Chile Morita: Everything you need to know, plus an easy recipe for soaking them and getting them ready to cook in salsas, hearty stews, traditional soups, and marinades.
What Is Chile Morita?
Chile Morita is a Mexican dried chili pepper with a raisin-like texture and a dark color. They are one of the two types of chipotle peppers, which are made after jalapeños has been ripen, dried, and smoked.
Morita peppers are most frequently alluded to as “chipotle Morita chile,” with the other chipotle pepper being the chipotle meco — a pepper recognizable as tan or dark in variety.
The benefit Morita has is that they get some margin to smoke. It permits them to stay gentler and hold their rich, somewhat fruity flavour compared to other smoked peppers.
Dried morita peppers are very popular in their canned version found as chipotles in adobo and they are an excellent addition to many traditional dishes.
Chiles Moritas are highly produced in the northern districts of Mexico and were normal luxuries tracing back to the Aztecs. Notwithstanding, the smoke-drying peppers go back significantly further, preceding the Aztecs as an early food conservation practice created in Mesoamerica.
Today, most of Morita peppers development is revolved around the province of Chihuahua while famous and utilized all through Mexico. They are most generally tracked down in Mexico City, Puebla, and above all, Veracruz.
The expression “chipotle” comes from the Nahuatl word chīlpoctli, which means “smoked chile,” regarding the act of drying out peppers.
Concerning the morita chile explicitly, “Morita” means “mulberry” in Spanish, as the actual pepper is dim shaded and looks like a mulberry, as the name implies.
What does Morita taste like?
Chile Morita have a fruity and marginally acidic blend flavor profile, notwithstanding the additional smokey hint made during the readiness of the pepper.
While sufficiently wealthy in flavor, it is as yet gentle enough to not be too overwhelming in one or the other flavor or intensity.
How Hot Are Morita Chilies?
The Chile Morita spicy level ranges somewhere between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville heat units on the Scoville scale.
It is probably as hot as your regular jalapeño pepper, so you shouldn’t expect anything too spicy, assuming you’re hoping to test yourself with outrageous spicy food.
If you lean toward the milder flavors, this is a great harmony between adding intensity to your dinner without getting carried away to where it becomes unpleasant.
Morita versus Meco.
As we addressed, Chile Morita is one of two chipotle peppers, the other being the chipotle Meco peppers. The critical distinction between the two, and the motivation behind why we suggest Chile Morita, is the advantage of Chile Morita, which requires some investment to smoke than the chipotle Meco pepper.
They have that fruitier flavor, notwithstanding the gentle smokey kind of both chipotle peppers. It makes the intensity and flavor of Chile Morita more invigorating than basically difficult.
Chipotle Meco peppers relatively accept two times as long to smoke and don’t hold as a significant part of the flavor and intensity once ready.
These spicy, dried chiles are an excellent source of vitamin A and C, provide fiber, and are rich in magnesium. They also help balance fluid levels and develop hemoglobin, transporting oxygen throughout the body.
They are relatively low in manganese but have a higher level of capsaicin, a chemical compound that triggers a feeling of heat. In addition to providing flavor, capsaicin has anti-inflammatory properties and aids in digestion.
The compounds found in chiles are good sources of antioxidant nutrients. They are rich in vitamin C and beta carotene, two compounds that protect cells from free radical damage.
Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, vital for normal eyesight, and prevents blindness in children. The compounds found in chili peppers are also known to protect against disease.
It is the compound that causes the spicy taste and is known for its beneficial effects on the body’s metabolism, blood sugar levels, and weight loss.
How To Use
Chile Morita can be used in many traditional Mexican sauces, stews, soups, and pickles. Depending on the recipe, they need first to be toasted and rehydrated in order to soften them.
Some recipes calls for the peppers to be added as they are, so they will rehydrate while simmering in a stew or soup, this mole de olla is perfect to try this method, you just need to remove the stem, wash the peppers, and add them to the pot.
Last, toasting them slightly in a griddle or comal will enhance their flavor, this can be done before soaking them.
Where To Buy
You can find dried morita peppers in most Mexican or Latin American grocery stores, if none of those is available to you, look on Amazon or in specialty online stores.
Morita chiles should have a dark reddish color with a wrinkly skin. They should have a smooth and pliable texture, enough to allow you to bend them without breaking them.
If they are brittle or have small holes it means they’re old and possibly damaged by insects.
Being a dried pepper, is better to store Morita chilies in a glass container placed in a cool, dry, and dark spot in your pantry. This way it will preserve best its distinctive flavor and shade.
Properly storage allow your morita peppers to last for up to a year.
Is chile morita same as chile ancho?
No. Chile ancho are poblano dried peppers, while morita are a type of dried and smoked jalapeño chile. They differ also in spiciness, taste, and look.
How spicy is morita chile?
In terms of heat, the Morita chili pepper ranges between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville heat units on the Scoville scale. Think of a regular jalapeño pepper in terms of spiciness, something moderate.
How to use morita peppers?
You can use dried morita peppers to make salsas, marinades, toppings for soups or salads, and to throw into stews to add some flavor.
How To Prepare Morita Chilies For Cooking
- medium bowl
- skillet or comal
- kitchen shears
- Morita chile peppers
- hot water
- Remove the stems of chiles using kitchen shears.
- Cut them longwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
- Heat a comal or a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.
- Toast the chilies for about 15-20 seconds per side or until nicely fragrant.
- Place a saucepan filled with water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and add the toasted morita, push them down with a spoon to fully immerse them into the water.
- Cover the pot and allow the chiles to rehydrate for 10-15 minutes.
- Drain the chiles and use them in your recipe right away.
- If you want to use the soaking water, make sure to thoroughly clean the chilies with a damp paper towel before toasting.
- Be careful when toasting chilies, they can burn easily and become bitter, so better to do it only for a few seconds.
- The nutritional info refers to 1 package with 2oz (55g) of chilies.
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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.