Spiciest Red Chilli Powder For Everyday Cooking – Mishry (Feb 2023)
Over 2 weeks of research and three stages of testing later, we found the best red chilli powder brand for everyday use.
Symptoms – Sweating, burning sensation on the tongue, eyes watering, hand reaching out for that glass of water.
Cause detected – Red chilli powder.
Our team researched for over two weeks, selected 9 popular brands to find for you the best, spiciest brand of red chilli powder for everyday Indian cooking.
We conducted three tests on all brands and found that Orika Red Chilli Powder is the spiciest red chilli powder brand (Mishry Top Pick) amongst our line up. It lends a balance of both, color and heat, to our dishes. It is one of the best red chilli powder brands in India.
A table comparing all the brands of red chilli powder we tried in our test kitchen –
(Out of 5)
(Mishry Top Pick)
|5 (Spiciest)||Add to cart|
|Tata||4.25 (High-Medium heat)||Add to cart|
|Catch||3.25 (High-Medium heat)||Add to cart|
|Patanjali||3.25 (Medium heat)||Add to cart|
|MDH||3 (Medium-Low heat)||Add to cart|
|Everest||3 (Medium-Low heat)||Add to cart|
|MTR||3 (Medium-Low heat)||Add to cart|
|Badshah||2.5 (Low heat)||Add to cart|
|Aashirvaad||2.5 (Low heat)||Add to cart|
Our Review Factors
What were we looking for? The spiciest red chilli powder for everyday use. In addition to the heat, it should be able to impart a fairly attractive looking red color to everyday dishes.
Unless you’re specifically looking for a degi mirch (which is used to add a vibrant red color and no heat), buying a single pack of red chilli powder can help you with both the purposes – heat and color.
Our parameters to find the best red chilli powder brands are –
The main purpose of using red chilli powder is to add heat to your everyday dishes including curries, salads, sabzis and even parathas. We added the same amount of red chilli powder to all 9 samples. Which one is the spiciest and most potent amongst the brands we tested?
In their dry state, does the red chilli powder look vibrant? Post-cooking, do they enhance the color of the dish?
We also conducted an adulteration test recommended by FSSAI, what did it reveal?
3. Other Parameters
Is the red chilli dardara or a fine powder? Does that impact the spice quotient in any way?
What are the ingredients mentioned on the pack? Do the brands mention the type of chilli/chillies used to make this powder?
Some brands mention the use of oil. Why is oil added to red chilli powder? When whole roasted spices are crushed with some oil on low heat, it helps bring out the maximum flavor.
Are the red chilli powders priced competitively? If priced higher, does that reflect in the quality offered.
Resealable, zipper or a carton pack that needs to be transferred in an airtight container – how are the chillies packed?
On average the shelf life of red chilli powder can be between 9-12 months.
More Spicy Reviews – Best Green Chilli Sauce Brands in India
Our Review Process
Our review process was divided into three broad stages.
Stage 1: Color Adulteration Test
Following FSSAI’s guidelines, we tested all the brands for adulteration with artificial colors (see video). While some red chillies were clear and settled at the bottom, we saw streaks of red color trickling down from two samples (as shown in the clip).
Upon inspecting the labels we found that those samples had specifically mentioned that they use a mix of chillies that impart color and heat.
Which is why we did not consider this as a crucial factor when deciding our Top Pick because the results of this test were inconclusive. We then moved to our second stage – tasting red chilli powder without cooking it.
Stage 2: Taste Test (No heat, No cooking)
After researching intensely about food pairings and looking for what would be the perfect partner to check the heat of red chilli powder, we landed on a surprising suggestion. Tropical fruits, as suggested in Science of Spice, a book by Dr. Stuart Farrimond. These can be pineapples, mangoes, or guavas. We picked mangoes because they are in season.
- We made a mango salsa with safeda mangoes.
- A dressing of lemon juice, salt and mint was made. We used lemon juice because acid helps amplify heat.
- We then divided the dressing into 9 equal portions and added chilli powder in each.
- With this our dressing was ready. (¼ cup chopped mango, ½ Tbsp dressing, ⅛ th tsp red chilli powder)
- When making this recipe for personal use, we do add lots of other elements like sugar, peanuts, basil or even chaat masala. But here we eliminated a lot of these as we wanted to keep the recipe as basic as possible with ingredients that enhance the chilli flavor or are a favorable pairing.
