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chilli peppers (dried)
Category Dry Herbs
Alternate Names cili kering
Taste spicy, pungent
Substitutes chilli peppers (fresh), chilli flakes
Grace Teo
Grace Teo   thegraceteo
Published on April 19, 2018

Background

Dried chillies are one of the most important spices in South East Asian cuisine when it involves a spicy dish. In Indonesia, dried chillies are produced for export purposes to neighbouring countries like Malaysia or Singapore. The other biggest exporter of dried chillies to the South East Asian region is India. Malaysia too have several producers, planting and processing chillies. As the demand in Malaysia is much higher than the supply, dried chillies sold in Malaysia are mostly from India or the neighbouring country, Indonesia.

Sun drying is the most natural method when it comes to drying the chillies as it requires no preparation. Direct sunlight and heat are the only success factors to ensure a bountiful supply of dried chillies. Fresh chillies are dried under the sun for at least 3 days. The moisture available in the chillies should be brought down to 10% to ensure that it stays flavourful and retain its colour. Once dried, the chillies are sold as they are or further processed into chilli powder.

Nutritional Information

Dried chillies are often used as a seasoning but there are proven nutritional values according to many studies carried out. According to the study by Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences , consumption of chillies is said to be linked to longevity and good health. Another study which was released in 2016 by Bochum-Ruhr University stated capsaicin, the component which makes chillies spicy helps to prevent growth of breast cancer cells!

Generally, chillies also contain vitamins such as vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, folic acid and potassium. While the amount of vitamins may lessen in dried chillies compared to fresh chillies, nutrients are still found in them.

The capsaicin in chillies is proven to be helpful as it aids in weight loss according to a study by University of Woyming. Therefore, it would be good to incorporate a few dashes of chilli powder into your dishes for the extra flavour and spiciness.

How to Choose

Dried chillies are sold in loose form or prepackaged. Choose dried chillies that are not brittle, even in colour (without patches) and most importantly, without any mold on them. Dried chillies sold in South East Asia are usually around 6cm or longer.

Storage Tips

Store dried chillies in an air tight container with dry-packs silica gel (food approved). Otherwise, pack them in a ziplock bag and store in a container filled with onions to absorb bacteria in the air that encourages mold growth on dried chillies.

How to Prepare

Soak dried chillies in room temperature water until they soften. Rinse well. Tip: To make the dish less spicy, boil the dried chillies instead of soaking them until soft. Then, remove the seeds and membranes of the dried chillies. Use rubber gloves when handling the dried chillies.

1.  

Soak dried chillies in room temperature water until they soften. Rinse well. Tip: To make the dish less spicy, boil the dried chillies instead of soaking them until soft. Then, remove the seeds and membranes of the dried chillies. Use rubber gloves when handling the dried chillies.

When processing a large amount of dried chillies for example, when cooking sambal, boil them until they softened. Use a pair of scissors to roughly cut the dried chillies to remove the seeds.

2.  

When processing a large amount of dried chillies for example, when cooking sambal, boil them until they softened. Use a pair of scissors to roughly cut the dried chillies to remove the seeds.

Using a strainer with bigger holes, scoop out the boiled dried chillies. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the pot.

3.  

Using a strainer with bigger holes, scoop out the boiled dried chillies. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the pot.

Place the strainer/colander of boiled dried chillies in another bowl of clean water to further remove excess seeds.

4.  

Place the strainer/colander of boiled dried chillies in another bowl of clean water to further remove excess seeds.