A mild chilli that features commonly in Indian curries, Kashmiri chillies are used in dishes like rogan josh for the deep red colour they impart. They are popular both for this gorgeous colour, and also their mild heat, which brings a lovely warmth to dishes rather than the fiery character of hotter chillis.
Traditionally these whole dried chillies are soaked in water then ground into a paste before adding to a dish, as this method intensifies even further their colour. They can also be fried quickly in a little oil before use, which gives them a slightly more smoky nature, and used like this they are commonly added to dahl and pulses as a finishing garnish before serving – the hot, chilli-infused oil lifts the dish wonderfully with its colour and flavour.
Heat level – 5