- We then blind tasted these.
Stage 3: Cooking with red chilli powder (Mishry Secret Sauce)
Indian kitchens are always bustling with tadkas and chonkas (छोंका), yet we did not test it for a tadka. Why? Powdered spices when added to oil on high heat can cause burning of the masala and flavor. A fact, very well explained and reiterated by Krish Ashok in his book Masala Lab.
And so, we used a simple aloo-tamatar recipe to check the strength and color of the red chilli powder. A simple, everyday recipe that is cooked often in many Indian kitchens.
To standardize our review process we cooked 1/4th cup crushed tomatoes in 1 Tbsp of oil. To this we added 1/2 tsp red chilli powder and 4 cubes of boiled potatoes. After cooking it for a minute or so we added 50 ml water and let it cook further.
We tasted these blind and then again after the brands were shortlisted.
Red Chilli Powder Brands – Detailed Review
Our experience, pros, cons and product details are discussed in this segment.
1. Orika – Mishry Top Pick
Orika’s Red Chilli Powder is the spiciest amongst all the 9 brands we tested. Throughout our testing, be it with mangoes or in a curry, the heat this chilli powder offered was unmatched. Apart from that, the deep red color of the spice is the most intense and attractive. It gave a simple aloo-tamatar curry a whole lot of vibrancy.
As for packaging, we liked the zip lock pack as it helps retain the flavor of the powdered spices.
A 100 gm pack of Orika Hot Red Chilli Powder is priced at Rs 48/- and has a shelf life of 12 months. The pack mentions that this red chilli powder has an assured heat value ranging from 40000 to 50000 and natural color value from 80 to 100. The chillies are procured from Andhra Pradesh which ensures a bright red color and heat. They do not specifically mention if Guntur chillies are used, a variety very popular from the Andhra region. There are no artificial colors used.
- Ziplock pack. Makes storing convenient and helps retain freshness and flavor.
- The label is detailed. Mentions heat value and the area the chillies are sourced from.
- Deep red color.
- Provides the maximum heat.
- Would prove to be value for money as little quantity is required to attain appropriate, well-rounded heat.
Need a mix of vibrant red color and heat in your everyday cooking? Orika’s Hot Red Chilli Powder fulfills both promises.
2. Tata Sampann
Tata Sampann’s red chilli powder is the second most spiciest amongst all the contenders. This is not a fine powder and has some coarser particles as well. The chilli color is deep orange-red and the curry made using this brand was vibrant as well.
Tata Sampann’s 200 gm pouch pack is priced at Rs 96/- and has a shelf life of 12 months. The pack does not mention the type of chilli used. The pack does state that ‘Every Tata Sampann chilli pack comes with a guarantee of a consistent amount of capsaicin.’
- Second-most spicy.
- Deep-orange red color which makes an attractive red curry
- No details about the type of chillies used on the pack.
Red chilli powder by Catch is orange-red in color and has a fine texture. When we tasted this, initially there was no intense spiciness but an aftertaste that tingled the sides of our tongue which then started to build up. The heat is medium-high.
500 grams of this red chilli powder is priced at Rs 220/-. The shelf life is 12 months. Single-ingredient products do not require an ingredient list and this doesn’t have one. The pack doesn’t mention the type of chilies used or the area where they’re procured from but does mention that these were powdered using low-temperature grinding.
- The heat is medium-high.
- Gives the curry a fairly decent red color.
- Transfer of contents required after opening.
- No information on the type of chilli used.
Patanjali’s red chilli powder is light red in color and has a fine texture. The color of the curry did not brighten up as much. The heat levels are medium but hit the throat a little. When we tasted this with mangoes, the sweetness of the fruit was much more than the heat of this chilli.
Patanjali’s red chilli powder is priced at Rs 70/- for a 200 gm pack and has a shelf life of 12 months.
- Medium heat levels are best suited for those who want to consume chilli without it overpowering the palette.
- Doesn’t give the curry a vibrant red color like our winner did.
MDH’s red chilli powder is semi-fine and has an orange-red color. It doesn’t affect the color of the curry significantly. This has a medium-low spice quotient and doesn’t really make our dish spicy. You will definitely need to add much more (in comparison to our Top Pick) if you’re looking to use red chilli powder to add heat.
