Indian Red chillies are one of the most versatile ingredients out there. They can be used in a variety of ways such as a topping, a condiment, or even pureed to be used as a base.
The peak season for Indian red chillies
comes around between August and September. However, the good news is that you can easily store them to use all year round.
In this article, we’ll be giving you six ways you can naturally preserve red chillies for a long time.
One of the easiest ways to process a bulk amount of red chillies is to simply make a quick pickle.
All you need to do is heat up some water and add distilled white or cider vinegar to it (we recommend keeping the ratio of water to vinegar 1:1). Add some salt and sugar to your liking and pour the brine over sliced chillies in a jar.
Once it has cooled down, you can put it in the refrigerator and use it for up to 3 weeks.
Making chilli sauce is another delicious way to store chillies for a long time.
The process is surprisingly simple! Once you’ve made the quick red chilli pickle, all you need to do is to puree it with some garlic cloves and onions. Don’t forget to add some salt and sugar to your liking.
Chilli sauces can not only be a great addition to a dish that needs to be spiced up a little, the vinegar in it can help it last well over 1 month at room temperature. Longer if you keep it refrigerated.
If you’re not looking to take any hassle at all, then dried Indian red chilli is your go-to solution.
Just put your red chillies on a wire rack (or even a plate!) and place it in a well ventilated room. You can also put a needle and a thread through their stem to string them together and hang over a window.
The process of air drying usually takes several weeks. But the results are worth the wait. By the end of the process, you’ll have a constant supply of red chillies for well over 1 year or so.
Making chilli oil can help you preserve red chillies for up to 3 months.
The best oil to use here is a neutral one - such as canola oil. Once you get your hands on some, the rest of the process is really simple. Just simmer your dried chillies in the oil for at least 30 minutes. Once the chillies have infused in the oil, set it aside to cool down. Then all you need to do is cover and put it in the refrigerator.
Freezing red chillies is another great idea to make them last through the season. They can last at least 1 year without losing their taste.
Pro tip - make sure to slice them before putting them in the freezer. This way you can add them to directly to a variety of dishes you might make, such as stews or soups.