How To Dry Chillies
Chillies are an essential ingredient in many cuisines. These spicy peppers are used to add heat and flavor to dishes. While they are readily available in the market, you can also dry chillies at home. Dried chillies have a more concentrated flavor and last longer than fresh ones. In this article, we will guide you through the process of drying chillies at home.
Before you get started, you will need to gather a few supplies. Here is a list of things you will need:
- Kitchen towel or paper towels
- String or fishing line
- Large needle
- Gloves (optional)
Preparing the Chillies
Wash the chillies in cold water and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels. Remove the stems, and cut the chillies in half lengthwise. Removing the seeds is optional, but it will make drying them faster. Wear gloves if you are sensitive to pepper oils.
Air Drying Method
This method is the easiest and requires no special equipment. Here's how to do it:
- Thread the needle with string or fishing line.
- String the chillies together by running the needle and thread through the stem end of each chilli. Leave a few inches of space between each chilli.
- Hang the string in a warm, dry place with good air circulation, such as a sunny window.
- Leave the chillies to dry for several weeks, until they are completely dry and brittle.
Oven Drying Method
This method is faster than air drying, but it requires an oven. Here's how to dry chillies in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 140°F (60°C).
- Place the chillies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Put the baking sheet in the oven and leave the door slightly open to let the moisture escape.
- Dry the chillies for several hours, turning them occasionally, until they are dry and brittle.
If you have a dehydrator, you can use it to dry chillies quickly and easily. Here's how to do it:
- Arrange the chillies on the dehydrator trays, leaving space between them.
- Set the dehydrator to 135°F (57°C), and let the chillies dry for several hours, or until they are dry and brittle.
Storing Dried Chillies
Once the chillies are completely dry, remove them from the string or dehydrator trays and store them in an airtight container. Keep them at room temperature in a dry, dark place, away from heat and sunlight. Dried chillies can last for up to a year or longer.
Cooking with Dried Chillies
Dried chillies can be used in many different ways to add flavor and heat to your favorite dishes. Here are some ideas:
- Crumble the dried chillies and use them to sprinkle over pizzas, pastas, or soups.
- Soak the dried chillies in hot water for a few minutes, then use them to make chili or hot sauce.
- Grind the dried chillies and use the powder to make a homemade spice blend.
In conclusion, drying chillies is an easy and rewarding process. With a little bit of patience, you can create a supply of dried chillies to last you for months. Experiment with different methods and recipes to find your favorite way to use them. Happy cooking!