MDH’s red chilli powder is priced at Rs 240/- for a 500 gm pack and has a shelf life of 12 months.
- While this is not really a pro or a con, this has medium to low heat which would be better for people who are only looking for mild heat in their dishes.
- Doesn’t add the vibrancy to the dish it’s added to.
Everest red chilli powder was fairly mild, in terms of the spice level. In both our testing stages, the chilli flavor lacked intensity. It lent a low-medium chilli heat. The taste of tomatoes in our sabzi was more prominent than the chilli heat. Not finely ground, nor large coarse bits- the powder had a semi-fine texture and a deep brick red appearance.
A 500-gram pouch is priced at Rs 225/-. The contents must be transferred to an air-tight container. This has a 12-month shelf life. The ingredient list mentions chilli powder and an admixture of edible rice bran oil which is not more than 2%. Moreover, this red chilli powder is said to be scientifically packed that retains color, pungency, and the overall flavor. This is devoid of artificial colors.
- This is priced reasonably.
- It contains no artificial colors.
- This had a semi-fine texture.
- Caloric details have been provided (20 Kcal/5 grams)
- This red chilli powder lacked the intensity, in terms of heat.
When tested with mangoes, despite having a fairly low level of heat, this red chilli powder hits the back of your throat a little at the end. The brand promises five aspects that signify quality- color, aroma, strength, taste, and texture. It did not deliver adequately on the color and strength aspects. The color of the curry was more orange than red.
A 500-gram pack is priced at Rs 175/-. This has a shelf life of 12 months and red chilli powder is the only ingredient used.
- The mild heat is tasted only towards the end.
This had a fine texture with an orange-red hue. The strength of this red chilli powder is low and only lends a mild-red color to the dish.
A 100-gram pack is priced at Rs 41/-. This has a shelf life of 17 months and must be stored under refrigeration once opened. This is made using red chilli powder and refined cottonseed edible oil.
- Economically priced.
- This mixes easily, owing to the fine texture.
- This lends a mild orangish-red color to dishes.
- The heat is not too intense.
- It needs to be stored under refrigeration once opened.
With very mild levels of heat, Aashirvaad red chilli powder ranked the lowest in terms of strength. It provides a light red-orange color to the curry.
A 100-gram pack is priced at Rs 38/- and has a shelf life of nine months. Like other contenders, the ingredients are red chilli and refined sunflower oil, the admixture of which is not more than 2%. This contains no added flavors or colors.
- This is devoid of added colors and flavors.
- Nutritional information has been provided.
Scores low on the heat scale.
Our Top Picks & Recommendations
Why did we choose Orika Red Chilli Powder as our Top Pick?
We were looking for a red chilli powder that was the spiciest and Orika delivered on that parameter exquisitely. It also has the best, most intense color which makes our curry attractive to look at.
Another factor that helped Orika win the title of Mishry Top Pick is the fact that it is packaged well and has a detailed label mentioning the area where their produce is sourced from.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on red chilli powder brands.
Red chilli powder naturally contains capsaicin, which is an active component responsible for the burning sensation you feel during contact.
It is a common notion that spicy foods burn fat. This is because the compound capsaicin is known to increase the metabolic rate, hence may help burn more fat.
All the brands we tested are preservative-free.
Storing your powdered/ground spices in airtight containers is crucial. This blocks air exposure which retains flavor and aroma for longer.
Although this has not been tested by us, some suggest that you can add chunks of asafoetida to retain the freshness for upto two years.
The effect and intensity of heat have a significant impact on the final flavor of the dish. While some spices develop intense flavors at high temperatures, some are sensitive to heat which results in undesirable flavors.
Roasting or frying spices in oil lends a unique, deeper, more earthy flavor.
Moreover, the aroma and depth of flavor are enhanced when compared to dry-roasted spices.
That said, spices roasted in oil are ideal for immediate consumption as they have a shorter shelf life.
Spicy is what we were looking for and spicy is what we got! Orika’s Hot Red Chilli Powder is Mishry’s Top Pick because it is the spiciest one amongst all the nine brands we tested.
Which brand of red chilli powder do you use for everyday cooking?