Introduction: Dried Crushed Chilli Flakes
This is an entry in the
Science of Cooking
In this Instructable, I show how I make my Dried Chilli Flakes. Yes, you can probably buy these cheaper, but if that's your thought you're on the wrong website! You can't beat making your own things, and works out great if you have leftover chillis that need using up! You really don't need much to do these yourself.
For this project you will need;
- Fresh Chillis (UK)
- Fresh Chillis (USA)
- Small Glass Jars (UK)
- Small Glass Jars (USA)
- Mini Food Processor (UK)
- Mini Food Processor (USA)
- Metal Hooks (UK)
- Metal Hooks (USA)
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Step 1: Fresh Chillis
I started with some fresh chillis. I had around 10/11 of all different sizes and colours. The colour red or green doesn't really matter. I've only really tested this with normal chillis you can buy in the supermarket, but going to test some Scotch Bonnets next time for a bit of extra heat! In regards to the drying, you probably want slightly longer ones if anything as you'll get more chilli per hook, that'll make more sense later.
Step 2: Chop
I took a sharp knife (that I made a few months ago, check out my other guide) and cut the chillis lengthways. I left the full membrane, seeds and stalks all intact. The main heat in chillis is in this white coloured membrane, not the seeds as most people think. There is some heat in the seeds and the flesh itself, but the membrane is where the main chemical is that holds the heat.
Step 3: Hang
I took some small metal hooks and poked these through the tops of each halved chilli. If like me you ran out of hooks, you can switch to using paper clips. These ended up working out great as I could fit 2 halves of a chilli on each. This is where I was saying the longer ones work out slightly better, as if you have lots of little ones you'll run out of space and hooks much faster!
Step 4: Box
To hang the chillis to dry I got out my Biltong Box. This was another project from last summer that I made to make my own Biltong. Check out the Instructable guide HERE. Also, you can download some FREE PLANS HERE . But basically it is a large wooden box, with a bulb at the bottom for some heat, and a computer fan at the bottom to pull air into the chamber. Then some holes at the top to let air out. I hung up the chillis evenly spaced out and left them to do their thing.
Step 5: 3 Days Later...
3 days later I came back to the chillis and they were what I was looking for. I have done a test before with just 2 days, and they were okay, but really needed a little bit longer, as they had a tendency to stick together once crushed.
You'll notice that all the chillis have now turned red. I assume this is because they have continued to mature and age and turn red. I'm not 100% sure on this, so if you know why let me know in the comments below!
I removed all the hooks from the chillis and cut off all the green stalks and leaving as much of the flesh and membrane still in tact as possible.
Step 6: Crush
I'm using a mini food processor as this is just super quick and easy to use. But if you have a full-size one that'll probably work, or even using an old-school Pestle & Mortar. I loaded up all the chillis into it and blizted it a few times. Stopping regularly to make sure I didn't take it too far. If you keep going you can make your own chilli powder, but I wanted flakes, not powder.
Step 7: Pack
I had a small glass jar with a secure lid on to keep them airtight. I wasn't really sure how many flakes this amount of chillis would make, turns out just over half the jar. I could do a few more next time.
Step 8: Final Images
Here are the final images. I hope you like this, if you make your own make sure to come back and show me some photos!
Step 9: Video
Don't forget to watch the video above. And if you enjoyed it head over to my YouTube Channel and hit subscribe.
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Instead of using hooks, i use just a long thread and a needle. It sometimes is more convenient to chop off the stem before threading into a long string of chilis. Once i get all the chilis onto the thread, i then take slice the bottom with siscors to open up the inside to drying. Then i hang them up like garland in the drying box.