I've had my fair share of experiences with different spices and herbs. Kashmiri chili is one of my favorites that I always keep stocked in my pantry. It adds color and a unique flavor to any dish. This guide explores its history, benefits, and how to make it at home.
🥜 In a Nutshell
- Kashmiri chili, also known as deggi mirch, is a dried chili pepper originating from northern India's Kashmir region. It's prized for its deep red color and moderate heat, with a Scoville rating of 1,000-2,000. This chili is a staple in Indian and Pakistani cuisines and is used to add vibrant color and flavor to various dishes.
- It offers a mild to medium heat level, ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 SHU. Kashmiri chili boasts a unique flavor profile characterized by fruity aromas and subtle smokiness. When used in cooking, it imparts a rich red hue with a fruity and slightly bitter aftertaste.
- Making Kashmiri red chili powder from scratch is achievable with a few simple steps. Start by washing and drying the Kashmiri chili peppers in sunlight. Then, lightly roast them to remove moisture and grind them into a fine powder. After sifting off any coarse debris, your homemade Kashmiri chili powder is ready to use.
- While both Kashmiri chili powder and regular chili powder are made from dried chilies, they differ in the type of chilies used. Kashmiri chili powder comes from mild and bright red Kashmiri dried chilies, offering vibrant color without excessive heat. In contrast, regular chili powder, like cayenne, is made from hotter dried chilies, resulting in a reddish-brown color and higher heat levels.
❓ What is Kashmiri Chili?
Kashmiri chili (deggi mirch) or Kashmiri mirch powder is a type of dried chili pepper that originates from the Kashmir region of northern India. These chilies are known for their deep red color and medium heat level, with a Scoville rating of just 1,000-2,000.
They are often used in Indian and Pakistani cuisine to add vibrant color and bold flavor to dishes like curries, kebabs, masala blends, and other savory meals. I especially love using Kashmiri chili powder in chicken kabobs, tandoori chicken, dum biryani, and chicken tikka masala.
🔖 What Does it Taste Like?
The flavor profile of Kashmiri chili is distinctive and unique. It has a mild to medium heat level that ranges between 1,000 to 2,000 SHU, making it perfect for adding a spicy kick without overpowering the dish’s other flavors.
One of the most prominent characteristics of this chili is its fruity aroma and subtle smokiness. When used in dishes, the Kashmiri chili adds a beautiful red hue with a fruity and slightly bitter aftertaste, making it a highly versatile spice.
🥣 How To Make Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
Making Kashmiri red chili powder from scratch might seem challenging, but you can quickly master this art with some practice.
- Wash and clean the Kashmiri chili peppers to make the powder before drying them in the sunlight.
- Once they're dried, roast the chilies lightly in a pan without oil to remove any moisture inside.
- Then, grind the chilies into a fine powder using a spice grinder, blender, mortar, and pestle.
- Kashmiri chili powder is ready to use after sifting off any coarse debris.
🔔 Be sure to check out the recipe card for all the ingredients and instructions you'll need to make this dish. Don't miss out on any of the details!
🆚 Kashmiri Chili Powder vs Chili Powder
Kashmiri chili powder and chili powder are both made from dried chilies, but the type of chilies used is what sets them apart from other chili powders.
Regular hot chili powder, similar to cayenne pepper is made from hot dried chili, which is why it has a higher heat level and a reddish-brown color.
On the other hand, Kashmiri chilli powder is made from Kashmiri dried chili, which is mild and bright red, making it perfect when you want to add color without too much heat.
🥡 Buying and Storing
When it comes to buying Kashmiri chili, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, look for chilies that are bright red and pliable. They may be old or stale if they are brittle or have lost their vibrant color. It's also a good idea to buy from a reputable spice store or online retailer to ensure fresh quality and chilies.
Storing Kashmiri chili is simple. Just place it in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight. This will help maintain its flavor and vibrant color, making it perfect for all your favorite dishes.
These are some of the best mild chili substitutions for Kashmiri chiles that will add flavor and depth to your cooking without overwhelming your taste buds.
