Kashmiri chilli powder is prized for its bright red colour and delicate, fruity heat. This isn’t a punchy chilli – expect a lively and restrained hotness, rather than eye-watering heat.
It’s a much sought-after spice, and is particularly popular in northern Indian cuisine, where it introduces a distinctive red colour to rogan josh and tandoori chicken. It’s often used in conjunction with other spices, and often another chilli powder to deliver singular heat.
Increasingly, Kashmiri chilli is creeping into British kitchens, particularly with the popularity of daal and cooking curry from scratch. The flavour and colour of Kashmiri chilli powder also works brilliantly in southern-style beans and lightly-spiced tomato sauces.
Rooted Spices started round my kitchen table, with a singular aim: to find the best tasting spices possible. I wanted to bridge the gap between those fragrant bags of spices you pick up at overseas markets and the dusty, decades-old jars found at the back of British spice cupboards.
I began to track-down samples and tasted hundreds (and hundreds!) of different spices against plain rice and lentils. What became clear is that different regions had different specialties. There was fragrant cardamom from Guatemala, sweet cinnamon from Sri Lanka and shiny black Urfa pul biber from southern Turkey. No wonder – each region has growing conditions best-suited to specific spices, and generations of farmers who know how to get the best out of a harvest.
While supermarkets often mix together spices, and list them as coming from ‘countries of multiple origin’ I set about compiling a range of ‘Single Origin Spices’, each picked for their incredible taste, freshness and potency.
Over time, the range has expanded into blends too – both traditional spice mixes as well as our own unique spice blends. The mission here at Rooted Spices is to liberate spices from the back of cupboards – after all, spices aren’t just for the occasional curry, but for giving everyday dishes a boost. Whether it’s a pinch of Turkish chilli over a fried egg or Shichimi Togarashi taking mac + cheese to the next level, using a pinch of something really potent makes all the difference.