Dry red chilli is a staple condiment in cuisines across the globe. The perfectly dried best, quality red chilli can suffuse a distinct flavour and taste to any dish, mainly when it's used for tempering. We have access to this variant of the spice from the market. However, not always the quality is up to our expectations. This reminds us of the process when fresh red chillies used to be sourced and sun-dried in our courtyard or terrace. With the change in our living spaces, which are restricted to flats within apartments, getting this process done is almost impossible. But wait, what if we say you can still dry red chillies to your desired form and texture without the sun?  Scroll down to learn the tricks!

After selecting, properly wash your red peppers to get rid of any dirt, then pat them to absorb the extra moisture. Place them on a plate or a wire rack in a dry, well-ventilated area. Chillies can also be hung to get dried after being strung up on thread or string. It may take a few weeks; you should have dried chilli that you can ground up or use whole.

Dry red chillies, Image Source: Pixabay

Oven drying 

After selecting, give your red peppers a good wash to eliminate impurities. To uncover the pepper innards, cut them in half lengthwise. Place the chillies on a baking sheet keeping them lined up. Set the heat low, between 100 and 135 degrees, for baking. For baking the chilli peppers to dry, there is no predetermined duration. Keep flipping them once in a while, and don't leave them unattended. For some airflow, you can leave the oven door ajar. With this approach, it will take several hours. Once the moisture has been evaporated out of them, keep them in the oven.

Dehydrator

The simplest way to dry red chilli is probably in a food dehydrator. The chilli peppers are encased in this kitchen appliance, which uses gentle heat to dry them overnight. For quicker dehydration, cut them into pieces before drying. Dehydrators are available in regular shops, and you can buy them online.

Things to remember:

  • Ensure your home has good ventilation. When drying indoors, fumes are unavoidable. The smell will be noticeable, no doubt.
  • Use your dehydrator at 135 to 140 degrees F to dry little chilis like Aji Limon and Thai Bird Chilli
  • Hang the chillies from a south-facing window at a distance of around 6 inches. The air shouldn't contain a lot of moisture. However, the space or corner must be exposed to warm, dry air.