Types of Indian Chillies. India is home to a wide variety of chillies, each with its unique flavor and heat level. Some of the most popular varieties of chillies in India:
The Kashmiri chilli is known for its deep red color and mild heat level. It is often used to add color to dishes, such as biryanis and curries, and has a slightly sweet and smoky flavor.
Bhut jolokia, also known as the ghost pepper, is one of the hottest chillies in the world. It is grown in the Northeastern states of India and is used sparingly in dishes to add intense heat. It has a fruity and slightly sweet flavor.
The naga viper chilli is another extremely hot chilli grown in Northeastern India. It has a sweet and floral flavor and is often used to make pickles and chutneys.
Bird’s Eye Chili
Bird’s eye chilli, also known as Thai chilli, is a small, fiery chilli that is commonly used in Thai & Indian cuisine. It has a fruity and slightly sour flavor and is often used to add heat to curries and stir-fries.
The humble green chilli is a staple in Indian cuisine and is used in almost every dish. It has a mild to medium heat level and a grassy and slightly bitter flavor.
Health benefits of consuming chillies
Chillies are not only delicious but also beneficial for your health. They are rich in vitamins A and C, which are important for maintaining a healthy immune system. Chillies also contain capsaicin, which has been shown to help reduce inflammation and pain.
Eating chillies can also help boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. Studies have shown that capsaicin can increase the body’s metabolic rate, helping to burn more calories.
However, this is important to consume chillies in moderation, as eating too many can cause stomach irritation and discomfort.
Culinary uses of chillies in Indian cuisine
Chillies are an integral part of Indian cuisine & are used in a variety of ways to add flavor and heat to dishes. They are often used in spice blends, such as garam masala and curry powder, and are also used to make chutneys, pickles, and relishes.
Chillies are also used to add heat to soups, stews, and curries. They are often added whole to dishes and removed before serving to add flavour without too much heat. Dried chillies are also used to make spice pastes, which are used as a base for many Indian dishes
In addition to savoury dishes, chillies are also used in Indian desserts, such as the popular sweet and spicy dish, gajar ka halwa. Chillies are also used to make chilli-infused chocolate, which has gained popularity in recent years.
How to handle and store chillies
When handling chillies, it’s important to wear gloves to avoid getting capsaicin on your hands. If you do get chilli oil on your hands, washing them with soap and water may not be enough to remove it. Instead, try rubbing your hands with oil or alcohol to break down the capsaicin.
Fresh chillies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Dried chillies should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Growing your chilli plants
If you’re a chilli lover, why not try growing your chilli plants? Chillies are relatively easy to grow and can be grown in pots or on the ground. They require plenty of sunlight and water and should be fertilized regularly.
Some of the best chilli varieties to grow at home include Thai chilli, cayenne, and jalapeno. Growing your chilli plants is a great way to ensure a steady supply of fresh chillies for your cooking.
Chilli festivals & Events in India
India is home to several chilli festivals and events that celebrate the country’s love for chillies. The Mirchi Bajji festival in Andhra Pradesh is one of the most famous, where locals gather to sample different varieties of chillies and enjoy spicy snacks.
Other chilli festivals in India include the Chilli Eating Competition in Nagaland and the Jodhpur RIFF Chili Cook-Off, which is held as part of the Rajasthan International Folk Festival.
Conclusion – embracing the spice of life
In conclusion, chillies are an integral part of Indian cuisine and are loved for their ability to add flavor and heat to dishes. From the mild Kashmiri chilli to the fiery bhut jolokia, India boasts a variety of chillies that are used in different ways to add flavour and heat to dishes.
Not only are chillies delicious, but they also offer several health benefits, including boosting metabolism and aiding in digestion. Whether you’re a seasoned spice lover or just starting to explore the world of chillies, India is the perfect destination to heat your taste buds and embrace the spice of life. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring the world of Indian chillies today!