Did you know that Andhra Pradesh is the largest red-chili-producing state in India? Well, it’s no surprise, for we all know how rich their cuisine is with spice. Also, India is the world’s largest exporter and consumer of this spice. Just give it a thought. Most of our dishes are not complete without chili powder. Chili powder is something that we first write in our monthly groceries list too.
Chilis are used to spice up any dish. Not just that, it also gives a natural color to the dish without having the need to use artificial food colors. If your chilis are of high quality, then they are sure to add more life to your dishes. Today in this blog, we will see where do we find chilis in India, how they are grown and what makes them so special. There are so many types of chillies in India. These various types of chillies are labeled differently to distinguish them from one another.
Facts & Figures About Indian Red Chillies
Here are some facts and figures that will make you go wow. Chillies are grown in various parts of the country on around 7,92,000 hectares of land. Chillies are generally grown in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. India produces over 13,76,000 million tons of red chillies every year. While they are later transformed into various forms, dry chillies contribute to around 22% of it. You will be amazed to know that of so much production, nearly 70% of the total chili production is consumed domestically. Only 30% is exported.
Red chillies are just red chilis. Is it so? No, red chillies grown in India come in various ranges of spice from high to sweet and in deep red to light red color. This spice is harvested between Jan and April in India. Let us first deep-dive to understand what are the various types of chillies produced in India.
10 Different Types Of Chillies In India
1. Kashmiri Chilli
As the name suggests, this is grown in the nearby regions of Kashmir. It has a deep red color and gives a nice and rich color to the dish. This is the reason why many chefs choose Kashmiri red chilis in their recipes. Also, it is not too hot in taste. It is majorly used to enhance the look of the dish and does not make it very spicy.
2. Guntur Chilli , Andhra Pradesh
This type of red chili comes from the Guntur region of Andhra Pradesh. Guntur is also one of the largest chili-producing districts in the country, and the place is often referred to as Guntur Mirchi Yard. This type of Mirchi in India is the hottest in taste and is majorly used in all Andhra dishes.
3. Byadgi Chilli , Karnataka
This type of dry red chillies in India come from the state of Karnataka. Like Kashmiri red chili, this also gives a rich deep color to the dish. It is mildly spicy and can be used as an alternative for Kashmiri dry red chili. It is also an important ingredient in Udupi cuisine.
4. Boria Chilli , Tamil Nadu
This type of dry red chili in India is berry-sized and has moderate pungency. They are known for their shape and appearance. It is dark red in color and is moderately spicy. While there are many different types of red chillies in India, this is majorly preferred for tampering in many dishes,
5. Sankeshwari , Maharashtra
As beautiful as the name sounds, these red chillies of India are rich red in color and are the spiciest of all. It is grown in the Kolhapur region of Maharashtra. It is majorly used in coastal cuisine. Majorly, this is used for blending other spice powders like garam masala.
6. Mathania Mirch , Rajasthan
This type of red chili in India is known for adding vibrant color to any dish that it is used in. It is mainly used in Rajasthani cuisine. They are red in color and are one of the spiciest red chilies grown in India.
7. Bhut Jolokia , North East India
Bhut Jolokia, is the hottest chili in the world as recorded in Guinness Book in 2007. This type of chilli is referred as "ghost pepper", mostly grown in north-eastern parts of India such as Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. It is used with fermented fish or any non-veg cuisines.
8. Jwala Chilli , Gujarat
This is grown in southern part of Gujarat, in Mehsana & Kheda. This chilli is also called finger hot pepper. This is eaten with delicious Gujarati cuisines to spice up the food and brings the authentic Indian taste.
9. Kanthari Chilli , Kerala
This chilli grown in Kerala & Tamil Nadu, mainly used in south indian curries & cuisines. It is known as bird eye chilli in Kerala, this brings good flavor to dishes.
10. Dhani, Manipur
Dhani chili grown in Manipur , it has very strong pungent smell & heat. It is also grown in kolkata.
There are so many other types of dry red chilis grown in India. While too many classifications can confuse, here is a simple way to segregate red chillies based on their color and pungency.
- Regular chili with medium color, medium pungency
- Red hot chili with high color and high pungency
- Kashmiri chili with very high color and low pungency
You can often bump into a grocery store and let them know your spice and pungency level, and they will pick the right one for you. Always keep a stock of red chillies that are hot, and those give rich color. You can balance the dishes by combining these two chillies that perfectly balance any dish.
Chilis are generally known for their color and pungency, which determines the color and taste of a dish.
Another important thing to know about chillies is that when not maintained and kept correctly in a dry or cold place, there are high chances of Aflatoxin growth in it. Aflatoxin is a fungus that is harmful to human consumption. It is important to buy your red chilis from only trusted manufacturers as they know the right method of growing, storing, and transporting to make sure only the highest quality of it is delivered to you.
What is your spice level you like, and what is the types of chillies in India you use at your home? Let us know in the comments below!