Red Chillies Drying Process: A Crucial Step in Chilli Powder Processing

25 Jul, 2023

Dry red chili is used as a seasoning all over the world. The best, most perfectly dried red chili can give any food a unique flavor and taste, especially when it’s used to “temper.” We can get this type of spice at the market. But the quality isn’t always up to what we expect. This makes us think of how we used to get fresh red chilies and dry them in the sun in our courtyard or on our deck.

Drying is an excellent way of preserving chillies. The thin walls of the fruits make them quick and easy to dehydrate, ensuring a ready supply of crinkle-dry chillies to enjoy right up until next year’s harvest. Dried chillies are just as versatile as fresh chillies. You can store them in containers, grind them into a paste and even infuse oil or vinegar with these warming wonders.

Red Chillies in India

Chilli, also known as mirch in India, is a South American fruit that the Portuguese brought to the subcontinent four centuries ago. They are commonly used to impart heat to dishes in a variety of cuisines. Chili peppers originated in Mexico and spread to the rest of the globe, where they are used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Today, they are used to add heat and flavor to dishes all over the globe.

Red chilies originated were brought to India by Portuguese traders.  Now India tops in the cultivation of dry red chili peppers.

Before the Portuguese introduced red chillies to India in the 16th century, Indians added heat to their cuisine with other spices. Long pepper (grown in Bengal in East India) and black pepper (grown along the Western Coast, particularly in Malabar in Kerala) were the two most common ingredients used to season Indian cuisine.

Long pepper, also known as pipli, belongs to the same family as black pepper, the Piperaceae. It is a long, slender pod that is approximately 2 to 3 inches long and has a mildly fragrant flavor. Long pepper is indigenous to India and was used in Indian cuisine for centuries before red chiles were introduced.

Also a member of the Piperaceae family is black pepper. It is a small, round, desiccated berry that is ground into a powder. Black pepper is indigenous to South India and has been one of the world’s most coveted commodities for centuries. It was used in Indian cuisine as well as other global cuisines.

Important Steps in Red Chilli Powder Processing

The method for chili powder processing includes the steps of removing chilies’ bases, selecting, cleaning and drying chilies into crispy chilies, packaging the chilies in a vacuum bag, sealing and storing. The vacuum bag is flattened and kneaded to make use of chili powder.

Removing the stems of the chilies – In this stage, the stems or bases of the chilies are removed.

Selecting and Cleaning – Chilies are picked based on their quality, cleaned to remove any dirt or impurities, and then dried till crispy.

Packing – The dried chiles are packed in a vacuum bag before being packaged.

Sealing and storing – The vacuum bag containing the dried chiles is sealed and kept for subsequent use to maintain freshness.

Final Step – When the chilies are ready to be used, the vacuum bag is flattened and kneaded, which crushes the dried chilies and yields chili powder.

The red chillies processing method has a number of advantages. The flavor and nutritious components of the chillies are retained by drying them without smashing them first, which helps increase the quality of the chili powder. Furthermore, by putting the chillies into crispy shape prior to packaging, the procedure of obtaining chili powder becomes easier later on. 

Furthermore, the vacuum packaging prevents the chilies from turning to powder during storage, preserving the quality of the chili powder and ensuring its freshness. To improve the preservation of the chilies, inert gasses can be added to the hoover bag.

How to Dry Red Chillies?

Red chillies drying is an ideal method for preserving an abundant harvest or surplus for future use. When properly prepared, dried chilies can be used as-is or rehydrated (reconstituted) with water. 

While chillies have a reputation for being tough to cultivate, they aren’t quite as dangerous as some gardeners believe. With a little care and practice, you’ll soon be harvesting your own devilish fruits. Even a single chili plant can produce considerably more fruit than most people can consume in a fruitful year, so you’ll need to find a means to store them for future use.

There are numerous ways to dry red chillies including:

Sun drying

This traditional technique of red chillies drying process involves spreading chilies in a thin layer in direct sunlight on clean, flat surfaces such as concrete or mats. They are periodically rotated to ensure uniform drying. Depending on the weather and the desirable moisture content, drying by the sun can take several days to several weeks.

Air drying

Chilies can also be dried by air in a well-ventilated, well-circulated space. They can be suspended in groups or laid out on racks or screens. This red chillies drying method may take longer than sun drying, but it is frequently used in areas with limited access to sunlight or excessive humidity.

Dehydrator drying

Chillies can be dried efficiently using commercial food dehydrators. These devices provide controlled heat and airflow, enabling uniform and rapid drying. Typically, the chillies are distributed on dehydrator trays and dried at a low temperature for several hours.

Oven drying

This is a quicker method of dehydrating, you can use an oven. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting (roughly 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 to 65 degrees Celsius). Place the red chilies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them evenly and preventing them from touching. Place the baking sheet in the oven and prop open the oven door to enable moisture to escape. Check the chili peppers frequently and turn them periodically to ensure even drying. The drying duration varies, but is typically a few hours.

Red Chilli Suppliers in India

India’s spice industry meets both domestic and global demands with efficiency and scale. However, finding reliable red chili suppliers for import-export purposes is a challenge due to various factors.

EXPORA  is a trusted red chilli supplier in India. We address the challenges in this trade by working closely with a network of trusted red chili manufacturers, ensuring a consistent supply of red chillies varieties. EXPORA sources responsibly and conducts rigorous quality control. We offer personalized packaging solutions for private labels of chilli. EXPORA exports whole red chillies as well as chilli powder.


Drying chilli peppers is an ideal way to preserve an abundant harvest or leftover supply for future use. Dried chillies are very versatile, and when done correctly, you can use them as-it-is or re-constitute (hydrate) them in water. Either way, drying chilli peppers provides you with an additional way to utilize this incredible vegetable. 

Knowing how to dry chillies properly depends upon several conditions, such as airflow, weather, and humidity levels. Choose whichever method works best for your environment to get the best results.

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