A Guide to Indian Chillies

In nearly every Indian dish, you’ll find chilli. Even if the dish isn’t spicy, chilli is used as a flavour and is a pillar of all Indian cooking. Although it may seem as if it the term chilli is generic, there are many different varieties. On top of this, there are multiple species of chillies in India alone.

Bird’s Eye Chillies

The bird’s eye chilli, as it names might suggest, is very small. However, don’t let the size deceive you. This pepper can pack a real punch. This type of chilli can be found growing in the north east of the country. Quite often, this chilli will be cooked in chutneys and relishes. However, if you’re not ready for the spice, ease yourself in before piling it on your plate!

Naga Chillies

The naga chilli is renowned as one of the spiciest chillies in the world. In fact, there is a legend that it was even used as a weapon! Beware of the pungent power of this chilli as it can truly have an effect on your health. Although this chilli may sound scary, when used correctly and balanced well, the flavour is irresistible. In fact, we use the naga chilli in our Kohlapuri Masala Cooking Sauce. 

Kashmiri Chillies 

This particular variety of chilli pepper is known more for its colour than the heat. The Kashmiri chilli, obviously from Kashmir, is incredibly mild. Used in cookings, the curries featuring this type of pepper are a vibrant red colour with a sweet, mild flavour.

Byadagi Chillies

The flavour of byadagi chillies can be likened to the smokey tastes of paprika. This chilli is grown in Karnataka and has a distinctive appearance. It is long and thin and quite often dried with a pungent aroma and deep colour.

Guntur Chillies 

The Guntur chilli has become globally popular and even accounts for 30% of India’s chilli exports. It is grown primarily in Andhra and Madhya Pradesh. The cuisine in this area is known for it’s heat owing to the flavour of this chilli grown in abundance in the area.