How to oven dry capsicums for beautiful flavourings: A Recipe

CapsicumsWhere was that recipe?

I read a blog post somewhere in the ether about drying peppers. Bell peppers. Capsicums. Cool, I thought. I am doing tomatoes today, so maybe next week I will do peppers. Note, they are called capsicums in my part of the world. Off I went to The Farmers’ Market and grabbed a big bag of multi coloured capsicums. Fabulously shiny and crisp, crunch ripe. Yum.

Ok, where is that recipe? How do you find a recipe when you have hundreds of favourite food blogs??? Yes, I know that is far too many, but I love to read about and explore food. I even offered a prize for the first to find me the recipe. But no-one claimed the prize.

So in desperation I sat and went through my Top Ten Most Favourite blogs. What should I search for? Drying Peppers? Drying Capsicums? Oh, so stressful. Finally I found it, on the 10th blog that I searched. Thank you Straight from the Farm. I love your post on Peppers.

Around about the same time, Padma from Padma’s Kitchen was talking about char-grilled capsicums - you know, when you blacken the skin on the stove-top or under the griller, remove the skin and either put the peeled pepper strips in oil or use them immediately in salads, risottos, pasta dishes, antipasto plates, savoury tarts, and so on…. I love char-grilled capsicums a real lot – red ones especially

I really recommend that you have a look at both posts – good discussions and photos of the journey of cooking and drying peppers. Here are my notes on drying capsicums.

Using Dried Capsicums

Straight from the Farm has some fabulous ideas for using dried capsicums.

There are several different points at which the capsicums can be removed from the oven for quite different results, flavours and textures.

You can remove some of the capsicums half way through the drying process for delicious, slightly sweet, semi-dried capsicums, just right for tarts, pasta, risottos, salads and eating on their own. About 3/4 way through, remove some and cover with good quality virgin olive oil, for similar use over the next few weeks. They make great snacks and can also be used in the same way as semi dried tomatoes. Leave the rest to dry to completion until all moisture is removed and they are intensely flavoured little bites. Store in zip lock bags (a la Straight from the Farm‘s instructions) or grind to a powder.

Either way, they make great, chewy and flavoursome snacks, can be used in soups, risottos, salads, pasta sauces, lentil dishes, tarts, pies, toppings … the opportunities are endless.

The completely dried capsicums can also be ground into a powder. Grind them in a spice grinder, with a mortar and pestle, or in a blender. When ground, they can be incorporated in any sort of preparations, such as pasta and bread dough. Sprinkle them into vegetable dishes, risotto and other rice dishes. Include in salad dressings, dips, salsas and dukhas.

Notes on the process

The real surprise for me is that during the drying process, the capsicums became sort of sticky. I am not a food scientist, but I guess that it is caused by the caramelisation of the sugars in the capsicums. The taste became really very sweet as well. They are excellent to use at this time, semi dried, slightly sticky and sweet.

Whole chillies can also be dried this way. Remove the top, shake out any loose seeds, place on a tray and dry for around 4 – 6 hours.

The Taste

So intensely sweet! This was a surprise. And so intensely capsicumy peppery!

On the Tray

Drying Capsicums, Bell Peppers and Chillies

In the OvenWash the peppers, capsicums or chillies. Remove the top from the chillies but otherwise leave the chillies whole. For the capsicums, remove the core – the tops and seeds. Quarter them and remove any of the white flesh along the ribs.

Heat the oven to 50C. Place the quartered capsicums on foil on a tray and place in the middle of the oven. They can dry overnight (although the aroma might drive you crazy while you are trying to sleep), or during the day. If during the day, turn them every 60 or so minutes. Dry for 8 – 10 hours.

Little Jewels

If you wish, remove some of the capsicums half way through the drying process for delicious, slightly sweet, semi-dried capsicums, about 3/4 way through, remove some more and cover with good quality virgin olive oil. Leave the rest to dry to completion.

Yum! Eat! Play! Enjoy!

Namaskaram.

Dried Peppers Capsicums

This post was updated on 22nd December, 2013


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About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in 10 Mid Spring, Capsicums, Preserves, Tips and Techniques, VEGETARIAN and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to How to oven dry capsicums for beautiful flavourings: A Recipe

  1. amberjee says:

    I did look for the recipe. Promise. I even googled it. But to no avail ;)

  2. Maninas says:

    mmmmm love the peppers!

    btw, thank you for your email. It may sound strange, but I was somewhat touched… I will write to you soon.

  3. VegeYum says:

    Hi amberjee – gee I am sorry that you didnt find it – it took me ages to locate the post in Straight from the Farm. Her blog is great and the photos terrific. So glad I did find it, these peppers are GREAT.

