These small red African chillies are fiery but very versatile, and they are extensively used in Indian, Chinese and Thai cuisines. They are good to use as an all-purpose chilli when a good deal of heat is needed, either added whole to the dish or ground first. The flavour will be slightly hotter when the chillies are ground.
One very popular use for Birdseye chillies is to infuse them in olive oil or vinegar – they release their flavour quickly, and the oil or vinegar can then be used in salad dressings or to drizzle over pizzas and other dishes as a table condiment. These dried chillies are a great ingredient to have on hand in the pantry as they have a very long life, as long as they are kept airtight. They may be small, but be sure, they have a big flavour!
These chillies are also known as ‘Piri Piri Chillies’.
Heat level – 9