I love eating spicy foods. I don't eat them every day, but when I do want something with heat, I want it to taste good. I've tried enough hot sauces to start my own Wings Bar, but too often many of them, although quite hot, don't really have a good flavor.
Years ago, I started buying various hot peppers that I could find at the grocery stores (this was prior to Ghost Chili and other newer peppers). I would slice them open and allow them to just air dry on a baking pan over a few weeks. Use gloves if you are sensitive to hot pepper oils. Sometimes I would put the pan in the oven but not turn it ON, and just the minimal heat from the pilot light would accelerate this process slightly. With other peppers I would also turn the oven on the lowest temperature and dry them that way. Not quite smoking them, but some of them ended up being essentially smoked and smelled so good.
In this instructable, I will describe the basic process I used to make this powder.
This is the fun part because you can select any combination of peppers whether only in the stores or by mail-order. The particular peppers I used recently included (but not limited to, just can't recall everything).
- Red Habenero
- Orange Habenero
- Trinidad Scorpion <-- Newly added
In the near future, I will be adding some Bhut Jolokia (a.k.a. Ghost Chili) peppers, if my plant actually bears fruit. It will be a couple more months before I see anything.
Edit 12-3-2014: updated the Ghost Chili plant picture. It's getting bigger. Also bought some Trinidad Scorpion peppers and dried them to add to the mix, tastes great and a really good amount of heat. Added before and after pictures. They were mostly air dried, but they did have some oven time at low temperatures.
For reference, this link has pictures and descriptions of many peppers as well as the Scoville Unit of each.
Step 1: Cutting and Prepping
If I had thought ahead, I would have cut off all of the stems prior to drying. I actually did cut them off on some, but the others, I needed to cut before blending them.
Step 2: Blending to Make a Fine Powder
Put the peppers in the blender, then blend it to as fine of a powder as you like.
Step 3: Sample Usages
I use this hot pepper powder mix on many things. It doesn't really change the flavor of whatever I add it to, but it does add either a hint of heat or a lot of heat, depending on how much you choose to add.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hamburger / Cheeseburger
- Could mix it with breading for fried chicken or shrimp
- Many other foods...
After the very first batch I made years ago, I didn't rinse out the blender well enough (didn't disassemble, only rinsed it), and when I used it the next time to make margaritas, wow... what a kick. It was actually pretty good though.
As a side note, be sure you put it into a container like an old spice bottle that so you can shake it on just like a salt and pepper shaker. It is also important to label it on the bottle. If you keep any in a bag for use later, I hope you don't confuse it for coffee grounds (although if any of you do that, let me know what you think).
Notes of caution: Use gloves when slicing open to dry and don't inhale the powder after blending. Let it settle, then dump into a container for storage, and still, don't breath the powder. Don't get this powder near your eyes.