£1.30 – £9.90
Ground Organic Chilli Powder
Product of: India
Nett Weight: 25g / 100g / 250g / 500g
Organic Chilli Ground. An extremely pungent, fiery hot variety of pepper native to South America; now grown widely in all tropical regions of the world.
Chilli peppers are a small, fiery variety of capsicum. They can be green, yellow, orange, red or black. There are more than 200 known varieties and they differ greatly in size, colour and level of hotness. In general, the smaller the chilli, the more potent, but it’s worth bearing in mind that individual chillies of the same variety and even from the same plant can contain different levels of capsaicin, the volatile oil that gives chilli its heat. There is an official heat scale for chillies known as The Scoville scale, developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. A sweet pepper scores 0 on the scale, Jalapeño and Chipotle chillies score anything between 2,500 to 10,000 and habañero and Scotch bonnet score 80,000 to 300,000 plus! Chillies work well in sweet as well as savoury dishes: a little chilli helps to cut through the richness of the chocolate.
The seeds and flesh of the chilli can both be eaten, but cooking chillies do not reduce the intensity of capsaicin; only removing the seeds and veins will lessen their heat. To prepare fresh chillies, slit them lengthwise, remove the seeds and membranes with the tip of the knife and cut off the stem. Rinse them under cold running water and then prepare according to the recipe. It’s very important to avoid contact with the eyes or any sensitive skin during or after preparing chillies – even washing your hands afterwards may not be enough to remove all the capsaicin.
Mild chillies can be roasted and stuffed in the same way you would a sweet pepper. To roast fresh chillies, place them under a very hot pre-heated grill, directly over a gas flame or – best of all – over hot coals, until the skin blackens and blisters. Be careful not to over-roast chillies as they tend to disintegrate.
Some of the larger dried chillies work better when reconstituted. If you’re making a liquidy dish such as a soup or sauce, add the dried chillies to the pan whole and they’ll plump up during cooking. Otherwise, reconstitute them by soaking in a bowlful of water for about an hour, then use them in the same way as fresh chillies. Crumbled dried chillies work well when fried in olive oil with garlic and mixed with spaghetti for a simple Italian-style supper.
Chilli powder is commonly used in traditional Latin American dishes like enchiladas and tacos. But a spoonful also adds a welcome kick to grilled meats, stew, soup, a pot of beans, and vegetables.
“How long do spices last?”
Depends on both the type of spice and the conditions under which they are stored. Correctly dried and stored spices, do not actually spoil. But over time, they will lose their potency, aroma and flavour.
As a general rule, whole dried spices (not been ground) will last much longer than ground and can last for 1 to 3 years. Pre-ground spices do still always work very well but if possible buy the spice whole and grind it just before you use it. It is also never a bad idea to freeze any spare, try to remove as much air as possible and make sure it is kept sealed in the freezer to avoid moisture.
Here are some tips for maximising the shelf life of your spices:
• Store in an airtight container.
• Store in a cool, dark cupboard.
• Store away from direct heat or sunlight.
• Keep lid tightly closed when not in use.