Chillies a Complete Guide

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Chillies are the Russian roulette of the food world. Notorious for their searing heat in curries, chillies and sauces the chilli is often and rather sadly viewed as one-dimensional. There is far more to the chilli than heat alone, there are countless varieties with varying heat scales, flavours and uses in the kitchen.

Wild chillies in Singapore

The use of chillies goes as far back as the earliest Mexican settlements and through Columbus and the traders of the spice routes they began to spread across the globe. Chillies are known and loved throughout the world, they are the staple ingredient in the salsas of New Mexico, the pastes of Thailand, masalas from India and harissa from North Africa to name but a few. As our knowledge of chillies has grown so has our ability to associate a type of chilli with its natural geographical location, we are more familiar with chilli ‘hot spots’ such as Mexico, Thailand and the Caribbean and the dishes made famous by these indigenous fruits. Following a long growing period through a hot summer, chillies are perfect for storing and preserving, be it dried whole, frozen, pickled, turned into sauces or aromatic oils and vinegars. However you choose to use them they should always be on hand in any kitchen as one of your must have ingredients. For more information on varieties, growing, cooking and preserving please click on the links below.

The Scoville Heat Test
How to Grow
How to Preserve
Recipes by Country

Content and picture © Miles Collins