De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6 cups water
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cups dry green split peas
3 sprigs fresh parsley
2 dried chiles de arbol
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper


Fry the garlic in the vegetable oil in a large pot over low heat until it lightly browns, then pour in the water and olive oil. Stir in the split peas, parsley, chile pepper, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 55 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the peas do not stick to the bottom of the pot. When the peas are tender, mash them with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in additional water to reach the desired consistency. Bissara is enjoyable as a soup or as a dip for tortilla chips if you let it thicken.

Recipe by Asma Khalfaoui.