Key Ingredients – Indian Chilies

Many of my recipes call for “green chilies.” Green chilies used in Indian cooking are small, heat packed chilies. They are about the 2 inches to 3 inches in length. Unless we go to the Indian grocery store though, these chilies can be tough to come by.  What do you substitute for these green chilies? Sometimes I use the longer  and slightly fatter green chilies that can be found in other ethnic markets. Or I stock up on Indian chilies and then freeze them. Fat, fresh jalapenos just don’t give quite the same flavor as Indian chilies so those don’t tend to be my substitute of choice.


6 responses to “Key Ingredients – Indian Chilies”

  1. I love the idea of freezing green chillies. Question is how do you freeze them? do you grind them and freeze or you just freeze the whole chillies and thaw once needed? I love green chillies but i hate the fact that they go bad so quickly.

    • @Neha – I freeze them whole but my mom chops them and then freezes them. When you freeze them whole, if you take them out and allow to slightly thaw, you can chop pretty easily.

  2. What about serrano chilis, or Thai green chilis? (Both of which are my own personal preference in Indian, Thai, or Mexican cooking. Not a huge fan of big fat jalapenos. Unless they are pickled. With carrots. And onions! )

    • @Sue – I think Thai chilies are pretty much the same as Indian chilis. Behind those two though, serrano chilis are my next choice.

  3. How about substituting for red chiles? I see Indian recipes calling for “byadgi” chiles and also smooth skin “guntur”. Maybe arbols for smooth skin? No idea what byadgi are.

  4. I grind them in food processor, add little oil and pinch of salt Freeze in plastic freezer bag,flatten it..this process keeps frozen chilli green and due to the oil it is easy to take out as much as you need.I also cut it and freeze it for Dals and other veges.

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