The Shades of Red- Chillies of India

“Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chilli.”- Harry James 

Well, truly! Any food lover across the globe would agree that chilli is not so much for the taste as it is the state of mind. 

The hottest ingredient in the kitchen, literally! There are so many kinds of chillies that rank from mild on the scale to biting your tongue. Whether it’s Indian food or any culinary experience around the world, chillies can be found in food in one for or the other. 

There are so many varieties of chillies in India that are particularly special. In this blog you will be reading about some of the famous varieties from the sub-continent. 

Origin of Red Chillies 

We are quite sure; you will not be surprised by the fact that India is the largest producer of chilli in the world. Dried red chilli is very common in tropical countries. But did you know chillies didn’t originate in India! 

Yes, you read that right! They came to India with the Portuguese in the 15th century. The spice has since found a comfortable home to grow and flourish here and since then many varieties of red chillies have been curated.

Types of Red Chillies

Will you be surprised if we told you there are many types of red chillies in India? Here is a comprehensive list of one of the most amazing spices in the world:

1. Byadagi 

This chilli comes from the state of Karnataka and is one of the most popular varieties in India. It is a quintessential part of Udipi cuisine. Byadagi offers a beautiful shade of red to the curries. However, the taste is very fresh and not as spicy and can easily be used as an alternate to Kashmiri chillies. 


Byadgi Chilli  - Image Courtesy: Google


Direct Link: Buy Natural Byadgi Chilli


2. Kashmiri Chilli

As the name suggests, it grows in the state of Kashmir and nearby regions. It is known for its deep red colour and that is why many chefs prefer this for mild curry preparations. Kashmiri chilli is known to enhance the taste and colour of the dish.


Kashmiri  Chilli  - Image Courtesy: Google

3. Guntur 

Guntur variety is yet another popular choice in India and comes from the Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. As for the hotness scale and pungency these are one of the hottest chillies in India. 



Guntur Chilli  - Image Courtesy: Google

4. Sankeshwari

Sankeshwari chillies, the origin of it is from Kolhapur region in Maharashtra. It is used extensively in Maharashtrian cuisine, especially, costal cuisine. It is also a spicy variety of chilli which is often blended with dry masalas to give the recipes typical taste. 


Sankeshwari Chilli - Image Courtesy: Google 


Direct Link: Buy Sankeshwari Chilli


5. Borai

These varieties of chilli are known for their shape. They are berry-sized stout chillies that are usually used for tadka in lentils and kadhi. 



Borai Chilli  - Image Courtesy: Google 

6. Bhut Jolokia 

This is the spiciest variety of chillies in the world and are cultivated in the North Eastern states of India. These chillies are predominantly used in culinary preparation in the states of Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. As this chilli is extremely hot, the usage of it is usually restricted to making chutneys and pickles. 



Bhut Jolokia Chilli - Image Courtesy: Google 

7. Mathania 

Mathania are incredibly popular in Rajasthan. It brings a bright red colour to the dish; however, its usage is limited to only regional cooking. 



Mathania Chilli - Image Courtesy: Google 

8. Longi 

We bet; you love Bhujiya! Whether it is Bhujiya or some other Namkeen, you will always find the usage of this chilli in Bikaneri snacks! It is not a very spicy variety and doesn’t usually leave you wanting for water. 


Longi Chilli - Image Courtesy: Google 

9. Ramnad Mundu

These are extremely popular varieties of chillies in Tamil Nadu. South Indian cuisine and the aroma from the tampered mustard seeds, curry leaves, coconut and chillies have the magical power to take you to a parallel universe (I may actually be salivating right now). These are round shaped chillies that are usually used in Sambar and Chutneys. 



Ramnad Mundu Chilli - Image Courtesy: Google 

10. Dhani

This is another variety of chilli that hails from the North Eastern part of India. Dhani chillies are also known as Bird’s eye chilli. They are extremely spicy and are usually used in pickles. 



Dhani Chilli - Image Courtesy: Google 

As an integral part of any Indian household, you will find different usage of chillies with other kitchen ingredients. It is quite interesting to know that almost every state in India produces a variety of chilli that not only enhances the taste of the food, but is also a major trade in India. 

Chilli farming is considered to be one of the meticulous farming processes because of the delicate nature of the crop. Once the chillies start to ripe that is where the entire efforts in preserving and stocking the crop is important. 

At Local Sparrow we understand how much effort our local farmers put in cultivating these beautiful spices. We pride in bringing the local produce closer to you every day. 

What are you waiting for? Checkout our Ground Spices collestion here


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