So simple it hardly classifies as a recipe, roasted chilli powder (prik bon) is a simple but powerful condiment which, when home made, can be adjusted to suit your heat tolerance. Across Thailand it can be found on nearly every table and is a delicious addition to just about everything. This is the perfect condiment for the individual in a crowd of heat haters – it’s absolutely not unreasonable to carry a small container of this in your bag, right?
If you're a fan of spicier things, use bird's eye chilies. Like breaking a light sweat but that isn't too overwhelming? Try a mix of bird's eyes and dried long red chilies. Want it as mild as possible? De-seed the dried long red chillies and use only those.
Making roasted chilli powder can be rough on the body (let me know how your throat feels and how many tissues you got through when you’re done), so it’s worth making a large batch.
1 cup of dried chillies will yield about ⅓ cup of chilli powder.
Toast the chillies for 3-5 minutes in a dry wok or pan over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the skins are crispy and darker but not blackened. Blend the chillies in a coffee mill or spice grinder, or pound them with a sturdy pestle and mortar into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.
Serve alongside Pat Thai or anything, really. Use for flavour, spice, and to imbue a deep red colour to soups, noodles, dressings, or anything at all. Avoid eye contact (this is more a note to self).