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How to make chilli strings

Do your kids love being involved in the kitchen? Try making chilli strings!

The end of summer often sees a glut of chillies, sometimes with no immediate way of using them. Strings of dried chillies are a beautiful feature in a kitchen as well as a good way of preserving the chillies for future use. These strings are also known as ristras.

What you’ll need

A pair of latex gloves

Fine string or a heavy sewing thread, as long as you want the string to be with enough extra to tie onto your hanger

Red chillies, freshly harvested

Darning needle


1. Wear latex gloves to handle the chillies.

2. Knot one end of the long thread. Thread the other end through the needle.

3. Push the needle through the red flesh of the first chilli, just under the point where the green cap meets the red flesh.

4. If you want the chillies to hang vertically press the needle through the chilli on an angle. If you want the chillies to hang horizontally, push the needle straight through the chilli.

5. Push the chilli to the knotted end, then repeat the process with the rest of the chillies.

6. Once you have threaded through all your chillies, knot the thread again close to the last chilli.

7. Find somewhere dry and well-ventilated to hang the chilli string.

8. Wait for the chillies to dry completely before using them in cooking.

This activity was provided by the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation

Make beautiful strings of dried chillies to preserve them for the months ahead. This is one end-of-summer activity the kids will love.

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