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Posted On: 10 July 2018 10:00 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:00 pm

Why do people in Qatar love eating spicy food?

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This question—which also happens to be the title of this article—has been lingering in our minds for many years now. Why do most people in Qatar love adding spice on their meals and why do many restaurants in Doha keep on offering and serving spicy food to their customers?

The answer is downright simple as it all boils down to the country's diversity in terms of its population.

Qatar is made up of almost every nationality in the world and its Top 5 expatriate community—Indians, Nepalis, Bangladeshis, Filipinos, and Egyptians—are known to be huge spicy fanatics. With Indonesians (10th) and Thais (30th) claiming relatively dominating spots in the population roundup, there's not a single doubt that the food scene in Qatar was heavily-influenced by Southeast and South Asian cultures over the years.

But honestly speaking, it's not just because of the cultural influences why locals and expats in the country can't get enough of immersing themselves on spice. Chili-infused dishes are just extremely delicious and it's not hard to see why.

Not only that. For the most part, spicy food is actually a perfectly acceptable component of a healthy, balanced diet. Once you’ve found your spice tolerance, it certainly won’t do you any harm, while there’s even evidence to suggest that it can improve your health.

Qatar expats eat spicy food at The Sizzlers Restaurant in Al Khor.

Spices like cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and cumin, as well as chili, host many health benefits. We've listed down some of its most clinically-proven benefits just for you:

  • Can add more years to your life
  • Can speed up your metabolism
  • Can help you lose weight
  • Can combat inflammation
  • Can help fight cancer cells
  • Can help kill bacteria
  • Can help fight cold

On the other hand, here are some of its cons:

  • May cause diarrhea
  • May cause stomach pain
  • May cause vomiting
  • May make you sweat hard
  • May cause runny nose
  • May irritate your skin
Qatar expats eat spicy food at The Sizzlers Restaurant in Al Khor.

According to Guinness World Records, the hottest pepper in the world is the ominously named 'Carolina Reaper,' which is around 3,200 times hotter than your average jalapeno! Coming at second place is Jakarta, Indonesia's 'Death Noodle'—which contains 100 bird's eye chilies, and has a Scoville rating of 20 million!

But despite all the severe sweating and likely painful series of diarrhea as a result of being a hardcore pepper fanatic, there's still no stopping spicy lovers from going through all over Doha—or sometimes even in Al Wakrah or Al Khor!—to find the spiciest meal that can satisfy their taste buds.

Let's take a look at some of the reasons why for them, #SpiceIsLife:

"I started to love eating spicy food because I have a lot of Korean classmates way back during college days. At first, I have a low tolerance for such but because I'm an adventurous eater, I began craving for more every time I consume spice. When I arrived in Qatar, I got the chance to discover other spicy cuisines from countries such as Thailand, India, and Indonesia. At the moment, my meal won't be complete without at least one spicy dish accompanying my favorite steamed rice."

- Melanie Joana Azcueta Saupan-Laud

"It was my friends who influenced me to become a heavy chili eater and I thank them for that. Whenever we gather on the dining table, it feels good to see each one of us eat the same dish and because of spice, I feel that we're united. There's this euphoric feeling every time spicy food gets into our stomach. There's a sense of camaraderie, belongingness, and brotherhood that resonates by eating spicy food, and we won't get tired assembling again in one place to keep doing such."

- Bai Isthar Sinsuat Mangelen

"#SpiceIsLife because chili helps me to lose weight since my body type generates more heat than the usual. I've been a fan of spicy food for many years already and it's a proven fact that really, spicy food keeps you lean and fit."

- Leah Paulo Pereira

“Eating spicy food provides me an overwhelming feeling of excitement. It’s a creative way of eating that gives out a savory taste of different spices and flavors. The more the spice, the more excited I become to eat and finish my food.”

- Dani Caduco

Qatar expats eat spicy food at The Sizzlers Restaurant in Al Khor.

In short, it's more advisable to ditch the sugar and instead add some spice to improve and extend your lifestyle and culinary horizons.

To taste the best of spicy Southeast Asian food, The Sizzlers Al Khor is the best place to go!

To know the Top 5 Restaurants offering Boodle Fight options in Qatar, click here!

Are you among Qatar's spicy food lover community? If yes, what made you love chili and everything associated with it? Drop us a line in the comments below and also, don't forget to like and share this article—it keeps us going!