Condimantra Chillies Spices
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Condimantra Chillies Spices

The substances that give chili peppers their intensity are capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) and several related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids. The Naga Viper pepper is one of the hottest chili peppers ever measured. It was briefly the “World’s Hottest Chilli” in 2011 according to the Guinness World Records. It is claimed to be an unstable three-way hybrid produced from the Naga Morich, the Bhut Jolokia and the Trinidad Scorpion

  1. Chili peppers have been a part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BCE
  2. The most recent research shows that chili peppers were domesticated more than 6000 years ago in Mexico
  3. Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to encounter them (in the Caribbean), and called them “peppers” because they, like black and white pepper of the Piper genus known in Europe, have a spicy hot taste unlike other foodstuffs
  4. Upon their introduction into Europe, chilies were grown as botanical curiosities in the gardens of Spanish and Portuguese monasteries
  5. It was the monks who first experimented with the chillis’ culinary potential and discovered that their pungency offered a substitute for black peppercorns, which at the time were so costly that they were used as legal currency in some countries
  6. Diego Álvarez Chanca, a physician on Columbus’ second voyage to the West Indies in 1493, brought the first chili peppers to Spain and first wrote about their medicinal effects in 1494
  7. The spread of chili peppers to Asia was most likely a natural consequence of its introduction to Portuguese traders, who, aware of its trade value, would have likely promoted its commerce in the Asian spice trade routes then dominated by Portuguese and Arab traders
  8. It was introduced in India by the Portuguese towards the end of 15th century
  9. Chili grenades made from Bhut jolokia were successfully used by the Indian Army in August 2015 against terrorists

Scientific Name: Capsicum annum L., Capsicum frutescens L

Other Names: Mirch (India), Pimenton (Spain), Paprika (German), Spaanse (Netherlands), Peperone (Italy)


  1. Chilli is the dried ripe fruit of the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae
  2. There are many common species of chilli including bell peppers, paprika, jalapenos, scotch bonnets, rocoto peppers, aji peppers, habanaeros, cayenne, and tabasco peppers
  3. Chilli is reported to be an inhabitant of S. America and is widely scattered in all tropical and subtropical countries including India. India is now the largest producer and exporter of chilis in the world
  4. The “heat” of chili peppers was historically measured in Scoville heat units (SHU), which is a measure of the dilution of an amount of chili extract added to sugar syrup before its heat becomes undetectable
Chilli pepper typeSHU
Bell pepper0
New Mexico green chile0 – 70,000 
Fresno, Jalapeño3,500-10,000
Cayenne, Serenade30,000-50,000
Piri piri50,000-100,000
Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, Birds Eye, Finger100,000–350,000


Some of the worlds hottest chilliesSHU
US (Carolina Reaper)2.2M
Trinidad (Trinidad moruga scorpion)2M
India (Bhoot Jolokia)1.58M
Trinidad (Trinidad scorpion butch T)1.46M
UK (Naga viper)1.4M
UK (infinity chilli)1.2M

Bhoot Jolokia:

  1. Also known as ghost pepper, ghost chili, U-morok, red naga, naga jolokia and ghost jolokia, is an interspecific hybrid chili pepper cultivated in the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur
  2. It is a hybrid of Capsicum chinense and Capsicum frutescens and is closely related to Naga morich (Bangladesh)
  3. In 2007, Guinness World Records certified that the Ghost pepper was the world’s hottest chili pepper, 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce
  4. In Northeast India, the peppers are smeared on fences or incorporated in smoke bombs as a safety precaution to keep wild elephants at a distance

Health benefits:

  1. Red chillies hold a high amount of vitamin C and provitamin A compared to yellow and green which are essentially unripe fruits
  2. Additionally chillies are also a good source of vitamin B6 and are high in potassium, magnesium and iron
  3. Capsaicin, is used as an analgesic in topical ointments, nasal sprays, and dermal patches to relieve pain
  4. The antioxidants present in the chili wipe out the radical bodies that could build up cholesterol causing major heart diseases such as atherosclerosis
  5. It has been noted that vitamin C, beta-carotene and folic acid found in chili reduces the risk of colon cancer. Chilies such as red pepper have cartonoid lycopene, which prevents cancer disease.
  6. Chillies gives relief from nasal congestion by increasing the metabolism. It also dilates airway of lungs which reduces asthma and wheezing.

Common uses in Indian cuisine:

  1. There are different varieties of red and green chillies in India including:
    1. Birds eye chilli (dhani), Byadgi (kaddi), Ramnad Mundu, Ellachipur sannam-S4, Guntur sannam-S4, Hindpur-S7, Jwala, Kanthari-white, Kashmiri mirch, Madhya Pradesh GT Sannam, Naga Jolokia, Reshampatti, Shimla mirch,
  2. Dry chilly is extensively used as spice in curried dishes
  3. Kashmir chili powder is widely used in Indian cooking, particularly in the relatively softly spiced meat dishes of the north
  4. Chili is by far the most important fruit in Bhutan. Local markets are never without chilies in different colors and sizes, in fresh and dried form
  5. Bird chilly is used in making hot sauces as pepper sauce and Tabsco sauce. Paprika, Bydagi chilly, Warangal chapatta and similar high colour less pungent varieties are widely used for colour extraction
  6. Chillies are also used to make marinades for paneer or sliced vegetables
  7. Chillies in powdered form is used with curd, yoghurt, sprinkled over fried potato dishes etc


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