Hello everyone! Some weeks ago, I started a series on cooking spices with ginger powder, today I want to show you how to make paprika.
Paprika is a spice made from dry red bell pepper, what most of us here in Nigeria call tatashe. Bell peppers help in prevention of diseases like hypertension, alzheimer, and cancer. They also function to enhance brain activity, and boost memory (click here to read more on advantages of pepper).
It is however, important to note that Paprika is not the same as pepper powder. They may look similar, but the major difference is that; while the pepper powder is made from dry chili or bird eye’s pepper, paprika is dry ground bell pepper.
Paprika spice can be bought in some stores, but it is not very common in our local markets. One day I decided to try making it at home, and it turned out perfect. It’s a great idea to make your own homemade paprika because; it’s easy, you can determine how pungent (hot or sweet) your spice becomes, and above all you guarantee the use of fresh clean peppers. If you live in an area where there is lots of sunlight, you have to try making this spice today; all you need do is dry the peppers and grind them into powder. If you don’t have access to much sunlight, you can put the peppers in the oven on low heat with the oven door slightly open till completely dry.
Ingredients for paprika
- Bell peppers
- Manual grinder (or coffee grinder )
- Flat tray
Steps for homemade paprika
Wash bell peppers, and take out all the seeds inside (skip this step, if you want the spice to be very hot).
Cut peppers into thin slices, spread on the flat tray.
Leave under the sun till completely dry (this usually takes about 4 – 7 days depending on the weather, and how thin the slices are).
Place the dry peppers in a non-stick pot and roast on high heat for about 5 – 10 minutes, stir as you roast so it doesn’t get burned.
Allow to cool for few minutes, and then grind into powder. Store your homemade paprika in an airtight container.
Use this spice to prepare jollof rice, fried chicken, curry sauce and any Nigerian soup; it gives your cooking a wonderful taste and aroma. In my next post, I intend to share my recipe for homemade curry powder. Till then, have a wonderful week, cheers!