Chilles or chilies? Both spelling forms are right and both are hot. They have little aroma but vary in taste, from mild to fiery hot. Chillies are members of the capsicum family and come in all shapes and sizes. There are numerous varieties of chilies varying in size and strength of flavor. Commonly used in Eastern cooking are the red and green finger-like chilies about 4-inches long, and the tiny red and green bird’s eye chilies which are extremely hot.
How to Store Chillies and How to Cook Them?
They are available fresh, dried, crushed, flaked and ground. When buying fresh chilies, choose crisp and unwrinkled ones.
Be very careful when handling chillies. First cut chillies in half lengthwise. Then use a small spoon to scrape away the seeds and the membrane, which holds the capsaicin that gives chillies their kick. They can burn the skin of your hands or parts of your body you touch with your hand- especially do not touch your eyes. You may want to wear rubber gloves and wash hands with WARM water – not hot and not cold- after handling them.
When preparing chilies it is advisable to wear rubber gloves and avoid getting the oils near lips or eyes. The seeds, which are very hot, should be discarded unless a fiery dish is required.