What is Chili Flakes (Capsicum Frutescens)

what is chili flakes

Chili flakes are coarsely ground, dried chili peppers of particularly fruity chili varieties that can be used universally for seasoning in the kitchen. In most recipes around the world, they are used wherever a mild spiciness is desired. Especially in Turkish, Spanish, Mexican, Asian and Indian cuisine, the chili flakes are often used. They go well with hearty dishes, marinades and spreads as well as desserts and desserts. What is chili flakes? – Also, you can simply cook the flakes or give them as a sprinkle seasoning with your fingers or in a spice grinder over the dishes. Not only does this add a slight spiciness to the recipe, but it also adds a visually appealing hint of color.

Spice up pasta dishes, season your grilled meats, or make savory sauces and dips – Even chocolate goes well with the aromatic fragrance and mild spiciness of the flakes. Let chili flakes inspire you in the following and learn more about this universal spice.


Chili flakes have a mild tingling spiciness accompanied by a paprika aroma with a somewhat smoky, slightly sweet caramel note. This comes from the particularly fruity chili varieties used to make the flakes. The extremely aromatic scent of the chili is very characteristic. Chili flakes are therefore suitable as a universally applicable spice. Chili flakes have a spiciness level of 5-6 and are therefore just right for those who do not like it too hot and prefer a mild spiciness.


Chili flakes can be used in many ways in the kitchen. Whether in cold or warm cuisine, they go well with many other spices due to their mild, not too dominant spiciness. As a universal spice, they spice up the dishes wherever you want a light aromatic spiciness.


Although the spiciness is not lost through prolonged cooking, in order to retain the full typical smoky aroma you should only season the dishes approx. 10 to 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time.


To use chili flakes as a sprinkle seasoning, simply take a few flakes between your fingers and spread them over your dish. Alternatively, you can use a spice grinder to put the flakes in.


Lastly, you can use the red chili flakes to conjure up wonderful shades of color on your dish. To do this, simply sprinkle a few flakes over the dish with your fingers. This way you have the best feeling for spreading the fine flakes over the dish or dessert.

CAUTION: Always wash your fingers well with soap after touching the flakes to remove the spiciness from them. Under no circumstances should you rub your eyes afterwards. To test if there is still spiciness on your fingers, you can test this with the tip of your tongue. Ideally, you should use rubber gloves or kitchen gloves for seasoning.


As a rule, a knife tip or a teaspoon of the chili flakes are enough to season a dish. Find for yourself the ideal middle between the mild spiciness and the smoky flavor of paprika.


Chili flakes are an all-purpose spice and can be used in cooking anywhere you want a slight spiciness. In many Turkish, Spanish, Mexican, Indian and Asian dishes the flakes are used and give them the typical character. The flakes go particularly well with hearty dishes of meat or vegetables. One of the classics is chili con carne, but the spicy flavor of chili flakes also goes well with many curry and wok dishes. Here are a few suggestions of cold and hot recipes and dishes to which you can use the flakes for seasoning

  • Flavoring marinades, barbecue marinades, barbecue sauces, condiments, salsa, chili sauces and dips
  • Grilled meat, poultry, vegetables
  • Meat such as beef, poultry, veal, lamb, pork, meatloaf, meatballs or meatballs
  • Fish, seafood and crustaceans such as shrimp
  • Bread spreads
  • Soups, fish soup, stews, ragouts
  • Curry and wok dishes
  • Beans & stews like chili con carne, goulash, goulash soup
  • Legumes like broad beans, chickpeas, lentils, corn
  • Vegetable dishes, eggplants, garden beans, carrots, , pumpkin, celery, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, onions
  • Pasta, pasta dishes & pasta sauces like the famous penne all’ arrabbiata
  • Potatoes like fried potato
  • Quiche
  • for the preparation of chili oil, chili salt
  • Seasoning pizza, kebab
  • Spicy cream cheese & curd
  • Chili salt, chili oil and all kinds of chili pastes


  • Chocolate dessert like homemade chocolates, chocolate bars, chocolate cake
  • hot chocolate
  • spicy mousses
  • cream
  • terrines
  • exotic fruit salads
  • savory pastries



Combining chili flakes with olive oil you can make a wonderful mild spicy seasoning oil yourself.


Chili flakes are also often combined with salt such as fleur de sel or sea salt. This chili salt makes an excellent sprinkle seasoning with a mild spiciness.


Chili flakes, like chili, are a universal spice and harmonize with many spices and herbs in the kitchen. Thus, they go well with coriander, curry, savory, fennel, dill, ginger, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, chives, thyme, parsley, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon peel. Since the spiciness can quickly drown out the aroma of the other spices when overdosed, always dose chili flakes carefully and slowly approach the desired level of spiciness.


Chili flakes harmonize wonderfully with vanilla, honey and chocolate and are therefore an excellent way to give a dessert the necessary zing.


Chili flakes have a spiciness in degree of 5 to 6. They are an alternative for those who prefer mild spiciness.


Storage dry chili

In order to enjoy the taste of chili flakes for a long time, you should store them, like most spices, in a cool, dry, airtight and protected from light. For this purpose, spice jars that can be double-sealed are particularly suitable. In this way, the flakes can be stored for about 12 months.


The quality of chili flakes is relatively easy to determine. The fewer seeds in the flakes, the higher the quality. Avoid buying open chili flakes, such as those often sold at vacation markets in southern countries.


Chili flakes
Origin:South and Central America
Spice type:Universal spice for hot and cold dishes and as a sprinkling spice for decoration
Taste:Fruity, slightly sweetish, smoky, mildly spicy
Degree of spiciness:06-May
Seasoning:When cooking about 10 to 15 minutes before the end of cooking time
Recipes:Marinades, sauces, chili con carne, penne all’ arrabiata, dips, spreads, desserts, chocolate, curry and wok dishes, chili oil, chili salt
Combination:coriander, curry, savory, fennel, dill, ginger, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, chives, thyme, parsley, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon peel.
Shelf life:Cool, dry, airtight and dark up to 12 months.


The mild spiciness of chili flakes is due to the ingredient capsaicin. This is contained primarily in the seeds and the white pulp of the pod, which are therefore often removed during cooking and seasoning. The red fruit skin contains less capsaicin and is therefore milder and fruitier. Therefore, when buying chili flakes, pay attention to the percentage of seeds, the higher the hotter the flakes. The heat level of capsaicin used to be measured in Scoville. However, since the Scoville scale was not very comprehensible for most people, a degree classification between 0 and 10 has been adopted today. Chili flakes have a heat level of 4 to 5.


chili plant

Chili flakes are made from the fruits of the chili plant. The home of the plant is originally South America and Central America. After the discovery of the continent Columbus brought the plant to Europe where it started its triumphal procession around the world. Today, chilies and chili flakes are indispensable in many kitchens around the world.


In the production of chili flakes, the pods of selected particularly fruity chili varieties of the Capsicum tree are first dried. Then the seeds are removed to prevent the product from becoming too spicy and ground into flakes of about 1-3 mm in size.


Already the Indians, Aztecs and Incas appreciated the chili plant as a remedy. Even today, the chili has an importance in herbal medicine and is used here both for internal and external use.

Chili flakes – Hot pepper flakes

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