Molds Growing On Chili Powder

I wanted my dried chilli powder but couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked again on its usual place. I looked at each bottle closely and carefully. I found it at last. However, its complexion was pale. It was different from the chilli powder I made before, but the seeds were proof that it was really the thing I was looking for.

pale and moldy dried powdered chilli pepper

I opened the spice jar. Placed it near my nose without sniffing. It will surely hurt if some powder accidentally entered my nose. I did not smell any chili aroma. I placed it near my nose again and sniffed. I sensed faint moldy and chili aroma. That’s it, the mold was growing on it and perhaps responsible for pale yellow color and loss or spicy aroma.

I thought chilli pepper is resistant to disorder by nature.

Garlic Processing by DA-RFU I

garlic processing brochureGarlic Enriched Polvoron

1 kg flour
1 kg skim milk
1 kg butter
1 tbsp garlic powder

1. Shift dry ingredients together.
2. Cook until brown in color.
3. Melt butter
4. Add butter until equally mixed with other ingredients
5. Mold and wrap with colored cellophane.

Garlic Powder

Ilocos garlic
rice flour

1. Grind Ilocos garlic flakes by using blender to desired softness
2. Shift and add rice flour
3. Mix together.
4. Pack in a bottle.

Garlic Flakes

Ilocos garlic

1. Remove garlic skin.
2. Separate cloves.
3. Peel and wash with running water.
4. Slice.
5. Spread on drying trays lined with cheesecloth.
6. Place in mechanical drying oven. Set temperature to 60°C.
7. Pack in suitable container.

Garlic Chips

sliced Ilocos garlic
vegetable oil
iodized salt

1. Fry until golden brown in color
2. Spread on tissue paper. Cool.
3. Pack in suitable container.

Garlic Enriched Miki Noodles

1 kg all purpose flour
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 cups water

1. Shift and mix dry ingredients together.
2. Prepare the dough.
3. Slice dough into desired sizes.
4. Knead the dough or roll-in
5. Cut via cutting machine
6. Dry and pack.

Garlic Pickles

1/2 kg peeled/sliced garlic
garnish (carrots, red chili, onions)
Brining solution: 1/2 cup salt + 2 cups water
Pickling solution: 1 1/2 cups white vinegar + 1 1/4 cup sugar + 1 tsp salt.

1. Peel the garlic.
2. Clean and wash in running water.
3. Prepare brine solution. Soak the peeled garlic overnight.
4. Drain brine. Rinse in water to remove excess salt.
5. Prepare the garnish.
6. Arrange garlic and garnish in jar.
7. Prepare pickling solution. Pour it to jar leaving one inch head space.
8. Cap tightly while still hot.

For more info, contact:
Wilhelmina P. Castaneda
Supervising Agriculturist
Department of Agriculture-RFU I
Ilocos Integrated Agricultural Research Center
Sapilan, Bacnotan, La Union
Tel No.: (o72)719-0189/91

A brochure sourced technology article.

Shallot Processing; Pickles, Chips, Powder and Confit

ilocos shallot processing brochureIlocos Shallot Pickles

1 kg shallot  bulbs
100 g table salt
900 ml distilled white vinegar
200 g white sugar

1) Clean and sort shallot bulbs according to size.
2) Soak shallot bulbs in water for 2-3 hours and wash thoroughly.
3) Peel shallots and remove the roots. Weigh and wash thoroughly.
4) Mix salt and peeled shallot in a large bowl. Add one liter boiling water. Cover with cling film and leave to stand for eight hours.
5) Put vinegar and sugar in saucepan and bring to boil for 3 minutes. Drain shallots from the brine solution. Add to the vinegar and sugar solution. Simmer for five minutes until shallots are transparent yet firm and crispy.
6) Fill sterilized jar 2/3 full of shallot. Pour over cooking liquid adding a few peppercorns to each jar.
7) Remove bubbles inside by turning upside down the partly sealed jar. Cool, seal and store in cool, dark and ventilated place.

Ilocos Shallot Chips

Shallot bulbs free from pest damage, fully matured with well-developed bulbs.

1) Follow first the first the two steps in shallot pickles processing.
2) Peel lightly using mechanical peeler. Clean and remove the excess peel and roots. Wash.
3) Slice the cleaned bulb using mechanical slicer
4) Load in drying trays of a mechanical dryer and dry  at 60°C until 5% moisture is attained.
5) Pack chips in desired container, seal and label. Packing media could be any of the following; glass jar, laminated plastic or aluminum pouch. Store in cool, dry and ventilated place.

Ilocos Shallot Powder
(… a continuation of shallot chips)

Shallot bulbs free from insect damage, fully matured with well-developed bulbs.
Rice flour at 200g/kg shallot powder to reduce caking.

1) Grind the crispy shallot chips in a mechanical pulverizer.
3) Allow the powder to cool at room temperature. Add 200 g rice flour for every kilogram of shallot powder.
3) Pack in desired container. Store…

Ilocos Shallot Confit

Ingredients: 1 kg whole matured shallot bulbs, cleaned and peeled
1 cup sugar; white, brown or muscovado
1 1/4 cups vinegar, white, Iloco or sweet sorghum
Chili, optional

1) Mix all ingredients in a saucepan.
2) Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until sauce becomes crystal brown, and the shallots are glazed and dry.
3) Cool the shallot confit. Pack in desired container, seal and label. Store…

For more info, contact:
Dr. Luciana T. Cruz and Dr. Aida D. Solsoloy
Department of Agriculture RFU 1
Ilocos Integrated Agricultural Research Center
DMMMSU Cpd, Sapilang, Bacnotan, La Union
09192519103; 072-719-0189
Product Technology Promotion and Commercialization of Shallot in Region 1
Bureau of Agricultural Research

I got the brochure during the 26th BAR Anniversary Exhibit.

