The pasilla pepper is a chile that’s been grown in central Mexico since pre-Columbian times. It has an earthy and sweet flavor with hints of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice. These peppers are often roasted before being ground into powders or flakes for use in sauces called mole de olla (chili sauce), salsa verde (green salsa), guacamole, or as part of other recipes including soups and stews.
The “pasilla pepper” is a type of chile that originated in central Mexico. It is known for its rich, smoky flavor and moderate heat. The “poblano” is another variety of chile with a similar flavor profile to the pasilla pepper.
There are numerous popular and commonly used chilies in Mexico. Ancho, guajillo, and chipotle peppers are probably familiar to you. Have you heard of pasilla before?
The dried version of the chilaca pepper is called pasilla. Long and thin, this Capsicum annuum cultivar ripens to a deep green, almost dark hue. They are then dried to make pasilla, or negro chile.
Pepper Pasilla (dried Chilaca pepper).
I’ll go through the fundamentals of pasilla chiles in this essay, including its taste, scent, and various culinary applications. I’ll also show you how to produce your own peppers so you can manufacture your own pasilla peppers. Let’s get going!
Pasilla Peppers: What Are They?
To clarify, pasilla peppers are the dried version of chilaca peppers, which are a chile kind that grows to be 8-10 inches long. It changes color from deep green to brown as it ripens. Dried peppers are the most prevalent form of the pepper.
The term ‘pasilla’ derives from the Spanish word for raisins, ‘pasas.’ Pasilla peppers have a taste and scent that is comparable to raisins. Both are dried grapes (raisins), and they have a sweet, tangy taste that is similar.
Pasilla chiles are used in a variety of Mexican dishes, including mole sauces, salsas, and as a condiment. The dried chilies give a wonderful depth of flavor to a wide range of meals.
Pasilla chiles are sometimes confused with poblano and ancho peppers, although they are not the same. They do, however, have a same taste and heat intensity when dried, averaging approximately 1,000 SHUs.
Pasilla peppers may be found on Amazon or at The Spice House.
Flavor and Heat of Pasilla Pepper
Pasillas are sweet and tangy, as their name suggests. Pasillas, unlike raisins, have a smokiness to them as well as a hint of spicy spice.
They’re not very appealing on their own, but as a complementing spice, they’re fantastic. When coupled with fresh tomatoes and onions, or added to soups, stews, and sauces, the chiles’ sweet, tangy taste shines through.
When you simply want a faint tingling and don’t want to overload the palate, I find pasillas to be exactly suitable. On the Scoville scale, Pasilla peppers have roughly 1,000 SHUs, which isn’t very hot.
Uses of Pasilla Pepper
Pasilla peppers are a common element in Mexican cuisine. In moles, salsas, and table sauces, they are essential. If you’ve ever experienced true salsa negra and wondered what made it so good, pasilla peppers are likely to blame.
These peppers are often purchased dry and whole, although powdered versions are also available. Fresh pods are likely to be found if you reside in or near Mexico. Dried chiles, on the other hand, have a distinct taste character that is favored over fresh fruits.
Pasilla chilies, dried and crushed into flakes.
Mole sauce is a thick, delicious black sauce often used for pollo en mole (chicken in mole) and other meats. It may also be used in tacos, enchiladas, and rice and bean dishes. Soups and stews, as well as dry spice blends, are frequent applications.
Powdered pasilla chiles are in one of my all-time favorite salsas that we’ve ever made here. It was the hidden ingredient that made this salsa so outstanding!
Substitutes for Pasilla Pepper
You could have trouble getting pasilla peppers on the spur of the moment if your recipe asks for them. Because there isn’t one suitable substitute, I’d consider phoning any local specialist food shops to see if they have any.
Here are a number of alternatives to pasilla peppers:
- chile ancho Poblano peppers are dehydrated into ancho peppers. Although the pods are different in form, they have a comparable raisin-like taste and a modest heat level.
- Raisins. Pasillas are named after the Spanish word for raisins, so they could just serve as a replacement. If you don’t want your food to be hot, this may be a good substitute.
- Bell peppers or poblanos Fresh pods will not offer the same taste, but they will suffice in a pinch.
a selection of dried chile peppers (From left to right: New Mexican, pasilla, ancho).
Pasilla Chiles Can Be Grown At Home
Although you cannot grow pasilla chiles since they are dry, you can plant Chilaca peppers. Growing any other C. annuum pepper species, such as jalapenos or banana peppers, is simple.
It may be easier to get pasilla/chilaca pepper seeds rather than young plants depending on where you reside. You’ll need to sow seeds inside 6-8 weeks before the latest frost date, then transplant the plants outdoors to develop and produce peppers.
- Purchase pasilla seeds.
- Here’s where you can learn how to cultivate peppers.
I hope you’ve been inspired by this post to produce your own pasilla peppers or at the very least try some dried pasilla peppers at home. I love the pasilla pepper because of its distinct taste and gentle spice, and I believe you will too!
One of the first s! Calvin enjoys traveling and performing music when he isn’t gardening or learning more about peppers and botany.
Pasilla pepper is a variety of chile pepper, typically dried and smoked. It’s a member of the poblano family, which includes guajillo and ancho peppers. Reference: pasilla vs guajillo.
- pasilla pepper recipes
- pasilla sauce
- how to use pasilla peppers
- pasilla chile substitute
- dried pasilla chiles