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What is Kashmiri chilli and what can I do with it?


Kashmiri Chillies.....

Also known as
Kashmiri mirch, Kashmiri mirchi

Most Indian savoury dishes are incomplete without a dash of chilli powder. However, when you want that mild zing and enticing red colour but also moderate spiciness, then Kashmiri chilli is the option. These chillies are smaller and rounder and less pungent but give a very vibrant red colour to a dish.
In fact, they are specially bred for their vibrant red and moderate spiciness. Available in a wide range of colour values, the best varieties are bright red and valued for their high colour retention. They give a glowing red colour to dishes without imparting too much heat and make the dish more appealing and palatable.

Roasted dry kashmiri red chilliesRoast the red chillies lightly on a tava (griddle), till it gives out a pleasant aroma. Keep aside and use as per recipe requirements. You can roast whole Kashmiri red chillies or can cut the chillies open, remove the seeds and then dry roast them.
Soaked dry kashmiri red chilliesTo soak the chillies, cut the chillies open. Discard the stems and seeds. Cut into small pieces with scissors. Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes. Drain and use as per recipe requirements.

How to Select
• Kashmiri chillies are readily available in most grocery stores and supermarkets in whole and powdered form.
• Choose the ones with good red colour and uniform size. Avoid buying those that are reddish brown in colour.
• If buying from bulk bins, make sure the lot is not contaminated with sticks and stones and also ensure that the bins were kept covered to avoid dust.
• If buying pre-packaged, check the seal of the package and the date of packing to choose as new a lot as possible.

Culinary Uses
• If you want to impart an appealing red colour to the food without making it too hot and spicy, then this is the perfect red chilli variety for you.
• It can be added to curries, vegetable dishes, tomato sauce, soups and stews in whole, crushed and powdered forms as required by the recipe.
• A powder of Kashmiri red chillies can be added to marinades, and while frying onions and tomatoes for preparing curries.
• It can also be blended in equal proportion with a spicier red chilli powder if you want both colour and hotness.

How to Store
• It can be stored whole or in powdered form, at room temperature, in an airtight jar.
• Avoid exposure to air and moisture.
• If colour fades, it means the lot is getting old, so use up soon or discard.

Try Recipes using Whole Dry Kashmiri Red Chillies

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