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I recently learned that I am allergic to ALL forms of pepper except black pepper. Bell peppers, chili peppers, etc. I am allergic to and it makes my throat swell up. I have several recipes using ground chili pepper. Is there a substitute spice that will give my (mostly ground beef casseroles) recipes SOME flavor?

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related : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/12562/67 –  Joe Apr 11 at 21:23

2 Answers 2

You are not going to find anything outside the chili family that gives quite the same flavor, so substituting flavor-wise is not going to be possible. Note that paprika is a spice ground from particular pepper, so if you are allergic to all capsicum peppers, you don't want to use it.

What you can do is build other flavorful combinations which you enjoy and which you can eat. Some things to consider that bring a touch of some type of heat with them include:

  • Mustard powder (a touch of mustard-type heat, and a deep flavor. Probably want to combine with some herbs like oregano or rosemary.
  • Horseradish (just a touch for piquancy)
  • Ginger, which will work very well in Asian inspired dishes, and in combination with those flavors
  • Szechaun peppercorns (not a capsicum pepper) -- they have a unique flavor and effect; you will have to decide if you like them

All of these flavors are "hot" but from different chemicals than the capsicum peppers, so they will all have different effects.

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I share your allergy and have for some time. First - I'm very sorry, it's not a fun one to have. Second - there are a lot of spices you can use that give color and flavor without going into the pepper family.

I have a recipe for a curry powder you can use: 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds, toasted 2 tablespoons whole cardamom seeds, toasted 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds, toasted 1/4 cup ground turmeric 1 tablespoon dry mustard

It's adapted from an Alton Brown recipe (no cayenne) but the cumin still adds a bit of a kick without requiring an epi-pen.

Also - you can use wasabi in some cooking - it gives a bit of a bite as well. I also use tumeric, as it adds color as well as flavor. I use quite a bit of raw garlic and onion, as it gives a bit of a bite to food, but too much will leave a casserole bitter.

Hope this helps!

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