The heat of chilli peppers adds spice to foods from meats and vegetables to desserts. A touch of chilli brings out the flavour of chocolate in a cheesecake or ice cream. The intensity of the heat of chilli pepper powder depends on the types of chilli used to make it. Poblanos are mildly hot while habaneros are scorching.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Fresh chilli peppers
- Zipper lock plastic bags
- Rolling pin
- Coffee bean grinder
Select an assortment of fresh chilli peppers. Jalapeños are somewhat hot, serranos are rather hot, scotch bonnets and habaneros are screaming hot. Wash the peppers and remove any stickers if you've bought them at the grocery store. Cut off the stems as close to the pepper as possible.
Place the peppers in a dehydrator for eight to 12 hours until they are crisp and dry. If you don't have a dehydrator, put the peppers on cookie racks placed on baking trays. Turn on the oven to low (93.3 degrees Celsius). Put the peppers in the oven overnight or until they are completely dry.
Put the dried peppers into a freezer-strength zipper lock plastic bag. Squeeze the air out of the bag and close shut. Whack the peppers with a rolling pin to break them into small pieces.
Put the pieces into a coffee grinder you keep solely for this purpose. Grind the small pieces of the dried peppers into a powder. Store the powder in an airtight jar or zipper locked plastic bag.
Tips and warnings
- Use packaged dried peppers from the Ethnic section of the grocery store if you don't want to dry your own. Give the powder a smoky flavour by putting the fresh peppers on a low heat grill after you've added a few chunks of wood. Then, dry with the dehydrator or oven.
- Handling peppers can transfer the heat to your hands. If you rub your eyes or touch your mouth or nose it will burn. Wear latex gloves and avoid contact with your eyes, nose or mouth. When the peppers are grinding, a bit of the pepper dust will get into the air. Work in a well-ventilated area or wear a mask while grinding.
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