How to Make Red Chilli Powder at Home? Full Guide
Red chilli powder is one of the most essential and versatile spices in Indian cuisine. It adds a fiery kick, a vibrant color, and a rich flavor to various dishes, from curries and dals to snacks and chutneys. It is also used as a seasoning for chaats, salads, soups, and stir-fries. It is a must-have spice in every Indian kitchen.
But did you know that you can make your red chilli powder at home? Yes, you heard it right. Making red chilli powder at home is not only easy and economical but also healthier and safer than buying it from the market. You can control the quality, quantity, and spiciness of your lal mirch powder according to your preference and taste. You can also avoid the harmful additives, preservatives, and artificial colors that are often added to commercial red chilli powder.
In this article, we will show you how to make red chilli powder at home with step-by-step instructions and tips. We will also tell you about the different types of red chillies, their uses, and how to store them. So, let’s get started!
What Are The Different Types of Red Chillies?
Red chillies are the dried and sometimes smoked fruits of various species of capsicum plants. They vary in size, shape, color, flavor, and heat level. Some of the common types of red chillies used in Indian cuisine are:
- Kashmiri red chillies: These are long, wrinkled, and deep red chillies that have a mild heat and a sweet flavor. They are mainly used for their bright color and aroma. They are ideal for making red chilli powder for dishes that need a vibrant hue without much spiciness.
- Byadgi red chillies: These are also long, wrinkled, and deep red chillies that have moderate heat and a fruity flavor. They are similar to Kashmiri red chillies but slightly hotter and more intense. They are also used for their color and aroma, as well as for their flavor.
- Guntur red chillies: These are short, thick, and bright lal mirch that have high heat and a sharp flavor. They are grown in the Guntur region of Andhra Pradesh, which is famous for its spicy cuisine. They are used for their heat and taste, as well as for their color.
- Bedgi red chillies: These are medium-sized, thin, and dark red chillies that have medium heat and a smoky flavor. They are grown in the Bedgi region of Karnataka, which is known for its rich and aromatic cuisine. They are used for their flavor and color, as well as for their heat.
- Round red chillies: These are small, round, and bright red chillies that have intense heat and a tangy flavor. They are also called bird’s eye chillies or Thai chillies. They are used for their heat and taste, especially in chutneys, pickles, and sauces.
You can use any of these types of red chillies to make your lal mirch powder at home, depending on your preference and availability. You can also mix different types of red chillies to create your blend of red chilli powder with the desired color, heat, and flavor.
How to Make Red Chilli Powder at Home?
Making red chilli powder at home is very simple and easy. You need some good quality red chillies, a grinder or a blender, and some sunlight or a pan. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Choose and clean the red chillies
The first step is to choose the type and quantity of red chillies you want to use for making your lal mirch powder. You can use any of the types mentioned above or a combination of them, depending on your taste and availability. You can also adjust the quantity according to your consumption and storage capacity. Generally, 1 kg of red chillies will yield about 250 g of red chilli powder.
Once you have chosen the chillies, you need to clean them thoroughly. Remove the stems and any dirt or dust from the chillies. Wash them well under running water and drain them completely. Spread them on a clean cloth or a paper towel and pat them dry with another cloth or a paper towel.
Step 2: Dry the red chillies
The next step is to dry the red chillies until they become crisp and brittle. There are two ways to do this: sun drying or pan roasting.
- Sun drying: This is the traditional and natural way of drying red chillies. It preserves the color, flavor, and nutrients of the chillies better than pan roasting. However, it requires a lot of sunlight and time, which may only be available in some regions and seasons. To sun dry the red chillies, spread them on a large tray or a plastic sheet in a single layer. Place them in a sunny spot where there is no moisture or dust. Turn them occasionally to ensure even drying. It may take 2 to 3 days for the red chillies to dry completely, depending on the weather and the type of chillies.
- Pan roasting: This is the faster and easier way of drying the red chillies. It also gives a nice roasted flavor to the chillies. However, it may reduce the color, taste, and nutrients of the chillies slightly compared to sun drying. To pan-roast the red chillies, heat a large skillet or a kadai over medium-high heat. Add the red chillies in batches and roast them for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until they become crisp and slightly charred. Be careful not to burn them, as it will make them bitter and lose their color.
Step 3: Grind the red chillies
The final step is to grind the dried red chillies into a fine powder. You can use a grinder or a blender for this purpose. If you have a large quantity of red chillies, you can also take them to a nearby flour mill or spice shop for grinding.
Before grinding, make sure that the red chillies are completely cool and dry. Break them into smaller pieces if needed. Transfer them to the grinder or blender jar, and add some salt and curry leaves if you like. Salt helps to preserve the red chilli powder for longer, and curry leaves add some flavor and aroma.
Grind the red chillies into a fine powder in batches, depending on the capacity of your grinder or blender. Sieve the powder through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds or coarse particles. Transfer the powder to an air-tight container and store it in a cool and dry place.
How to store and use homemade red chilli powder?
Homemade red chilli powder can last for up to a year if stored properly. Here are some tips for storing and using your homemade red chilli powder:
- Store it in an air-tight container, preferably made of glass or metal, as plastic containers may leach chemicals into the powder over time.
- Keep it away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture, as they can degrade the quality and shelf life of the powder.
- Label the container with the date of preparation and expiry so that you can keep track of its freshness.
- Use a clean and dry spoon to take out the required amount of powder from the container each time, as moisture from your fingers or utensils can spoil the powder.
- Use your homemade red chilli powder as per your taste and preference in various dishes, such as curries, dals, snacks, chutneys, soups, salads, and stir-fries.
- Enjoy the fresh, flavorful, and healthy homemade red chilli powder that you made with your own hands!
Making red chilli powder at home is not only easy but also rewarding. You can enjoy the benefits of fresh, natural, and safe red chilli powder that enhances your dishes with its color, heat, and flavor. You can also customize your blend of red chilli powder with different types of red chillies according to your taste and availability.
So, what are you waiting for? Try making your red chilli powder at home today, and share your experience with us in the comments below!