Chilli & Paprika Powders

5 Oct

Make your own chilli powder so you can blend it to get just the right amount of heat and flavour to suit your taste. It tastes so much better and fresher than the shop bought stuff and it is so easy just dry some chillies then grind them to a powder.

Drying Chillis
Collect mature chillies on a dry day. Spread out on a large metal surface (the heat of the metal speeds drying in the sun) or basket where air can circulate. If you’ve no sun stack on top of a radiator to dry. Once the chillis are dry store in an airtight container until ready to use.

I make small batches of powders from the dried chillies as I need it because once it is ground it will start to lose its flavour. The dried chilli I use the most for grinding is a Cayenne, it is hot and can be made hotter still if you grind the whole pepper, seeds and all.

Mild Cayenne
Slit the dried peppers and remove everything but the red outer shell. Grind to a fine to medium powder in a coffee grinder. Nice medium to hot heat and good flavour.

Hot Cayenne
Remove the stalks from the peppers break into pieces and put everything into a coffee grinder, including the pith and seeds, grind to a fine to medium texture. The resulting powder will be more orange than red and VERY hot.

Chilli Flakes or Kirmizi Biber
Kirmizi Biber is the kind of chilli flakes you would find in a Turkish food store and is one of the most useful spices in the kitchen mild enough to go in salad dressings but with plenty of flavour. The flakes are rubbed with olive oil to help preserve both the colour and flavour. Use a medium heat but flavoursome variety of chilli such as Acri Sivri or milder to suit your taste. Use a mixture to get a more complex flavour. Slit the dried peppers and remove everything but the red outer shell. Grind to a course powder or flakes in a coffee grinder and add a tiny drop of oil on the last wizz to coat the flakes. Pour into a bowl and rub adding a little more oil if necessary to coat the flakes pour into clean glass jars and store.

Once ground store chillis powders in airtight glass jars, away from light, to preserve its colour and flavour.

This recipe was originally posted on  


4 Responses to “Chilli & Paprika Powders”

  1. jeannettesmyth 23/07/2012 at 19:01 #

    thanks for this. are you still saving/collecting seed? interested in the rare chimayo, new mexico, heirloom chili of the gods??? let me know:

    • Laura 17/08/2012 at 11:02 #

      Thanks Jeannette I would be interested for sure. Not got much garden at the new place and the weather has been atrocious all summer but I could grow them indoors. Like to give them a go – as you probably know I am mad for chillis and like to grow as many vars as a can.


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