1. Paprika (SHU 250-1000)
Paprika is a spice made from ground dried peppers, and it comes in various flavors and heat levels, from sweet to hot. Sweet or smoked paprika can make a great substitute for Kashmiri powder, but you can opt for hot paprika if you want a bit of heat. This mild chili substitute is also great for seasoning soups, stews, and sauces.
2. Pasilla Peppers (SHU 250-2500)
Pasilla peppers are a variety of dried chili pepper very popular in central and south america. These peppers have a mild heat and a rich, earthy flavor that is perfect for marinades and sauces. When ground into a powder, pasilla pepper makes an excellent substitution for Kashmiri chili. This spice is ideal for dishes like mole sauces, enchiladas, and tacos.
3. Ancho Chili Powder (SHU 1,000-1,500)
Ancho chili powder is made from dried poblano peppers that have been ground into a fine powder. This spice has a sweet, smoky flavor with a mild heat. It is great for adding depth to salsas, marinades, and sauces. When used in place of Kashmiri chili, it can lend its flavor to Indian dishes like butter chicken or tikka masala.
4. Mulato Pepper (SHU 2,500-3,000)
Mulato pepper is a variety of dried poblano pepper with moderate heat and a fruity flavor. This spice comes from the same pepper as ancho chili but is left to ripen longer on the vine. When used in place of Kashmiri chili, mulato pepper adds a deep smokiness to the dish. Its fruity flavor pairs well with enchiladas and sauces.
5. Guajillo Pepper (SHU 2,500-5,000)
Guajillo pepper is a dried chili pepper with mild to moderate heat and a sweet, fruity flavor. Its heat level is similar to Kashmiri chili's, making it an excellent substitute. Guajillo pepper is often used in dishes like tamales, enchiladas, and soups, but it is also great for adding a kick to Indian cuisine.
🙋 People Also Ask [FAQs]
Kashmiri chili powder has a mild to medium heat level of 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), making it perfect for adding flavor and color without overpowering the dish.
Deggi Mirch and Kashmiri chilis are not the same; while they come from the same species of pepper, Deggi Mirch is milder due to its lower concentration of capsaicin. Kashmiri chilis are believed to be spicier than Deggi Mirch.
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🔑 Key Takeaways: Kashmiri chili
- Kashmiri chili powder is a versatile spice that adds a unique flavor and vibrant red color to various dishes in Indian and Pakistani cuisine.
- It has a mild to medium heat level with a fruity aroma and subtle smokiness.
- Making Kashmiri red chili powder at home is possible by washing, drying, roasting, and grinding the chilies into a fine powder.
- When substituting Kashmiri chili powder, options like paprika, pasilla peppers, ancho chili powder, mulato pepper, and guajillo pepper provide similar flavor profiles without overwhelming heat.
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Homemade Kashmiri Chili Powder
- 50 Fresh or Dried Kashmiri Chili I am using dried chili
- To start making Kashmiri chili powder, wash and clean the chili peppers thoroughly with water to remove any dirt.
- After washing them, let them dry in the sunlight to remove any excess moisture content.
- The above step of drying is essential as it prevents mold growth when storing the chili powder later on. However, if you're using dried chiles, you can skip this step.
- Once the chili peppers are entirely dry, lightly roast them in a pan without oil for a few minutes.
- Roasting them will remove any remaining moisture inside the chili peppers and enhance their flavor. Be sure to watch them closely as you don't want them to burn; they should turn dark red but not black.
- After roasting, let them cool down for a few minutes before the next step.
- Next, grind the roasted chili peppers into a fine powder using either a spice grinder, blender, or mortar and pestle.
- If using a spice grinder or blender, it would be best to do it in small batches to ensure they are ground evenly.
- Be sure to wear gloves when handling the ground powder, as it can easily stain your skin. Once ground, sift the powder to remove any coarse debris.
- You can store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to six months.
- Use this spice anywhere you would typically use chili powder, from marinades to seasoning meats, stews, and curries.
- For a more robust flavor, add a small amount of cumin, coriander, and cloves to the mix and add them while roasting. These spices complement the chili peppers and add depth to the overall flavor of the powder.