Are you a fan of spicy food? There is no better way to add hot spice to your recipes than red pepper flakes or crushed chili flakes.
The chili flakes do not have any significant nutritional value or calories. They are mostly added to flavor a recipe.
Because of their high spice content, red chili flakes are eaten in small quantities.
At this point, you may wonder, what are red chili flakes? Red chili flakes are nothing but coarsely ground red chilies.
Usually, red chilies are available at double the price as compared to red chili flakes. Why pay this extra price when red chili flakes are so easy to prepare?
How to prepare red chili flakes at home?
Red chili flakes are prepared by crushing red chilies into small pieces and serving along with the seeds. Mostly three types of red chilies can be used to prepare red chili flakes.
- Cayenne chilies- These chilies are shiny and bright red. They are very hot and a little bit of the powder is enough to make your recipe spicy hot.
- Kashmiri red chili- If you’re looking to add bright red vibrancy to your dish and mild hot spice, then Kashmiri red chili powder is your best bet.
- Paprika chili- Paprika chilies are either chili pepper or bell pepper varieties. Once grounded both chili pepper and bell pepper can be grounded to make paprika flakes. These chilies come in mild, medium, and hot varieties.
Tips to make red chili flakes using cayenne chilies
- Clean the chilies well before drying them in the microwave or under the sun.
- Dehydrate them till they’re done crispy brown.
- Once the chilies are well dehydrated, place them in a transparent bag and crush them from outside using your hand.
If you don’t want to crush with your hands then try the following method that uses a Mixer Grinder.
- Whole cayenne red chilies dried- 2 whole (Makes 1 tsp chili flakes)
- Pluck out the cayenne chili stems carefully.
- Place a thick-bottomed pan over a low flame. Dry roast the chilies for 1-2 minutes till their color changes to crispy brown.
- Let dry roasted chilies cool down to room temperature.
- Place the dry red chilies in a mixer grinder jar. Grind only for 5 seconds and not more so that you get coarse chili flakes. If you want finer variety then grind them longer.
- Transfer the crushed chili flakes into an airtight container carefully.
Important: Wash your hands well with soap to avoid stinging.
How to use red chili flakes?
- Red chili flakes are most commonly sprinkled over ready recipes. The all-time favorite pizza is an example.
- You can try sprinkling them on raita, chaat, vegetable dishes, stews, soups, salads, fries, and even mix with marinades.
How to store red chili flakes?
- Like any other dry spices, red chili flakes are best stored in a cool dry place in glass bottles.
- Dry spices usually last for six months at a stretch, if stored properly. However, one should check them for their flavor as they tend to lose their aroma and potency over time.
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