Toasting Dried Chilies

Some recipes using dried, whole chile pods are going to direct you to toast them first.  This only takes a few minutes and is well worth that extra bit of time.  Subjecting the chilies to the heat of a griddle prior to use activates the flavors.  Toasting will deepen the richness of the sauce or dish you are making.  Remove the stem and discard.  To lessen the chile heat, slit the pods open and empty out the seeds, removing any white pith that may show.  This is where so much of the heat of chilies lies.

Heat a dry, well-seasoned skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.  Place the peppers in a single layer and press down with a spatula for a few seconds per side until the color deepens and the fragrance starts to be released.  Do no burn the chilies.  This will produce a bitter product.  Toss any burned ones away so you do not ruin the whole recipe.

You are now ready to proceed with your recipe at this point.  Toast only what you will need for the present.  It is best to store dried chilies un-toasted until ready to make your recipe.


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