Whenever we talk about Indian cuisine, the first thought that pops up in our mind is the heat in it. And that's nothing but the kick of chillies. Indian foods are incomplete without chillies in their spices. But did you know India has almost ten types of chillies spread all across the states?! Other than adding an extra zing to our taste buds, chillies have some amazing health benefits. They benefit the digestive tracts, promote healthy heart, relieve joint pains, promote weight loss, mitigate migraine, reduce cancer risk, prevents allergies et al.
Chillies, also known as mirch in India, were believed to be brought to Asia by Portuguese navigators during the 16th Century. These came to India with Vasco-Da-Gama and became very popular. Chillies are not only used in Indian food, but also in Ayurveda.
Kashmiri Chilli: Most sought after red chilli in India for its colour
Here Are The Eight Most Popular Chillies Found In India:
1. Bhut Jolokia, North East India
Also known as 'ghost pepper', Bhut Jolokia is certified as the hottest chilly in the world in the Guinness Book in 2007. It is an interspecific hybrid (of Capsicum Chinese and Capsicum frutescens) chilli pepper cultivated in North Eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. Bhut jolokia is used as a food and a spice, popularly in combination with pork or dried or fermented fish.
2. Kashmiri Chillies, Kashmir
As the name suggests, this chilli is found in Kashmir and is the most sought after red chilli in India for its colour. An Indian kitchen is incomplete without Kashmiri mirch powder as this adds the colour to the mouth-watering dishes every household cooks. This chilly is less hotter or pungent, as compared to the other variants found in India.
3. Guntur Chilli, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is known for its spicy dishes and the credit goes to Guntur chillies, from Guntur district of the state. Guntur is the main producer and exporter of most varieties of chillies and chilli powder from India to countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Middle East, South Korea, UK, USA and Latin America. Guntur Sannam, one of the types of Guntur chilly, is also cultivated in Madhya Pradesh.
4. Jwala Chilli, Gujarat
This chilli, also known as finger hot pepper, is primarily grown in Kheda, Mehsana and southern parts of Gujarat. Although its green initially, once it matures it turns red in colour. They can even be grown at home. This chilli is easily available in market throughout the year and very pungent in flavour.
5. Kanthari Chilli, Kerala
This chilli is grown in Kerala and some parts of Tamil Nadu. It is also known as bird eye chilli of Kerala and becomes white when matures. It adds heat and lends good flavour to dishes.
6. Byadagi Chilli, Karnataka
It is a famous variety of chilli, mainly grown in Karnataka. It is named after the town of Bydagi, which is located in the Haveri district of Karnataka. Known for its colour and pungency, byadagi chilli is similar to paprika.
7. Ramnad Mundu/Gundu, Tamil Nadu
Almost spherical in shape, this chilli has a very shiny skin and is orange red in colour, grown in the Ramnad district of Tamil Nadu. This chilly is particularly used to add flavour to the Chettinad cuisine.
8. Dhani, Manipur
This chilli is grown in Manipur and is easily available in Kolkata. Known for its strong pungent smell and heat, it is blood red in colour.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.