Puya chile is a Mexican pepper, smaller and spicier than the guajillo. Also known as pulla, the puya chili is popular for its fruity flavor, making it perfect for sauces, as a pizza topping, or in meat dishes.
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What is puya chile?
The puya chile is one of Mexico’s more popular chile peppers that belongs to the Capsicum annuum family, just like pasilla, guajillo, and ancho.
It is often diced, mashed, or pureed into a sauce. You can also soak the dried red chilies in warm water to remove their flavor and use the liquid in your cooking.
|Origin||Native to Mexico|
|Appearance||Long and slender, crimson|
|Flavor profile||Strong fruity flavor, with hints of smokiness|
The puya chile (pulla) is native to Mexico. These hot peppers have been cultivated since ancient times and are widely grown in Mexico’s Central Valley. This area surrounding Mexico City is a vast, fertile highlands plateau hugged by mountains and surrounded by volcanoes.
You can also use the puya pepper in stews, soups, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, and other dishes.
The puya chile pods are long and slender, usually about 2 to 4 inches long. As the name pulla implies, these chili peppers have crimson red to sometimes purplish skin.
Puya chiles are known for their strong fruity flavor, with hints of smokiness, licorice, and cherry undertones.
It gives dishes that pop of heat but does not overpower the flavors of other ingredients. Some describe the taste of the puya pepper as close to guajillo peppers and Chile de arbol.
Nutritional Benefits of puya chile
Like most chili peppers, puya chile is abundant in capsaicin.
Because of this, and it may help prevent lifestyle diseases by boosting your immune system. Likewise, chile peppers have been linked to weight loss and lowering the risk of diabetes.
How hot is the Puya chili pepper?
|Cascabel peppers||1,000 – 3,000 SHU|
|Mexican chiles||1,000 – 5,000 SHU|
|Guajillo chiles||2,500 – 5,000 SHU|
|Jalapeño peppers||2,000 – 8,000 SHU|
|Puya peppers||5,000 – 8,000 SHU|
|Chiles de arbol||15,000 – 30,000 SHU|
|Pequin||40,000 – 60,000 SHU|
Puya peppers are fairly hot. The puya’s heat is 5,000 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). This makes them a bit spicier than jalapeño peppers that range between 2,000 to 8,000 SHU on the Scoville Scale.
The puya, however, is milder than the Chiles de arbol (15,000 to 30,000 SHU) and pequin (40,000 to 60,000 SHU).
What is Chile Puya used for?
Puya chile peppers are widely used in Mexican cuisine. They are a common spice in bean burritos and even cocktails.
A recipe to try out: Puya Chili Salsa – Blend dry roasted chile puya with garlic, tomato, cilantro, vinegar, water, and salt. Finish the dish by cooking the salsa on low heat for two minutes.
Is chile puya the same as Guajillo?
Both chili peppers are native to Mexico and are widely used in Mexican cooking. Guajillo chiles are often mistaken for chile puya, but the latter is often smaller in appearance and fairly spicier compared to the former. The guajillo is milder in terms of heat level.
Along with pasilla and ancho peppers, the puya forms part of the holy trinity of Mexican chiles essential when making traditional mole.
Can I use Puya instead of Guajillo?
Chile puya is a good substitute for guajillo peppers. You might want to hold back because the former is spicier than the latter.
You may add some ancho chile to boost the fruity flavors without making a dish too spicy.