Chillies are not native to India and came to India in 15th century. Chillies are native to Mexico where these were cultivated since 3500 BCE. Christopher Columbus although took voyage to India in search of spices especially Black Pepper reached America in 1493 and thought it to be India. He and his companions also mistook chillies for black pepper. He brought back the chillies pepper with him.
Portuguese reached in India in the end of 15th century and introduced it in India. This gave the birth to red hot Goan curries. Cultivation of chillies took India by storm and use of chillies in food became very popular.
Some chillies of India
- Dhani lanka or Bird’s eye Chilli: Grown mostly in North East and Bengal
- Bhoot Jhalokia: Native to Assam and Nagaland. Hottest chilli in the world. 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. In Nagaland these are known as Raja Mircha.
- Kashmiri Chillies: Mild and famed for aroma and color. Add lovely colors to many Indian dishes.
- Mundu Chillies: Grown mostly in Tamilnadu and Andhra. They have very delicate skin and nice flavour. Mild in nature
- Guntur chillies: Known for their powerful taste. Used for adding heat to Andhra and Madhya Pradesh cuisine.