Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper (mirch) is part of the capsicum family and is consumed in many forms and widely used in Indian cooking. Chili peppers often come in varying degrees of flavor, from quite mild (almost no pungent flavor) to hot in flavor. Dried chili pepper, as a spice, is one of the most versatile spices that is used whole, crushed and ground in a myriad of ways just like many whole spices in combination with or without in the Indian kitchen ranging from whole to finely ground in the form of chili powder. It is one of the must-have ingredients in Indian cooking regardless of its regional cooking.  In addition, the dried whole or crushed chili peppers are used in tarka (spice-infused ghee or oil) and ground for various spice blends. This is one of the ingredients you want to be extremely careful with and I suggest adding it to your cooking in moderation if you are not used to eating spicy food.

Recently as I received a jar of pickles made with cayenne pepper from one of my relatives that inspired me to share some of the pictures with my blog readers since chilies are used throughout the world in various forms. Over the years I have grown a variety of vegetables in my small garden simply by experimenting with different seeds that were preserved over the years from my garden. That brings back a flood of fond memories of the early 90’s as we had harvested a bumper crop of chili peppers a little earlier since we were expecting a frost that night. We had to bring in all the plants and kept them in the garage and next day, we delivered them to our friends and family members.

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