Making your own chilli flakes or powder is very simple and perhaps the easiest way to use up a glut of ripe chillies. Of course if you have a food dehydrator then you can use this however it is just as easy to make chilli powder or flakes with a regular domestic oven.
I usually tend to keep each variety separate so the resulting powder keeps the distinct flavours of the pods used. However feel free to try making some blends and let us know what works best!
In this batch I made three separate grinds:
- Yellow – made solely from Aji Lemon pods
- Brown – from Chocolate Habanero
- Red – From a mix of Spanish Naga, Tinidad Scorpiam Moruga & Naga Jolokia. This is very hot!
1. Wash and towel dry your chilli pods
2. De-stalk and slice the pods in half, placing face up on a baking tray
3. Place in an oven heated to 80 degrees celcius (approx 175 fahrenheit) and leave the door slightly ajar
4. Check the pods every hour and remove when brittle. Depending on variety this can take anything from 2-5 hours.
By leaving the oven door slightly ajar the air can circulate more, which in turn helps with the drying process. It also helps to ensure a lower temperature, reducing the chances of you cooking the pods. The chillies will give off quite an intense aroma during this drying phase so it might be an idea to shut the kitchen door and open a couple of windows.
Different varieties of pods will take different amounts of time. When you can easier crumble the pods between your fingers you know they’re done.
Once the chillies have dried, remove the pods from the oven and grind them to the size you desire. Personally I like the resulting mixture to be about half powder and half small flakes.
For this batch I simply placed the dry chillies in a bowl and ground them down between my fingers. You could easily use a spice grinder or pestle and mortar instead.
If using your hand be sure to wear rubber gloves….oh and don’t remove you contact lenses just after making your powder!