Chilli (Mirch) – Red

Red chillies (lal mirchi) arrived in the subcontinent of India courtesy of the Portuguese 400 years ago and have since been indispensable in Asian cookery. Red chillies can be bought whole, dried or ground in powder form. Whole red chillies can be round but the common variety is normally long and come in different sizes, small would be about 1” (2.5cm) and medium are 1½”-2” (4-5 cm) long. When these chillies are put into hot oil for a few seconds and added to a dish for example ‘daal’, it gives the dish an excellent flavour. A special red chilli used in Asian cookery is the dried Kashmiri red chilli that has a distinctive flavour and colour and is not as hot as the other varieties, this can be found in most Asian grocery stores.