We’ve grown and harvested chillies this year in our garden, for the first time, and had a decent little crop. Not wanting them to go to waste, and not wishing to freeze them, I’ve dried them out slowly in the airing cupboard before blitzing them up into a powder. The result is much hotter and far more tasty than the commercially available stuff, I can tell you!
After picking them on a warm, dry day. I threaded a needle with some fishing line and sewed the chillies together through the stalks, along the line, rotating each one so that they’d keep their distance to allow the air to circulate as they dry.
They then went into the airing cupboard to hang from the bottom shelf for a couple of weeks to dry out slowly and completely. When they were paper dry, it was time to make them into a powder.
Cutting just the green tops off the chilies, but retaining the seeds inside to keep the heat, I put them into the spice grinder attachment for my Kenwood Major Titanium stand mixer.
I then ground them down in to a very fine powder.
Upturning the spice jar, I gave it a gentle tap on the work surface to make sure all that wonderful powder had dropped down from the blades, and allowed the powder to settle for a couple of minutes before removing the blade attachment.
The resulting smell is incredible! So much more rounded and intense than shop bought chilli powder as it’s so much fresher. It also packs a mighty punch; a little of this is going to go a long way!
I can’t wait until next year to grow more than one plant and repeat this process. The plant we bought was from Suttons Seeds and was one of their grafted plants which promise up to 75% more vegetables for a better crop. I’ll certainly be buying this one again!