    Hi Maninas, thanks for visiting. Look forward to the email.

  4. Asha says:

    Hi, I have a Mirchi Ka Salan and other’s with colorful bell peppers at FH and at Aroma too. We do get these peppers year round here, love to cook with them!:))

  5. shivapriya says:

    Oh I love these peppers, these are available year around for us. I buy them in bulk . I use them a lot in my cooking. Yummy drying peppers is something for me.

  6. Wow . . . I never thought about drying peppers (er, capsicum) in the oven. I’ll most definitely give it a try!

    Your comment about grinding them into a powder brought back a memory of when my husband and I went to visit his family in a rural part of the Ukraine (it’s a much more ingriguing, involved story, but I’ll leave it at that). There were rastras of Paprika peppers drying everywhere. When Laszlo led us into one of the little shacks of the compound, there was a sweet, spicy scent in the air. I looked down and a fine, rust-colored dust had settled on my shoes. It was where, he explained, hand turning a crank as he spoke, they ground their dried peppers. I didn’t wipe that dust off my shoes all week.

  7. Kimberley says:

    Drying peppers never crossed my mind (I mean capsicum :0) — I just bought some peppers – I think I will try this and use them in Couscous.

    My husband loves asparagus – any suggestions on asparagus preparation?

  8. VegeYum says:

    Hi Asha, How lucky to have capsicums all year. I haven’t tried Mirchi Ka Salan, but must do so.

    Sivapriya, in bulk! Wow, that is commitment. Do you get all sorts of colours? Here, if we look around, we can get yellow and orange as well as red and green.

    swirlingnotions, I love your story about grinding dried in Unkraine. I am intrigued about the full story….

    Hi Kimeberly, great that you could visit. They will be great in couscous. No need to dry them completely, just intensify the flavour. Asparagus – i really like this very simply. Maybe slightly chargrilled on a grill pan, served with butter, sea salt and lemon juice. That would be enough. Serve french style – on its own. If you want more, maybe a dollop of broad bean puree alongside?

  9. Jennie says:

    Great post, VegeYum. I love how you describe everything, and you’re too sweet to mention me and the blog so much. I’m tickled pink that you’re so happy with them. :-) Your photo of the bowl of dried peppers is outstanding!

  10. VegeYum says:

    Hi Jennie, your post was so inspiring. I just love your blog, always really good information, stories and recipes. Glad that you liked the photo.

    I look forward to drying and grinding my next lot of peppers and I might include some dried chilli in it too.

  11. Suganya says:

    They look like a bowl full of confetti :). Beauties!

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  14. Padma says:

    I love the color and the sweetness they give once its dried out. I can imagine the aroma in my pastas and risotto… Nice info dear! thanks for linking me!

    Aren’t they the best? I love nibbling on them just as they are.

  15. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Wow..this is really something I would be grateful to you and blogging! What a lovely way to use capsicum in cooking. Thanks Ganga for the link. You are a genius.

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  19. John says:

    Why does it take Americans so long to get to the point? All I wanted to know was How to sun dry Capsicum not a hole lot of preamble about your discovery. But Thanks anyway

    John

    • Ganga108 says:

      Hi John, glad you could drop by. By the way, there is no need to visit or read my blog unless it interests you. If not, that’s Ok. I love that there is such a rich tapestry of people that make up this world, every person with their own preferences. I celebrate that. I invite people who share different views into my world, and it makes it richer. I hope you find that which enriches you, too.

      Oh, and just FYI, no Americans were or are involved in this blog.

      And looking back on the post, it is a bit preambley.

      Shanti.

      • Ganga, great answer for such a rude comment. I came across this page today. It inspired me enough to go to the farmers market. I purchased about 100 small sweet peppers, chills, jalapeños, and some other pepper I had never seen before. Anyway, I spent the afternoon cleaning, cutting, and preparing the peppers for the oven dry. Then, with the chilis, jalapeños, and the other peppers, I strung them up on string to dry outside. In Florida (USA), we have lots of sunshine this time of year. Should I put them inside at a window or is outside okay. My next question is, can I put them in a closet with a dehumidifier instead? Your thoughts?

        • Ganga108 says:

          Hi Michelle, thanks for your lovely comments.

          Yes! Do dry your peppers outside in the sunshine. Perhaps cover them with some netting to keep the bugs off, but that is optional. Bring them in at night, and put them out again the next morning.
          Hope it all goes well. Let me know how it works for you.

          PS I often dry chillies whole in the window, but it does take some time. In the dehydrator it is much quicker, but not as satisfying, I think.

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