Sunday 17 October 2010

Homemade Chilli Powder

Question : what do you do when you’ve already got a freezer drawer full of chillies and you’ve still got enough chillies to warm up the North Pole and your wife is allergic to vinegar?

Answer : Make homemade chilli powder of course!

Homemade Chilli Powder

Here’s what you’re going to need

  • Chillies, lots of.
  • A dehydrator
  • Mortar & pestle.
  • Gas Mask
  • Ventilation

Chop & Dehydrate

You want to chop the chillies up into small pieces. TV chefs often tell you to remove the seeds, but I always leave the seeds in because they’re awesome. I do however remove the stems because eating stems is just bat shit crazy.

When you’re done chopping the chillies up, crack them into a dehydrator until they’re crispy. I’ll say that again, crispy. When you’re done they should look like this. note that yours may look a different colour because I’ve used unripe orange bhuts here

Chillies in the dehydrator

Add chillies to mortar & don your gas mask

When you’ve got to this stage you should stop and put on a gas mask or dust mask. This is no joke.

Dehydrated Orange Bhuts in the mortar

If you have neither then a tightly wrapped tea towel may reduce the suffering, but it won’t stop it. You’ll also want to be in a well ventilated room because in a few minutes the atmosphere is in that room is going to make the surface of Venus seem like a friendly option.

If you’re intent on causing yourself pain proceed to the next stage without a mask or a well ventilated room.

Grind it up.

Before you start you want your chillies to be crispy, so ideally they should be fresh from the dehydrator. If they’re not then this stage will just be upsetting. Because you’ll end up with bits of chilli that are not dry enough to powder and they’ll be too little to go back into the dehydrator. If this is the case then you may cry like a little girl. You should resist this temptation, always.

So once again, are your chillies crispy?

They are? Good.

You can now begin to grind, go easy at first and watch out for spillage over the sides. When you’ve got a nice power, add some more chillies in and start again. I wasn’t aiming for a perfect powder and I was quote happy for it to have a ‘rustic’ quality. Rinse and repeat until all of your chillies have been ground.

Grind and add more

Decant

Once your chillies are all ground into a reasonably fine powder then it’s time to decant them. Here’s mine before I put it into a jar.

All grinded down.

Here’s the finished product complete with labels created by mrsmoo. The jar on the left contains ground Orange Bhut Jolokia ( Caspers unfriendly ghost pepper powder ) and the jar on the right contains Long Habanero ( Mr Moo’s fucko hot habanero powder) .

Homemade Chilli Powder

Worth the effort?

If you only occasionally throw a teaspoon of chilli powder into a recipe then this is probably not a worthwhile thing to do. If like me and my wife, you happen to put chilli into almost everything and you appreciate the subtleties and nuances between the different chilli varieties then this is almost certainly the way forward.

I can’t begin to tell you how much better these powders are than commercial chilli powders, they have a heat and body of taste that you’ll never experience with ready made powders.

Laters alligators & remember to wear a mask.