The Making of Red Chili Powder

They did the effort of patiently drying these group of hot chili peppers but never wanted to do the last two hard parts, the roasting and grinding. They were thinking, roasting will cause emission of flavors which are very irritating to nose and eyes.

chili pepper in cellophanechilli pepper on bilaoThe chilis. I first thought they were siling panigang but they were not.  These chili are way bigger than regular siling labuyo but two times smaller than siling panigang. The grower explained further, fruit of hot chili grow upward while the panigang group and the likes of chili pepper grow downward. These grow upward just like miniature labuyo and are about as hot.

The drying. By batches, chilis were scattered on bilao.  Placed under the direct heat of sun continually for several weeks. It was a rain and shine situation so the drying took the long several weeks.

The roasting. It is common to us to roast or toast herb and spices. I tried to find out the reason for this but mr web never showed no appropriate answer.

chili pepper before roastingBased purely on my intuition, roasting  is needed to drive the residual moisture out, making it crisp enough for easy grinding. The extended shelf life brought by sufficient drying is a bonus.

I patiently removed all the dried stalks. Put the red chili in big pan. Set the gas stove flame to very low. Did continious stirring for almost 30 minutes until the dried chili skin began crumbling.

chili pepper removing the stalksWhile roasting, the smell seemed irritating but not as bad as I expected. However, my wife opened the door and a window to fend it off. It seemed she was very irritated.

The grinding. I used the manual steel burr corn mill for reducing its particle size. I adjusted the setting just enough to pulverize the skin and some seeds. Leaving whole seeds seem to give it a more natural look.

chili powder in stainless steelGrinding was the hardest. The odor was very irritating. I had a runny nose and intermittent coughing.

chili pepper in bottle

While Browsing Information About Ashitaba Plant

There is a dedicated ashitaba website , the It is a webstore selling various ashitaba products, the ashitaba tablets, powders and teas. I think the products for sale are from China. The packaging designs and text labels are suggestive of Chinese Country. stated, ashitaba is a large herb. A native of Japan. All plant parts can be used for medicinal preparation. It can be used for treating food poisoning, cancer, fever, constipation, stomach ulcers, heartburn, high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, small fox and etc… Efficacy is uncertain however.

Pregnant and lactating women are discouraged to use the herb. The word ashitaba means “tommorow leaf” in Japanese language. It probably got its name from its ability to grow leaves the day after pulling it off the ground. It contain many nutrients which are believed responsible for health benefits.

Our fellow Filipinos are selling ashitaba leaves on I opened two tabs and got a bit confused. What I saw were Gynura precumbens, not ashitaba. Maybe the latter has the same effect and it is called the local ashitaba, or mistakenly called such.

From One hundred grams of dried powder contains: beta carotene, Vitamin B 12, Vitamin C … B1, B3, B5, B6, biotin, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc copper, manganese, sulfur and silicon.

It has chalcones, a substance found in ashitaba and is responsible for array of beneficial characteristics. A potent antioxidant. Known to treat/prevent Alzheimer’s disease and type 1 diabetes.

The recommended intake is one teaspoon powder in the morning and evening, taken with small amount of juice, then followed by water. No info yet on liquid form intake.

According to ehow, tea can be prepared by: gathering ashitaba and air drying. Grinding using minimal force or cutting with scissors. Then steeping one teaspoonful in 12 ounces of water.

Using Powdered Purple Yam to Make Ube Halaya

I made powdered purple yam by sun drying method. Ube were sliced to thin pieces, washed, placed under the heat of sun until crunchy then milled using steel burr mill.

I noticed the loss of color after drying. I wondered if the color would still develop during the cooking process. Would it be suitable for processing ube halaya?

Ube halaya is made by boiling yam tuberous roots to tenderness. Adding sugar, evaporated milk and condensed milk. Then cooking over medium flame with continuous stirring until very tacky or the mixture sticks to spoon and barely falls.


1) In a large pan, I put 250 grams ube powder, 200 grams condensed milk, 250 grams sugar and a generous amount of water. I added water gradually while stirring until the powders were swimming freely.

ube powder water sugar milk mixture

Adding water just to achieved a dough-like consistency did not work out well. It prevented the proper heat transfer and did not allow gelatinization of starch.

2) I set the flame low to prevent scorching. Stirred the mixture continually until it reaches the expected ube halaya consistency, hard to stir and a large clump stick to spoon.

end point ube halaya

3) Placed the lump on margarine coated plate. Then shaped and smoothen the surface immediately with the aid of margarine coated cellophane. Sorry! My hands were not fast enough to get rid of rough surfaces.

discolored ube halaya

I got a perfect ube halaya texture and taste but failed to achieved the expected color. The color must be preserved during drying or an artificial color should be added during cooking.

P.S Maja ube can be made without addition of cornstarch and or rice powder. I got a portion in the middle of cooking process. It’s texture was similar to maja blanca recipe.