Scotch Bonnet, dried

The Scotch Bonnet chilli (closely related ot the Habanero, and equally fiery) is one of the jewels in the crown of Caribbean cooking, and it is used fresh everywhere and in pretty much anything. Nowadays, certainly in London, it is widely available and just as popular! It is essential in any jerk marinade, curry goat or brown stew, three Caribbean classics, and it is also the most popular chilli in West African cooking, such as Jollof rice. Dried Scotch Bonnets can be used instead of or as well as fresh – just remember the heat in any dried chilli is less immediate and tends to have more afterburn. If using for a jerk marinade it is best to rehydrate the chillis in a little warm water, but for curries and stews, they can be added whole. Remember to remove them before serving, as accidentally biting into one of these little devils can be very unpleasant!

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