Sweet Pepper Balalaika is an excellent choice for making your own dried Paprika powder for truly authentic Hungarian goulash recipes. Of course, they can still be eaten as you would with any other sweet pepper, having a mild peppery taste with no heat, and indeed are a mouthwatering choice when stuffed and roasted.
Paprika peppers can be harvested when they turn completely solid in colour. They do vary in colour, so know what colour your ripe paprika should be. The paprika’s colouring is related to its flavour. Paprika peppers that are red are usually the sweetest, whereas the brown or golden-yellow paprika peppers are the hottest. That pattern follows with ground paprika as well, so next time you are browsing the spice aisle, you will be able to decipher your paprikas!
How to dry Paprika Peppers:
You can skip the spice aisle and grind your own paprika spice by drying your own homegrown paprika peppers. Dry your peppers the old-fashioned way by hanging them on a string outside until all of the moisture is gone. Or spread the peppers out on baking sheets and place them in a 150˚F oven. Leave the door open a crack to allow moisture to escape. Check on the peppers every 30 minutes and rotate and remove the ones that are dry. Depending on the peppers, drying in the oven can take 1-2 hours.
When your peppers are dry and crumbly, put them in a coffee grinder until the peppers are ground down to a coarse powder.
To ensure a good crop, it is best to sow with heat early and grow in a greenhouse/polytunnel.
They do sound fiddly but treat like a greenhouse tomato and you should be rewarded with lovely juicy peppers....with the added bonus of your own dried paprika too!
Sweet Pepper Balalaika Vegetable Seed Information
||Approx 20 seeds per pack.
|When to Sow
February to April (Best in March).
|How to Sow:
Sow in seed trays/modules in the greenhouse and lightly cover with compost and gently water. They need heat to germinate so place in heated propagator at about 28C (or an airing cupboard but remove seeds as soon as they sprout and give them warmth & light). They can be slow to germinate from 21-28 days. Pot on into 9cm pots when a set of true leaves have grown and keep at a constant temperature of 20C. Pot on again into 2L pots when they have rooted well. Either plant out in June or into 4/5L pots or the soil in a greenhouse in May/June.
They can be left to grow as cordons with supports and just pinch out the top when they reach the greenhouse roof. But the best method is to pinch out the growing tip and produce a smaller bushier plant that will only need a little staking and produce earlier fruits which should ripen easier. Water with a nitrogen-rich feed (tomato feed) once a week when fruiting has begun.
||June to September.
When to Sow Sweet Pepper Balalaika Vegetable Seeds
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