I love seasoning my pasta, pizza, focaccia, chips, wedges… yes, I love to season & pep up most continental, finger food with different kinds of flavoured salt or herbs. I end up doing this because I love different flavours in food. Even if it is mac & cheese, I have a few bites just the way it is served, then I begin my experiments by throwing in some herbs or other seasoning ;).
Just like always, I was walking around in the supermarket & my eyes fell on a pack of these lush red chilli’s. I got really excited, in the last 3 months since we got back to India, I had never seen this on the shelves. I instantly told K that I wanted a pack (I had no clue what I was going to do with them). They look a lot like Scotch bonnet chilli’s, but then I have always bought them in packs of mixed colours, so now I’m confused. The packaging says they are Bird’s eye. I posted them as Bird’s eye chilli’s. Then someone pointed out that they seem to be more like ghost chilli’s not bird’s eye. That is when I thought with google available let me research & check, Ghost chilli’s look a tad different, thinner & longer, but similar ridged. The bird’s eye chilli’s are very very narrow, smaller with straight stems. Since they closely resemble Scotch Bonnet Chilli’s I’m going to stick to this.
I completely forgot about them for a day. It’s quite hot during the day these days & the power cuts make it worse. Both K & I are hardly hungry, we just keep fueling ourselves with loads of liquids – water, Ice Tea or fruits like the fresh oranges which are now available in plenty at the market or with slices of watermelon. We both eat very little due to the hot weather. So that gives me time to dedicate time to experiment with some preservable’s like this salt. I even pickled some Jalapeños a couple of days back.
My posts are slowing down, it’s not that I do not want to blog, it is just that there are so many interesting things happening around Bangalore. I attended a free workshop on kitchen gardening at Lalbagh – the beautiful botanical garden, conducted everyday for a fortnight by the Horticultural department of the Karnataka Government. Such a wonderful gesture educating interested people on growing their own veggies in organic ways, in a small patch of land/terrace garden.
The city had issues with waste disposal around 6 months back. The city generates around 800 tonnes of waste & the villagers living around the disposal site fought back since the enormous amounts of waste being disposed that they were exposed to a lot of air pollution, water & soil contamination & it was getting difficult for them to live & farm around the area. The waste was giving a rich breeding ground for unwanted elements. Street dogs, vultures hovering around etc. So the villagers did not let the BBMP (Bruhut Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) i.e. the municipal corporation of Bangalore from dumping the waste. The city waste was just left uncollected by them as there was no place to dispose it off. The garden city started stinking with waste overflowing around everywhere.
Did you know that one months of uncooked, wet waste generated in your kitchen can be converted easily into compost in 3 months?? It is pretty simple, does not require any elaborate chores. For those without a backyard, one corner of your utility area in your kitchen is just perfect. In my next post, I will pass on details for those interested in preparing your own compost at home & growing your own veggies organically. We live in a flat, I grow some herbs & flowering plants in my balcony in pots. I can grow at least 5-6 veggies, chilli’s, 4-5 herbs in the space I have.
Well let us get back to this post. Why did I think of preparing this salt. I have already mentioned that I’m a seasoning freak. If you have been following my blog, you would know that I never use the ready ginger garlic pastes or even pepper powders available in the store. Why use these when you can enhance your meal with ingredients which are easily available & using them fresh just takes you food to a whole new level. I grind & make fresh ginger/garlic paste when required, use a pepper mill or a pestle & mortar to season my food with ground pepper.
Ingredients: (Serves -) Preparation Time: 10 mins
Scotch Bonnet Chilli’s – 2-3, I used 2 medium-sized & one small
Rock salt – 100 – 125 gms, If you need a much milder flavour, use more salt
Wash the chilli’s & dry them using a kitchen towel & air dry them too for maybe half an hour before you begin, as these chilli’s have crevices that the water stays back. We do not want extra moisture getting into the salt.
Look at the colour, isn’t it lovely. These chilli’s are hot!
Slice the chilli’s & de-seed them. Dry the seeds, if you want to try your luck at growing a plant of these chilli’s (I have let us see if I get lucky.) Bite into a seed if you want to try out how they are. I did the seeds are really hot!
Throw in the slices into a small chopper. Chop them into tiny bits. Each time I opened the chopper to mix the bits that did not end up anywhere near the blade,the zing from the chilli’s just hit me…
These chilli’s are so colourful & bright that I can hardly stop clicking them.
Once all the bits are finely done add the salt & spin the chopper 4-5 times else till the colour from the chilli’s gets on to the salt.
P.S: Be cautious, do not use your fingers while handling them, I did since I did not have gloves, damn I had my fingers burning from their heat for an entire day.. :(.
Transfer the salt to a flat board or a large plate & let it dry out completely. Then transfer it to an air tight bottle or a clean & dried mill if you have one.
Grind the chilli salt over anything you want to add an extra bit of spice to :). Enjoy!
The salt looks lumpy here in the picture because it was just out of the chopper.
This salt will probably be available in the market in small mills, but then, in the cost of that one mill I can prepare 2-3 kilo’s of this salt, all you need is a pack of these chilli’s & a packet of rock salt. It hardly costed me 1/8 the price to make me salt enough to go into 2 similar mills. This should easily last for 6 months or more if you dry it thoroughly before bottling it or storing it away. I also have more than 10 chilli’s left from that pack.. Got to make something that will help me use them up in another interesting way.