What is Kashmiri Chilli powder and why is it better than other chillies?
Known for it’s vibrant red colour, Kashmiri chilli powder is a spice you may notice listed in many Indian recipes. In this post you will read about what is Kashmiri chilli powder and how is it a better option for a non- heat lover.
There are hundreds if not thousands of chilli varieties. All differing in shape, size, colour, use, taste and flavour.
Kashmiri red chilli is one such variety very often used in Indian dishes. It is primarily used to impart a lovely red colour to the dishes it is added in.
You can use them whole that is instead of a powder form you can also use whole Kashmiri chillies, however they do not lend the rich redness to the dish as opposed to Kashmiri red chilli powder.
What Is Kashmiri Chilli ?
As the name suggests, Kashmiri chillies belong to the Kashmir region of India. Some may argue that Kashmiri chillies do not belong to the region, but as per the Spice Board of India, Kashmiri chillies are grown in Himachal Pradesh and the Jammu and Kashmir regions.
Used both in whole and powdered form, it is the kashmiri red chilli powder that is popularly used in Indian households.
The whole dry Kashmiri chillies are medium sized, cone shape, with wrinkly dark red skin.
Known for an appealing red colour and mild heat, the ground chilli form has a distinct flavor, and adds a bright red color to food.
Some restaurants try to imitate the colour by adding food colouring but a good quality kashmiri powder will lend more colour and less heat.
Kashmiri Chillies In Other Languages
Since it is a regional spice there are no language translation to other languages.
However, Kashmiri Chillies in Hindi is called ‘Kashmiri Mirch’
How Does Kashmiri Chillies Taste ?
Don’t be fooled by the colour, although a bright red chilli kashmiri chillies taste is mild, aromatic with a full-flavour body.
You can draw a similarity between paprika however, it is a bit hotter to taste.
How To Use Them In Cooking ?
Kashmiri chillies can be used fresh, dried, whole or in powder form. It is one of my recommended chili powder option to stock up on that can be added to almost any type of dish that you wish to lend some heat to.
It is especially a wonderful Indian hot spice that can be used to cook Indian food without making it too hot.
Uses of whole kashimiri chillies
- Use whole chillies to temper in warm oil with other whole spices.
- You can break or chop the chillies and sprinkle to stir-fries and curries.
- Soak the kashmiri chillies whole in warm water and grind it into paste for an even brighter red colour and flavouful heat to the dish.
Uses of kashimiri chilli powder
- Add a tsp or two to curries, vegetables, sauces, soups and stews for flavour and colour.
- Add it to marinades for some mild heat.
Benefits of Kashmiri Chilli Powder
Using chillies in food have health benefits as well apart from lending the dish some heat.
If you ever wondered whether Kashmiri chillies is good for health, then here are some of the reasons for including them into your food. However be aware that excessive quantities may lead to disrupt the lining of the digestive tract. However consumption in small amounts has many benefits.
Rich in Vitamic C
Like most chillies, kashimiri mirch is high on Vitamin C, Vitamin B -complex and also on Vitamin A. Being a vitamin rich, according to Ayurveda it is a great source to naturally build your immune system. Vitammins also health in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails.
Good Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants helps to actively control the free radicals in the blood. Regular use of chillies esp Kashmiri chillies can help in building optimal health.
Help Ease Respiratory Disorders
Being mildly hot ans rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants helps ease respiratory disorders such as blocked and runny nose by dislodging phlegm from the chest.
May Help Maintain Iron Levels
Along with being a good source of of vitamins and antioxidants Kashmiri chillies also contain minerals like iron, potassium, copper, and manganese that helps to regulate and maintain a iron in the body.
How To Store Kashimiri Chillies
It is best to store both the whole and powdered form in an air tight container away from light in a cool dark place.
Where to Buy Kashmiri Chillies
It may be a challenge to kind this type of chilli powder in a regular store. You will find Kashmiri mirch in any Indian store near you.
When buying look for those that have a bright red colour.
You can also buy them online if you wish as there are many brands. Here is one of my recommended brand:
The infographic below recaps all the uses and benefits of Kashmiri chillies for a quick reference.