Preparing Chillies: Eat them fresh
Obviously the easiest way to use your chillies is to eat them fresh. Lovers of spicy food can simply chop up fresh chillies and add them to virtually any dish they are cooking. Fresh chillies are usually associated with classic dishes such as chili con carne, curry and Mexican foods however they make a great addition to virtually any dish.
Feel the burn
Everyone knows that chillies are hot. It is a common misconception that it is the seeds that produce the heat in a chilli. In fact it is the thin membrane that separates the seeds from the flesh of the chilli that contains the capsaicin which causes the hot reaction with your taste buds. As a result removing the seeds of a pod doesn’t always remove all of the heat.
Everyone’s tolerance of capsicum will be different so the quantities of chilli used in your cooking will be a matter of trial and error. It might be an idea to wear disposable gloves and possibly eye protection.
Another common mistake is the belief is that a large glass of water is the best tonic to fan the flames. However because capsaicin is an oil water will not dilute/remove it. Dairy products often offer the best solution, with natural yogurt being a firm favorite. Used a lot in Indian cuisine ‘curd’ or natural yogurt is a great compliment to Indian cooking and spicy food in general
Too many to Eat?
A common problem amongst chili heads is ending up with a huge surplus of ripe chillies by the end of the summer. After raising your little babies from seed the last thing you want is for any fruit to go to waste.
Be sure to check out our article on preserving chillies.