How to Use Chillies – Powdered vs. Fresh vs. Dried Chillies

Chillies are one of the most important ingredients in cooking. They are used in cuisines all across the world and come in variety of flavours. You know it yourself how dried chillies work differently in your dish than the fresh or powdered ones.

If you are wondering how to use different types of chillies in your cuisine, then this article is the right place to start. We will give you an expert’s take on how to use the most common forms of chillies and when to use one over the other to get the maximum flavour.

Chilli powder

The most commonly available form of chillies is in its powdered form. However, it is also easily adulterated. So, when you are buying chilli powder, make sure you do it from a reliable store. Don’t be surprised if you find kernels of cumin or a dash of oregano in your chilli powder. This is the reason you must read the label properly before buying to get the purest form. They are often used in foods that are cooked for long such as stews. This allows the chilli powder to release its flavour completely and makes the dish taste better.

Fresh chillies

Fresh chilies are used in quick-cooking dishes such as salads, pickles, stir-fried foods, salsas, infused vinegar etc. A dash of chilies will give you a burst of flavour and prevent the slow burn like its dried form.

Dried Chillies

Dried chillies are used in things like broth, stock, cream, and pasta water. You can also rehydrate the dried chillies and then blend them together to make a spicy salsa and other things. They have a slower burn than the fresh chillies. However, they should be toasted before using because it brings out their flavour more and makes them taste better.

Chilli flakes

Chilli flakes is not the same as dried chillies. They are perfect for sprinkling when you need a certain amount of dried chilli in your food. If you add them to a dish in the beginning, it makes everything too spicy. However, adding them at the end works better because it gives you a nice pop of hot flavour. But the only problem with chilli flakes is that you can never really know how old they are. While old flakes are milder, the new ones can be very spicy. So, use the flakes with caution in your dish.

Before you go to buy chilies, it is important to know the purpose to be able to get the right ones. You can always stock your panty with the dried and powdered ones. But the fresh chillies must not be too old as it can take away the flavour and crispiness.

Now that you know how each of these chilli variants are used, you can add the right amount of spiciness to your food with various kinds of chillies available for you.