Lee Manuel was arrested at his home in Garforth after he took out the weapon when he became aggressive after spending the day drinking on May 6, 2020.
Leeds Crown Court heard how one of Manuel's housemates returned home to find the defendant making a curry in the kitchen and drinking rum and cider.
Phillip Standfast, prosecuting, said the housemate could see that Manuel was drunk.
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At around 7.30pm Manuel went into the living room and asked the victim if he should put peppers in the curry.
Manuel then became aggressive when he was told he should not put peppers in the curry.
He began swearing and making abusive comments as his housemate pushed him out of the room.
Manuel also told the victim that he "should have more respect."
He went to his room where he continued to scream and shout.
Manuel then began to argue with his other housemate.
He then lunged towards the victim holding a knife before making slashing motions towards his own stomach but did not cause injury to himself.
Police were contacted and officers arrived at the property 30 minutes later.
The knife was recovered from the house and Manuel was arrested.
When interviewed about the incident Manuel said he could not remember anything .
He told the officers he had been drinking all day and said was "an eight on a scale of one-to-ten of drunkenness."
Manuel said he could not recall picking up a knife and that it was "hard living with three men."
Manuel, 51, now of Birchfields Crescent, Whinmoor, pleaded guilty to affray.
He has a previous conviction for possessing a blade in public dating back to 2012.
A probation officer told the court that Manuel had stated in an interview that he had been unable to work due to the pandemic and had been drinking heavily around the time of the offence.
The court heard he has now returned to work as an electrical engineer and had sought help to address his problems with alcohol.
Manuel was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 court costs.
Judge Robin Mairs said: "You are a self-employed electrical engineer.
"You are clearly not a stupid man.
"But it all goes out of the window when you are in drink."