Chilly is reported to be a native of South America and is widely distributed in all tropical and sub tropical countries including India. It was first introduced in India by Portuguese towards the end of 15th Century. Now it is grown all over the world except in colder parts.
Botanical Name : Capsicum annum L., Capsicum frutescens L.
Family : Solanaceae
Commercial Part : Green as well as ripe and dried pod (fruit)
Chilies are valued principally for their high pungency and color. Almost all the states of India produce the crop. The Indian Chilli growing states are Andhra Pradesh (46%), Karnataka (15%), Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Indian Chilli can be grown during the entire year at one or the other partof the country. However, the major arrival season extends from February to April.
India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of chilies in the world. India also has the largest area under chilies in the world. Chilies are the most common spice cultivated in India. It is estimated that India produced 1060345 tons of dry chili from an area of 8, 84,183 hectares in 2003-04.
The crop planting starts from August and extends till October. While, the harvesting begins from December with 5% of the arrivals usually reported in this month. The peak arrivals are reported in February to March. There are several varieties of Indian Chilli and the most popular among these are Sannam, 334, 273, Byadgi, Wonder Hot, Mundu, Teja, Yellow Chilies & Tomato Chilies
India is the largest consumer of Chilli in the world. Around 90% of India’s production is consumed within the country. India exports around 80000 – 100000 tons of chilies a year. India exports chilies in the form of dried chilies, Chilli powder, picked chilies and Chilli oleoresin. Indian Chilli is mainly exported to USA, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Middle East and the Far East.
- Type: Whole Chilli with stem / Whole Chilli without stem
- Pods without stalk: 8% max
- Moisture: 12% max
- Foreign: 2% max
- Loose seeds: 2% max
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Dry chilly is extensively used as spice in curried dishes. It is also used as an ingredient in curry powder and in seasonings. 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. This colour is highly popular among food and beverage processors for its use as a colourant, since this being a ‘natural plant colour’. As a medicine it is used as an counter irritant in Lumbago, Neuralgia, and Rheumatic disorders. Capsicum has a tonic and carminative action. Taken inordinately it may cause gastro-enteritis. The enzyme isolated from chilly is used in the treatment of certain type of cancers. Oleoresin capsicum is used in pain balms and vaporubs. Dehydrated green chilly is a good source of vitamin ‘c’