dilution it would take for the pepper to be unnoticed by a taster. I believe that today scientists actually measure the capsaicin content of a pepper and translate that into Scoville units. For a chart of peppers and their Scoville unit ratings, see:

Chili Scale

The naga pepper is on this chart, but not one called "dalle". I could not find anything about a particular pepper called "dalle". I could only find that "dalle" is a word for "pepper" in Sikkim.

The naga is said by some to be hotter than a habanero, but I could only find that one lab had tested a sample and rated it at 280,000 Scoville units. That would make it equal to some of the hotter habaneros, but not hotter than the hottest habaneros, which have tested at up to 300,000 Scoville units. More testing of the naga is needed.

Habanero  		200,000 to 300,000  Scoville units
Naga jolokia (India) 		280,000 	        Scoville units	


White Vanilla

On 28 May 2006 at 22:20, Mary wrote:

>    Dear Phaedrus,
> I am looking for a non artificial vanilla that won't
> make my cakes and frosting brown or beige. Do you have
> any ideas?  Thanks, Mary 

Hello Mary,

Yes, there is a product called "white vanilla extract." You can buy it here:

Spice Barn

or here:

Pen Mac


Peanut Butter Cookies

      My Fave Peanut Butter Cookies
  FROM:  Bobby
  Costa Mesa, CA.
  DOB:  Feb 26.
  These are the Best Peanut Butter Cookies.  When I was in the Army 
during The Viet Nam War, one Christmas, Mom sent me three shirt boxes 
wrapped in brown paper, packaging tape and string, then wrapped again 
in Christmas Paper.  The boxes were lined with foil and in them were 
Cookie Dust.  The BEST Cookie Dust I've ever had.  Of coarse they were 
meant to be Peanut Butter (my fave), Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Cookies 
but through all that mail, came to me as Cookie Dust.  Funny what turns
out to become some of your best memories.
  Mom's Peanut Butter Cookies were always my fave.  One horrifying day, 
Mom bought a new Better Homes Cook Book cause hers was full of grease 
stains, she tossed the old one out.  Long after the 1950's / 60's Cook 
Book was gone, Mom discovered her 1989 Cook Book CHANGED the ingred to 
some of her fave recipes she did not have memorized, one recipe being 
my fave Cookies.  My little Sister searched everywhere and could not 
come up with a recipe as good as Moms from Better Homes.  EVEN The 
Internet could not locate the old recipe.  Bonnie had remembered my 
Wife Debbie telling her she inherited her late Mother Betty's old Cook 
Books and one wonderful day Bonnie had Debbie check if one of the Cook 
Books was the original Better Homes, well, sure enough it was and here 
is the treasured recipe.  Enjoy.  Their are lots of Morals to this story, 
I'll let you figure them out...
  1/2 C Imperial Margarine room temp.
  1/2 C Peanut Butter.
  1/2 C Sugar and some extra.
  1/2 C Brown Sugar.
  1 Egg.
  1/2 tea Vanilla.
  1 1/4 C Flour.
  3/4 tea Bak Soda.
  1/4 tea Salt.
  Preheat oven 375.  Cream together:  1/2 C Imperial, 1/2 C Peanut Butter, 
1/2 C Sugar, 1/2 C Brown Sugar, 1 Egg & 1/2 tea Vanilla.  Sift together:  
1 1/4 C Flour, 3/4 tea Bak Soda and 1/4 tea Salt.  Slowly add Flour Mix to
Butter  Mix.  Form dough into 1 inch balls, place on Cookie Sheet and make 
a criss cross pattern with a fork dipped into some extra Sugar.  Bake 375 
10 to 12 mins.  Cool on cooling rack. 

NYC Deli Coleslaw

On 25 May 2006 at 17:45, don wrote:

> I have been trying for years to duplicate the cole slaw commonly found
> in many delis in the NY area. I happen to live on Long Island. This
> cole slaw usually contains:  cabbage, some carrots and occasionally
> some green pepper, The cabbage is usually cut into very thin  long
> strands, as if it were pushed across meat slicer, The carrots appear
> grated. The thing about this cole slaw is that while the 'dressing" is
> somewhat creamy it is also obvious that the dressing was applied to
> the vegetables while hot, because the cabbage is a bit wilted. The
> dressing is not very vinegary and is about the consistency of half and
> half. It is very frustrating because through trial and error I am
> learning to duplicate the foods I love ( Like NY deli potato
> salad...very close to the recipes here !), but I can't get that Deli
> cole slaw down. Thanks. Don

