I needed a lunchtime snack for a pick-me-up after some meetings last week so called in at Ras Vatika in Dominion Road. The owner-chef of this tiny Indian cafe smiles and reaches for a Sabudana Vada (sago pattie, $1.80) when she sees me coming.
These lively patties are a delicious mix of soft and crunchy textures, slightly sweet with a light chilli hit. They’re made from spiced mashed potato with sago and peanuts, so are gluten free (sago is made from tapioca root). And the chilli is as good as a caffeine hit, and better for you.
If you can handle chilli, it really is true that it has a feel-good factor. As your body defends itself against the heat of a hot chilli it releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers, and that leaves you with a bit of a natural ‘high’. Which explains why so many people who like chillis find them addictive!
Chillis also contain Vitamin C, B-complex, and a host of other minerals and vitamins, along with anti-bacterial properties.
Lots more about the health benefits of chillis here http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/chili-peppers.html
Coming soon: the updated edition of ‘A Guide to Vegetarian Cafes in Aotearoa/New Zealand’