The Chilli Guru

Assorted chilli powders

Making Chilli Powder

Chilli powders are simple to make, easy to store, and versatile in cooking. It makes sense to make a range of different powders to add an extra source of variety in your cooking. Kellu Uchu powder is excellent with fish or chicken, while Machu Pichu works particularly well with red meats adding richness to the savoury umami flavour. Perhaps the most useful and versatile powder of all is Havana Gold which is mildly spicy and can act as a general condiment alongside salt, pepper and mustard.

Thin fleshed chillies are the most suitable as they dry more easily. First cut the top off each chilli to remove the stalk, then dry the chillies thoroughly. This should be done slowly, at a low temperature of about 30 to 35°C, to preserve the colour and flavour. A domestic dehydrator is ideal for this. Such a device can be bought quite cheaply from Amazon.

Ideally the dry chillies should have the seeds and core removed before they are ground, as these can detract from the colour and texture of the finished product. The dried chillies are then ground to produce a fine powder. This can be done on a small scale in a coffee grinder, but for the best results use a Ninja Nutri Blender.

Chilli powders should be stored in small air tight glass jars in a cool dark place.

Using Chilli Powder

Chilli powder can be used as a general condiment in the same way as one would use salt and pepper. Sprinkle it on potato chips, cold meats, fried mushrooms, savoury pastries, and anything that needs a bit of a lift. Milder powders are the most versatile as they add flavour without overwhelming the original taste of the food, but stongly flavoured foods can take hotter powders.

Fried dishes are particularly suitable for incorporating hot chilli powders as capsaicin is soluble in fats and oils, and so gets distributed evenly throughout the food.

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