Just Ordered Kashimiri Red Chili Powder for Color...

Discussion in 'Sauces, Rubs & Marinades' started by tallbm, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Well guys I just ordered a little over 2 pounds of Kashmiri Red Chili powder.

    This is a powder that is commonly used to give bright red color to foods mainly in Indian cuisine such as Tandoori Chicken or Lamb.

    Don't worry it is not a strong or pungent seasoning... unless I get something other than what I believe I am ordering lol.

    The flavor is known to be very very mild and again is basically for color.  I think it is a like a super super mild and bland paprika but produces like 3-4 times the red color of what paprika may produce.

    I was speaking with my brother and he wants to make some Hot Links out of some venison he has in his deep freezer and I figured I would toss in this chili powder to try and get some extra red color and I would also use it in the water when soaking the casings to dye the casings red as well.

    I'm trying to get a Texas Style Red Hot Link type of color but going about it in a more natural fashion. 

    I'll also do it for grilling some chicken and stuff like that for color, heck it may even replace paprika in my pork butt seasoning which is mainly there for color and a little more flavor character.  I'll report back on this thread once I really start using the stuff

    I just figured I would start this thread now and then report back as I try things out with it since getting "red color" on food is a topic I have come across when searching this forum.  I have yet to see an post where someone was like "check out my awesome red color on my food and I did it by using this... or doing this...".

    Maybe I can solve some of the mystery :)

    Here is the product I ordered, I found it off ebay for a a better price than amazon and it was located with a vendor out of Florida so no waiting forever for the spice to get here :)  

    Also I did not try any local Indian or Indo/Pak stores to see if they had the powder.  I figured ordering online would be a better choice than wandering around a store where I can't count on being able to find products in english or count on much english speaking help :)

    Reports and posts of usage and taste to come in the future!
  2. chilerelleno

    chilerelleno Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Interesting, I've seen that before but didn't know anything about it.
    Figured it'd be spicy/hot, not that that bothers me.
    I'd like to know how you find it's flavor compared to the various sweet or hot (pungent) Spanish and Hungarian Paprikas.

    For color and flavor have you ever tried Achiote powder or paste?
  3. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    I have not tried Achiote. I can get it at the grocery store though.  

    Achiote was going to be my next option from what I was reading when trying to figure out which route to go.  

    I didn't go with Achiote simply because I read that it can leave more of an orange color where the Kashimiri is known to leave a vibrant red color and I have seen what Kashimiri can do on dishes like the following:

    It will be interesting to see how it turns out.  I just received the email this morning that shipping has started.  I believe they have printed up the shipping tracking number, hopefully it will go out in the mail today! :)
  4. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    I use Kashmiri chile powder (a different brand) a lot when cooking several Indian dishes primarily for, as you say, coloring. It does have a pleasant sort of floral flavor and is quite mild, around 2,000 SHU if I recall correctly.

    I also use ground annatto/achiote and the two are totally different. To me, annatto has something of a musky flavor, which is fine, but if it's not used judiciously, it can impart a bitterness to any dish you're preparing.

    2+ pounds of Kashmiri is going to keep you busy for a very long time. I suggest you store it in a refrigerator.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  5. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Thanks for the feedback. I thought I read that Achiote could be a little bitter if you add quite a bit.  I was hoping to add as little or as subtle flavor as possible.  It sounds like I may have made the correct choice to go with the Kashmiri especially with it being so mild and having the flavor you describe.

    Where/how do you get your Kashmiri chile powder?
  6. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    The Kashmiri powder I use goes by the brand name of "Swad". Unlike most Kashmiri brands, Swad packs a bit more heat, which we prefer. It's certainly not incendiary, however.

    I buy the powder locally, as well as many other Indo-Pak products, at a store known as "Patel Brothers". Their roots are in Chicago, but they've expanded to 50+ stores in the U.S. and are considered the countries largest full service Indo-Pak grocer. I don't know where you're located in Texas, but they have 2 stores each in the Houston and Dallas areas.
  7. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    I saw the Plano location on the map but didn't want to go in and just waste my time.  I've never done the Indo-Pak stores but if I'm near one some day I'll walk in and check it out to see what I can see.

    I don't know if $5.95 for 7oz is a good price but that is what I paid.  I do know that is better than all of the other prices I found online.

    I saw a number of products that had "Kasmir..." in the title that claimed to be Kashmiri tandoori seasoning blend.  I wanted the straight pepper not the whole turmeric and other spices combined.

