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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.

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Herbs
Dry Red Chilies to Use Throughout the WinterSimple Steps: Herbs ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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.

Pick Chilie Peppers When Fully RipeSimple Steps: Herbs ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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.

Thread Large Needle with String for PeppersSimple Steps: Herbs ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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 DryingSimple Steps: Herbs ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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 DrySimple Steps: Herbs ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Herbs

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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