Drying Chilies

Harvesting of herbs like chilies can often result in a glut as fall arrives. The stunning colors and flavors can be easily preserved for winter use to spice culinary inventions. A well-cured string will remain usable the following summer.
Dry Red Chilies for Wintertime Hotness

Dry Red Chilies for Wintertime Hotness

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

From: DK Books - Herbs

Step 1

Pick your chilies when they are fully ripe or almost so. Wear gloves if you have sensitive skin and do not touch your face or eyes. Only use fruits that are free of any pest damage or rotting.

Ripe Red Chili Peppers

Ripe Red Chili Peppers

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 2

Using a large sewing or darning needle, thread a strong piece of doubled cotton thread or raffia. Allow about 24 inches of string to about 50 peppers and tie a large knot in the free end.

Preserving Peppers

Preserving Peppers

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 3

Thread your first chili, making sure that the knot is not slipping through the fruit, and then continue to add more. It is best to thread through the stalk, but this can be quite tough, so just beneath it is as good.

String Red Chilies onto Raffia for Drying

String Red Chilies onto Raffia for Drying

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 4

When your string is full, hang it in a light and airy place until dry. The chilies will lose their bright glossy colors, changing to a glistening rusty-red, but they will not lose any of their flavor.

Hang Chili Peppers in Airy Place to Dry

Hang Chili Peppers in Airy Place to Dry

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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