Hello Don,

Gosh, I dunno, Don. There are several "deli cole slaw" recipes floating around. See below for three. Your best bet might be to obtain one of these cookbooks:

"America's Great Delis : Recipes and Traditions from Coast to Coast" (Hardcover) by Sheryll Bellman

"The New York Cabbie Cookbook: More Than 120 Authentic Homestyle Recipes From Around the Globe" by Mary Ellen Winston

"Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food" by Arthur Schwartz


Cole  Slaw - NY  Deli  Style

 Ingredients :
 2 lb. cabbage, shredded
 1/2 lg. sweet onions, grated
 1 sm. carrot, grated
 1 tsp. salt
 1/2 c. sugar
 1/2 c. mayonnaise
 1/2 c. vinegar
 1/3 c. cold water

 Preparation :
    Place first 3 ingredients in a bowl with an air tight cover.  Mix
 the remaining 5 ingredients together and pour over.  Seal container
 and shake well to mix liquid into vegetables.  Refrigerate at least
 overnight (invert container occasionally to distribute liquid).
 Serve with slotted spoon.  Serves 10-12.
Deli Coleslaw
(Makes 6 servings) 

2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Sugar substitute to equal 1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, green 
pepper, red pepper, and onion. 
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar 
substitute, parsley flakes, and black pepper. 
Add mayonnaise mixture to cabbage mixture. 
Mix well to combine. 
Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. 
Gently stir just before serving.

 Ingredients :
 1 sm. head of cabbage
 1 carrot
 1/2 onion
 1/2 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing
 3 tbsp. salad oil
 3 tbsp. vinegar
 2 tbsp. sugar
 1/4 tsp. salt
 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
 1/2 tsp. celery salt

 Preparation :
   Shred cabbage, carrot.  Chop onion very fine.  Mix shredded and
 chopped ingredients.  Mix together mayonnaise or salad dressing,
 salad oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic salt and celery salt.  Place
 in a jar with lid and shake to blend.  Pour over shredded vegetables
 and chill.

Cambodian Recipes

Poat Dot - Cambodian Grilled Corn Recipe

6  ears corn, husks and silk removed
2  tablespoons vegetable oil
2  tablespoons fish sauce
2  tablespoons water
1 1/2  tablespoons sugar
1  teaspoon salt
2  green onions, white parts only,thinly sliced
 vegetable oil, for brushing

Prepare charcoal grill or preheat an ungreased cast-iron skillet over 
medium heat. Very lightly brush the corn with oil and set on the grill 
rack or in the skillet. Cook, turning every 2-3 minutes, until the kernels 
are tender and nicely charred, 12-15 minnutes total; keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together the fish sauce, water, sugar and salt 
until it is dissolved.
Heat the 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan over medium heat until very hot but not
Carefully pour liquid mixture in (it may sputter a bit so watch out); 
add the green onions and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, about 
30 seconds; remove from heat and cool.
Brush cooked corn with the sauce and serve.
Cambodian Lemon Grass Soup    Samlor Machoo Kreugn

Serves 4


900ml/30fl.oz. Water
2 stalks of Fresh Lemon Grass, bruised or 4 teasp Dried Lemon Grass
4 Garlic Cloves
2 teasp Fish Sauce
50g/2oz Rice
5cm/2-inches Fresh Galangal or 1 teasp Dried Galangal
2 boneless Chicken Breasts, skinned and diced
4 Spring Onions, chopped
2 tbsp Freshly chopped Basil
The juice of half a Lemon
Chilli paste (to taste)
1 teasp freshly chopped Coriander
5 Kaffir Lime leaves or 2 teasp of grated lime peel


1. Place the water, Lemon Grass, garlic, fish sauce, rice, galangal 
and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Add the chicken, mixing well and cook for 10 minutes, skimming off 
any white froth which forms.
3. Place the spring onions, basil lemon juice,  chili paste, coriander 
and lime leaves in a large serving bowl and mix well.
4. To serve, pour the soup over the onion mixture in the serving bowl, 
mix well and serve immediately.
Aioan Chua Noeung Phset Kretni
(Stir Fried Chicken With Mushrooms)

Serves. 4-6
6 dried Chinese mushrooms
1 small roasting chicken
4 cloves garlic, crushed
l/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
Soak mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Squeeze dry, cut off and 
discard stems, cut caps into quarters if they are large. Cut chicken 
into small pieces with cleaver, chopping through bones as well. Fry 
garlic and ginger in the hot lard or oil for a few seconds, then add 
chicken and stir fry until colour changes. Add mushrooms, water and 
sugar, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked. Sprinkle with chopped
coriander and serve with rice.


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