Your complete chilli cooking guide

Sweet and spicy, chillies come in all shapes, sizes - and degrees of heat. We show you how to add just the right amount of sizzle to your dishes with this guide to five different chilli varieties. 

Birdseye chilli

These little red chillies pack a feisty punch and are suited to South-East Asian style dishes as well as family favourites like chilli con carne. Glossy and bullet-shaped, birdseye chillies also have a sweet taste. Thinly slice and serve as a side with Thai beef salad so everyone can adjust the amount of heat they’re prepared to handle on their plate.

Jalapeno

These glossy green favourites have a similar texture to capsicum and add a decent dose of fire to Mexican-inspired dishes such as burritos, salsas and guacamole. Tomatoes are the jalapeno’s perfect flavour match, so try them sliced over a fresh green salad (including avocado and tomato, of course!). They’re also great in cocktails. 

Habanero

One for the heat lovers, fiery strawberry-shaped habanero chillies have hints of tropical fruit and are ideal for super-hot salsas, curries and marinades. Use them sparingly - too much can overwhelm a dish - and make sure to handle with care!

Carolina Reaper

Only for the brave, Carolina reaper chillies have been rated as the world’s hottest. A tiny amount will rev up the heat factor to extreme in an instant in any sauce or mix and should be used and handled with the utmost caution. Try our tomato chilli jam for something a little less intense.

Cayenne

Long and glossy, cayenne chillies come in both red and green varieties and are a good all-rounder with a mild flavour. Carefully remove the seeds and capsaicin (the chilli’s membrane) to lower the heat level in any recipe. They suit Asian dishes, such as curries and stir-fries, also try adding them to salads and pasta sauces. They work well as a garnish; for example, try sprinkling thinly sliced Cayenne red chilli on top of a simple watermelon, rocket and fetta salad.