I have a recipe for making a madras, and it suggests substituting chilli powder for the chilli's, but doesn't suggest how.

Wondering of anyone can give me a pointer as to what ratio to use?

  • Can you please explain your rollback? Aside from removing some valid tags and restoring some invalid ones, your original wording was highly ambiguous and you've done nothing to clarify it in your own wording.
    – Aaronut
    Oct 10, 2012 at 23:59
  • Content had been added that was projected as coming from me. I didn't have time to edit it fully, so I rolled back. Feel free to re edit any ambiguous items but please avoid adding words from my voice.
    – Mild Fuzz
    Oct 11, 2012 at 8:55
  • 1
    @Aaronut Yeah, the rolled-back edit did fix some things, but it also bizarrely added this "my mom always said" which clearly didn't come from the OP.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 11, 2012 at 14:51
  • Does the recipe have you using fresh chiles or dried? Are they left whole, chopped, or ground? Better, can you link a recipe?
    – FuzzyChef
    Apr 26, 2017 at 18:22

2 Answers 2


I've been growing a variety of chilis recently and have experimented with drying several varieties. By best, Mk. I eyeball guess is that the dried flesh occupies between 1/2 and 1/4 the volume of the fully hydrated flesh.

So I'd shoot for approximately 1/3 as much (by volume) dried chili as fresh (assuming that you are comparing to finely chopped fresh chili, because the dried stuff does not retain the shape of the original).

Of course for small thin chilis that you can dry whole (like the little Thai reds) the substitution is one dried chili plus some moisture equals 1 fresh chili.

  • by as much, do you mean weight or volume? I am using powder, not dried chillis.
    – Mild Fuzz
    Nov 28, 2010 at 12:45
  • 1
    @Mild Fuzz Good question. By volume, because that's what my Mk. I eyeball judges. Yes, that is imprecise. Maybe next time I weight them before and after. Nov 28, 2010 at 18:11
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    You only have the Mk. I? ;)
    – Mild Fuzz
    Nov 30, 2010 at 14:43

This recipe almost certainly means ground chilies aka chile pepper powder, NOT the spice mixture that is also called chili powder in American English.

Cayenne Pepper powder, or a "Deggi Mirch"/"Lal Mirch" powder from an indian grocer, will do here. They are in the same order of magnitude when it comes to heat. Western style cayenne pepper powder could be lacking in flavor, while kashmiri mirch powder could color the curry too strongly - a mixture would be wise.

Use whatever amount of the powder you are comfortable eating in a curry of that type.

  • Kashmiri [also known as lal] mirch has almost no heat, certainly compared to a cayenne. it's more like a new mexico or even a paprika; lots of colour, not much heat. Deggi mirch even more so, as it's a blend of paprika & kashmiri. - pepperscale.com/kashmiri-chili
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 2, 2023 at 12:33
  • This seems not to be so universal: webcache.googleusercontent.com/… ... rates MDH brand (very common abroad at least) Deggi Mirch powder as 48000 scoville, this isn't really a joke. Jun 12, 2023 at 22:20
  • That seems to be comparing brands of different 'mixes', none of which I've heard of. if you scroll right to the bottom, there's a short scoville list of actual chilli types, from which you'll see kashmiri mirch is actually 1500-2000. I do note from the same list, they call cayenne lal, which would definitely be a source of confusion. Wikipedia says lal is kashmiri - but then it goes onto the same brands that have 60k scoville. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashmiri_red_chilli Anyway, the kashmiri I buy is 'pure' kashmiri & has almost no heat.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 13, 2023 at 5:11
  • I trust these guys & buy most of my spices from them - it's out of stock right now, because, as they say… if they can't get the right stuff they won't sell it. [Good job I've got about 250g in my cupboard already ;) spicesontheweb.co.uk/kashmiri-mirch-chilli-powder
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 13, 2023 at 5:12
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    Edited to remove the pure "kashmiri" powder, since it is likely you are accurate on the stuff. Still doubtful on the deggi, and whether deghi and deggi might actually be different also.. Jun 15, 2023 at 20:42

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