Cross off red chili flakes from your grocery shopping list. You can make red chili flakes in the comfort of your home, with your choice of chilies. If you want the chili flakes bright red and medium-hot, use Kashmiri red chilies. If hot is your preference, use Guntur red chilies. Or mix up the chili varieties as you like.
The method is simple, the ingredient only one.
- Dry whole red chilies – 5 to 6 chilies give you a teaspoon of chili flakes. Adjust the quantity depending on the volume of chili flakes needed.
How To Make Red Chili Flakes:
Dry-roast the chilies in a thick-bottomed pan on low flame, till they turn color and give off an aroma. (1-2 min).
Let the roasted dry red chilies cool to room temperature. Place the dry red chilies in a spice grinder.
Grind for a 5 seconds to get coarse chili flakes, longer to make the chili flakes fine. I prefer them coarse.
This is how red chili flakes look after 5 seconds in my grinder.
Store in an airtight container. Use as you please. Stir into raitas, spice up fries and salads with a sprinkling. Add to curries as a substitute for red chili powder – since the chili flakes are roasted, they can be added towards the end of cooking: this gives a nice aromatic chili flavour to the curry.
The only thing you need to be careful about in this process is in keeping your hands and eyes from stinging. Handle chilies carefully!