In the last 15 years, since we have been together with my husband Danail, I have become convinced that sometimes it is very difficult to find and buy exactly what you want. I don’t eat spicy food but he likes medium to strong spicy food. We have bought hot paprika from shops in Bulgaria under all kinds of brands – expensive and cheap. We also bought dried chilies from farmers markets, we even bought from Turkey on our trips there. Friends brought us hot paprika from Macedonia and Serbia. And we still couldn’t find the degree of fierceness he wanted! It turns out that we have to make our own hot paprika at home if we want a precise degree of spiciness.
And what do we need to prepare hot paprika at home? The most important thing is the chili peppers – they must be of good quality, well dried and with the required degree of spiciness! Buying some chili peppers from the store or farmers market is not enough, because different types and varieties of chili peppers have different degrees of spiciness. Therefore, if we want to prepare hot paprika at home with a certain degree of spiciness, we must choose chili peppers with the required degree of spiciness. It turned out that this is not easy either – in Bulgaria, there are many varieties of chili peppers with a weak degree of spiciness and several varieties of chili peppers with a medium degree of spiciness. Only a few places in Bulgaria can buy chili peppers with a strong to very strong degree of spiciness.
For the last 3 years we have been growing in our garden certain varieties of chili peppers with a medium and strong degree of heat – this allows us to prepare hot paprika at home with a certain degree of heat. We grow the more heat-loving types and varieties of chili peppers in our greenhouse, and the rest outdoors in the garden. We dry the best ripe chili peppers for the preparation of chili flakes and hot paprika powder, and with the rest we prepare various sauces and pickles.
Preparing hot paprika at home is quick and easy – so we have a product with guaranteed quality and composition!
I use chili flakes to season soups and stews, as well as in the recipe for marinated hot tofu. To make chili flakes, I use well-dried chili peppers from which I remove the stems. I arrange the peppers side by side in a tray on baking paper and bake them for 5 minutes in a preheated oven at 50°C with a fan. Usually, when stored, dried peppers soften slightly, and to grind well they must be hard. That’s why I toast them in the hot oven right before grinding them. In an electric chopper with an S-shaped blade, I put part of the chili peppers and grind them to the desired size of flakes. I don’t remove the seeds from the peppers, but if you just want chili flakes you can remove the seeds beforehand. I store the prepared flakes in a tightly closed glass jar.
Hot paprika powder
I use hot paprika powder as an ingredient in various spice mixes or on its own in recipes for spicy desserts and dishes. For its preparation, I use pre-prepared chili flakes. Using an electric coffee grinder, I grind the chili flakes and seeds to a powder. I store the hot paprika in a tight-fitting glass jar. I prepare small amounts because the seeds contain vegetable fats and they oxidize during longer storage.
Nutritional value per 100g. product:
Energy value – 324 kcal
Proteins – 11 g
Carbohydrates – 42 g
Fats – 6 gr
Fiber – 29 g