The red chilli pepper is the fruit of the capsicum plant, a member of the so-called “nightshade family,” which also includes bell peppers and eggplant. There are five primary species of chilli plants and well over 300 distinct subspecies, all of which range in size, shape, colour, flavour, and level of spiciness, according to “The Spice Bible.” The most popular dried chilli pepper kinds include ancho, bird’s eye, cascabel, chipotle, habanero, mulato, new mexico, pasilla, common (a broad phrase sometimes used to describe the 2.5-inch dry, long red chilies). Despite the differences, they are all descended from the same South American native chilli.
Red chili, in various forms such as fresh, dried, or ground into powder, is a widely used spice that adds heat and flavor to a variety of dishes. Here are common uses of red chili in cooking:
Curries and Stews:
Red chili is a staple in many curry and stew recipes. It adds heat and depth of flavor to the dish.
Ground red chili is a key ingredient in chili powder, which is used to season chili con carne, soups, stews, and various Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes.
Sauces and Marinades:
Red chili is often used in the preparation of sauces, salsas, and marinades for meats, poultry, and seafood.
Sambals and Chutneys:
In Southeast Asian cuisines, red chili is commonly used to make sambals (spicy relishes) and chutneys. These condiments add heat and flavor to a variety of dishes.
Red chili is a frequent addition to stir-fried dishes, providing a spicy kick to the mix of vegetables, meats, and noodles.
Spicy Dips and Dressings:
Red chili can be used to add heat to dips, salad dressings, and mayonnaise-based sauces.
Red chili is often used in pickling recipes, providing a spicy and tangy flavor to pickled vegetables.
In some cultures, red chili is added to hot beverages, such as spiced teas or hot chocolate, for a warming and spicy flavor.
Tandoori and Grilled Meats:
Red chili is a common ingredient in spice rubs and marinades for tandoori-style and grilled meats.
Salsas and Pico de Gallo:
Chopped or minced red chili is a key component of salsas and pico de gallo, adding heat and flavor to these fresh condiments.
Crushed red chili flakes are a popular pizza topping, allowing individuals to add extra heat to their pizza slices.
Spicy Noodles and Pasta:
Red chili is often used to spice up noodle dishes, pasta sauces, and spicy ramen recipes.
Casseroles and One-Pot Meals:
Red chili can be added to casseroles, one-pot meals, and baked dishes for an extra layer of flavor.
Seasoning for Snacks:
Red chili powder or flakes can be sprinkled on snacks like popcorn, roasted nuts, or chips for added spice.
Red chili is a common ingredient in spicy dipping sauces for spring rolls, dumplings, and other appetizers.
Infused red chili syrups or muddled red chili can be used to add a spicy kick to certain cocktails and mocktails.
Red chili is often used in various Indian street food preparations known as chaat to add spice and flavor.