When we think of Indian food, we often associate it with a curry or spicy dish. This is not just because India is one of the most populated countries in the world and has an estimated 1.3 billion people but also because of their common use of ingredients such as turmeric, cumin, ginger and chillies to add flavour to dishes.
Chillies are a mainstay of Indian cuisine, with the majority of Indian meals including them. They’re an important part of Indian cuisine, and they’ve become a standard in many different cuisines across the world.
Chillies are used extensively in Indian cuisine for many reasons: they add heat and spice to food; they can be used fresh or dried; they can be eaten raw on salads and chutneys; and lastly, some varieties have medicinal qualities which help reduce pain from arthritis or stomach problems. However there are many kinds – so what’s the most common kind?
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Kashmiri Red Chili: 1,000-2,000 SHU
Kashmiri red chillies, also known as Kashmiri lal mirch, are famous for their ability to colour and flavour food while yet not making it too pungent or spicy. Substitutes like Byadagi chillies are used due to high demand for Kashmiri chilis. The chilli’s colour also becomes deeper when dried. Kashmiri is excellent for adding bright orange colour to dishes as well as providing some heat and a distinct flavour. India is the largest consumer and producer of the Kashmiri Red Chilli.
Guntur Chilli: 30,000–350,000 SHU
It’s also the reason why Andhra food is so fiery! Guntur chillies, credited for giving Andhra cuisine its fiery edge, are hot to handle but you find yourself wanting more. Guntur Sannam comes from the Guntur area of Andhra Pradesh and has thick red skin with a high pungency. It’s used in the preparation of local dishes to give them color as well as taste.
Green Chilli Peppers: 2,500-8,000 SHU
This is a type of chilli pepper that is usually macerated or puréed and used in chutneys and stews, but it may also be eaten raw since it adds a powerful, herbal flavour to the dish. This chilli pepper can be blended with hot oil to give it warmth and flavour, either whole or chopped.
Naga Chilli: 1 million-1.5 million SHU
The Naga Morich is a chilli pepper native to Northeast India and Bangladesh. It’s referred to as the ghost chilli, or Bhut Jolokia, to its brother chilli. The Naga Morich differs genetically from its sister. It’s also one of the world’s hottest chillies, and it has a Scoville heat unit (SHU) of 1 million. The Naga Morich is a shrub with big leaves, small five-petaled flowers, and excruciatingly hot fruit that belongs to the Chinese species. It’s a tiny-medium shrub with big leaves, little, five-petaled blossoms, and blisteringly hot fruit.
Reshampatti Chilli Peppers: 40,000 SHU
Reshampatti is a chile that resembles a Cayenne pepper and is quite hot and fruity. It’s the most popular chile in India, with a comparable heat level and lack of taste to cayenne. It’s ideal for adding a little spice without overpowering the food.
Jwala Chilli: 20,000-30,000 SHU
In India, the most well-known hot pepper is the Jwala variety. This type is also known as a Finger Hot Indian Pepper. In Hindi, the term “Jwala” means “volcano,” and they are commonly harvested in Gujarat, India’s Gujarat Province. The long, thin fruit are wrinkled and about as lengthy as your finger.
Bird’s Eye Chilli: 50,000-100,000 SHU
Bird’s eye chilli, bird’s chilli, Thai chilli, or Malay name cili padi is a chilli pepper from the genus Capsicum annuum that is cultivated in Ethiopia and throughout Southeast Asia. It is utilized in a lot of Asian dishes.
Byadagi Chilli: 50,000-100,000 SHU
The Byadgi chilli is a well-known variety of chilli cultivated in India’s Karnataka state. It is named after the town of Byadgi, which is located in Karnataka’s Haveri district. In some supermarkets and grocery stores in India, it may be referred to as Bedgi.
Other Frequently Asked questions
What is the most common chilli?
The jalapeño pepper often referred to as “jalapeños,” is a type of chilli pepper. One of the most prevalent chile peppers, jalapeños come in a variety of colours.
How many chilli varieties are there?
There are approximately 4,000 different types of chilli in the world. The five Capsicum species and 28 wild variants may be grouped into two main categories: cultivated chilli varieties can usually be assigned to one of these five species: Capsicum annuum.
Is chilli native to India?
Chillies are thought to have originated in Mexico. Many chilli pepper cultivars were introduced after the Columbian Exchange, both for food and traditional medicine, throughout the world.