Spice Advice: Kashmiri Chilli Powder
Long before the days of artificial dyes there were all natural spices. A crowd fave being Kashmiri Chilli, or Mirch - the Hindi word for chilli. Bred for its fiery red color and balanced heat, Kashmiri Chillies are traditionally known for lending dishes like rogan josh and tandoori chicken their vibrant coral shade. Believed to have been brought to India by the Portuguese during the Spice Trade, this red (not so) hot chilli comes from Kashmir—the region for which the chilli gets its name.
Kashmiri Chilli is typically dried until the skin becomes wrinkled and brittle. Then it’s either sold in its whole, elegant form, or pulverized into a fine powder. Slightly fruity with mild spice, the powder won’t add a ton of heat to your dish, and it’s a great option for those who are chilli-curious, but not a fan of tongue-torching spice. It’s quite similar to saffron in that it’s often called upon for its striking hue as well as its pleasing flavour. We do eat with our eyes first! Don’t let its mild nature fool you though - this crimson little friend is no slouch in the taste department either; delivering a satisfying layer of savory, well-rounded piquancy to meats, vegetables, curries, and basically anything you throw it at.
We love the idea of simmering a few teaspoons into your favorite light cooking oil for a stunning and versatile addition to ramen or sauteed veggies. The easygoing spice level also lends itself well to marinades, BBQ sauces and garnishes too. Maybe a sprinkle or two onto a luscious, creamy, deviled egg is more your thing? Whether you’re looking to add a dash of bold, eye-popping vibrancy to your famous homemade butter chicken, or you want a crowd-pleasing kick of heat in your next chana masala - this is definitely the chilli for you.
Looking for more Kashmiri Chilli Powder inspo? Check out our recipes for Kashmiri Hominy Soup, Lamb Vindaloo, and Sage & Pear Margaritas!