Staple spices like red chillies are a powerful medicine. Used in every day cooking, food is flavoured to a hot pungent taste. Avoid excessive use.
- Remove the stems and seeds of the dried chillies.
- Sun dry them for 2 days.
- Crush and dry grind them by the traditional method of mortar-pestle or commercial grinder. Small amounts can be ground in the dry grinder at home.
- Pass the powder chilli through the wheat flour sieve.
- Warm castor oil in a pan. Thoroughly cool it.
- In a big deep plate (kathrot) pile the chilli powder. Pour castor oil all over. With well oiled palms rub and mix the chilli powder.
- Place few rock salt or asafoetida crystals at the bottom of the jar.
- Fill half the jar with chilli powder. Press tightly with a spoon as you proceed.
- Place few rock crystals in the middle of the jar. Fill the jar again with the chilli powder. Press tightly. Leave 2" space at the top of the jar. Place few more rock crystals.
- Cover the jar tight. Tie the lid of the jar, tight with a clean muslin cloth. Store in a cool dry place.
To Preserve: Keeps for 1 year
- Reshampatti chillies are hot to taste but dull in colour.
Kashmiri chillies are less hot to taste but have a bright red colour.
Both are combined in cooking to give a balance of taste and colour.
Proportion varies according to individual taste.
Handle the chilli powder with care.
Every time the chilli powder is removed from the jar, press the top layer tightly.