I don’t usually dry my pods as I prefer fresh Chillies, used as I need them picked fresh, and in fact last year I didn’t dry any. This season though I decided to have a go and see what results I get. My lovely wife is official hand model for this one.
I mentioned in my post on Chilli oil that later in the growing season you can have a lot of Chillies that you want to use or store – after all, why waste all the hard work of growing & nurturing your plants only to let them rot away. Usually I freeze my excess Chillies and I still have some left from last years bumper yield of Cayenne impressiveness!
Well, with lots of my Chillies this year peaking at the same time I sprung into preservation action with very simple apparatus:
Chillies of course – A thin sewing needle – Basic cotton.
Being Careful not to spike herself with the needle Astra threaded it through the stems of each Chilli one by one, tying a loop before moving to the next one.
I used my ever reliable Culinary Thai & Filus Blue and together they create a lovely aesthetic look to the whole thing. (I have Scotch Bonnets maturing at the moment and I’m very excited – post to follow soon) This is another reason that i have to find ways to store my current Chillies because when I am harvesting the SB’s I will be using very different methods to use and preserve them.
Having finished the process we were left with 10 plus ripe Chillies prepped for drying. Choosing a place to hang them isn’t as fool proof as you may first think. They need to be in a warm or hot room that has minimal moisture, so places like the kitchen and bathroom no matter how warm are no good. They must be exposed to a dry heat. Some people put them in the hot press by the boiler but I think that is a shame as you don’t have the pleasure of seeing your spoils displayed, which I find lovely & homely. Also they should be well ventilated so I wanted to avoid letting them rest against a wall.
I chose the warmest room in our wee house, our living room, The picture below is from my wife holding them up to show how they look all hanging together.
I plan to use my dried Chillies for a different version of Chilli oil and for Chilli Flakes to sprinkle on Pizzas. I would love to hear other peoples methods of drying Chillies and what their favourite use of them are. I hope my method has been informative. Chillininja