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Dinner tonight: Hot days call for spicy dishes (and a soothing mango gelato)

Try chicken yassa for a hit of spice.

Tim Fraser/The Globe and Mail

Spice is far more prevalent in hot climate cuisines than cooler ones. (Think of Indian or Caribbean food, compared to say Swedish or Scottish.) It may seems counterintuitive, but it does help to fight fire with fire.

Our menu takes its inspiration from Senegal's multicultural cuisine in West Africa. Portuguese, French, Arab and African influences abound in the food, and curry is often used to add extra kick. I recently discovered some of my mother's old recipes from the cooking school she ran in the 1960s, including a scrumptious Senegalese soup. Here is an updated version along with a recipe for chicken yassa, a traditional full-flavoured chicken in a spicy sauce.

You'll beat the heat with these.

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Senegalese soup

Chicken yassa

Fresh mangoes with mango gelato

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