Knocked by a Bird …

I am not a connoisseur of chillies. In fact I fall in the low tolerance zone and stay as far away as physically possible.

But there comes a time occasionally when I feel like taking a punch. Not a knock out blow but a couple of pitty-pat punches. Just to remind my tongue and stomach about how kind I am being to them.

The bugles and trumpets play fanfare. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the middle weight champion … “Big Bird” Bird’s Eye!

In the ‘looks’ department, it’s puny. You would think that it would even have an … inferiority complex. But believe you me, size truly doesn’t matter. For my tolerance levels, the “Big Bird” is right up there with Muhammad Ali.


I love the sharp, clean bite. The quick, pleasurable sting.

And it pairs great with fish, making it a double favourite.

Put 15 cloves of garlic through a press and sauté in a tablespoon of oil. Add four vertically sliced birds’ eye chillies and a handful of curry leaves and sauté for a few more minutes. Place six filets of Surmai (King Fish/Indo-Pacific King Mackerel) and pour enough water to cover the top, add salt. Place lid and simmer for ten minutes. Then …

Get ready for the punch.


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