    Thanks for all the great info though.  I'll keep it in mind next time I'm in that area of Plano :)
  8. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Never be afraid of an ethnic grocery! Adventure awaits you. The worst that can happen is you browse and leave empty-handed or maybe try something you don't like so much. You might find something you love, that you had never heard of before. Nothing ventured, nothing gained..
    chilerelleno likes this.
  9. chilerelleno

    chilerelleno Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Point given for truth.

    I love ethnic grocery stores of all kinds.
    From the general store type with everything under the sun, to the specialty shops.
    I wish we had more variety here.
  10. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    I'll definitely poke into it if/when I'm in the area.

    I just didn't want to make the whole trip and then walk out empty handed, disappointed, and still needing to figure out where to get the powder.  That's all lol.

    When I put this Kashmiri chile powder to use I must make a trip to the butcher shop in Plano to get some trimmed pork backfat and when I do I'll only be 4 miles from the Patel Brothers store that dls1 recommends from visits in his area. :)
  11. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Ok so I received the Kashmiri red chili powder today.  I did a color and taste comparison to my McCormick Smoked Paprika I have on hand.  I can't speak for every brand of Kashmiri chili powder or Paprika out there but I will give you my experience with what I have on hand :)



    On the left you have the McCormick's Smoked Paprika, on the right you have the Kashmiri Red Chile Powder.

    Color:  McCormicks is more of a crimson red that stays about the same color when wet, were the Kashmiri is more orange'ish red but gets darker red when wet.  The smoked Paprika Wins.

    Taste:  The McCormicks is smoked so has a smoked flavor and is very very very very bland with the pepper flavor.  The Kashmiri tastes much more like a Cayenne pepper but slightly more flavor and less bitterness and I am working to NOT confuse heat for flavor at this point.  The Kashmiri is a more flavorful pepper than the paprika I have on hand.  If you want smoked flavor go with the smoked paprika if you want more general pepper flavor go with the Kashmiri.  The Kashmiri is the winner here based on pure pepper flavor not counting the smoke flavor of the paprika I have.

    Heat: The McCormicks paprika has no heat to me at all.  The Kashmiri is a mild heat for me and I would describe it as being twice as hot as a good black pepper that has a little kick to it.  The Kashmiri is milder than Cayenne but stronger than general US chile powder (which to me often has little to no heat) if that helps.  The Kashmiri will be a little hot for the weaker pallet but I find it to be fine and I highly suspect the heat is hard to detect when seasoning a piece of meat.  I say this because my steak seasoning is Salt, Pepper, Onion, Garlic, and Cayenne Pepper.  I lightly sprinkle one side of my steak with Cayenne and wow I get all the flavor and no detectable heat.  I feel like the Kashmiri chile powder would do a better job than the Cayenne Pepper in such an application and I feel the Cayenne Pepper does a surperb job used in this fashion.

    To me the Kashmiri's milder heat wins out because it's heat lets you know it's there but does not overwhelm me at all and I'm sure it will mellow out when used as a seasoning even for those that are spice-heat weenies.

    In all I think the Kashmiri will be a fine pepper for color and for flavor however the Paprika I have seems to impart more color... but my Paprika is smoked so if I don't want smoked flavor and I want color I will go with the Kashmiri.  

    Worst case for my stockpile of Kashmiri will be used as a general chili powder for taco meat, chili, and a replacement for Cayenne where I want more flavor less heat.

    Best case, the Kashmiri really shines on a piece of meat and I start using it for as a coloring and flavor replacement where I normally use Paprika and the Kashmiri starts becoming a part of my sauces (BBQ, etc.) and with it's milder heat nature starts going on all of my meat like a spice to partner with black pepper.  

    I hope others find this information helpful :)
  12. zymer

    zymer Fire Starter

    Something else you might want to consider is a high-quality fresh Hungarian paprika.  Paprika will darken a bit with age, and no telling how long the supermarket ones sat in a warehouse somewhere. Smoked will also be darker than non-smoked.

    If you don't have a fresh spice retailer in your area, you can get it online from places like Penzey's and The Spice House.  These are packed with flavor, and the half-sharp can throw more heat than one would expect from paprika.  Has a relatively short shelf life for peak flavor and color, though.  Might be worth a shot.

    Achiote looks more brownish-orange to me.  It's what many cheese-makers use to give cheddar that orange color.  It's also often used to color butter.

    I've heard beet powder throws a red color, but never used it.

    Note the final color of the product with depend on all the ingredients.  As a simple example, you can take a bright red spice and mix it with yellow butter and the result will be orangish (depending on the ratio).
  13. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Hi there and welcome!

    Thanks for all of the input.  I did also get some Hungarian paprika a week or 2 ago... I think.  These spices are all planned for some sausage making that may occur soon :)

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