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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chillies - Some Like it Hot

They can be red, green, orange or almost the brown colour of chocolate. They can be pointy, round, small, club-like, long, thin, globular or tapered. Their skins may be shiny, smooth or wrinkled and their walls may be thick or thin.

You guessed it - chillies!

This month's event @Kitchen Chronicles is the famous "Think Spice" event which was started by Sunita Bhuyan of Sunita's World. She does not need any introduction at all. Her blog is always a breathtaking blog with all those beautiful clicks.

So it is "Think Spice - Think Red Chillies" for September.


The chilli pepper comes from a pod-like berry of various species of the capsicum family found in Latin America. Accidentally discovered by Columbus, these fiery little vegetables are utterly delicious and an essential part of the cuisine of many parts of the world.

To the chilli connoisseur, each type has its own distinctive flavour, and a particular variety of chilli may be used to lend a specific dish its unique taste.
There are more than 400 different varieties of chillies found all over the world. The world’s hottest chilli “Naga Jolokia” is cultivated in hilly terrain of Assam in a small town Tezpur, India. Chilli became extremely popular in India after it was first brought to India by Vasco-da-Gama. Chilli found its way in ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system. According to ayurveda, chilli has many medicinal properties such as stimulating good digestion and endorphins, a natural pain killer to relieve pains.

Chilli is an indispensable spice used as basic ingredient in everyday cuisine all over the world. The chilli powder is made by crushing the dried chilli having chilli flakes and chilli pods. The chilli powder began to be used to different countries. Today, it is unimaginable to think of India cuisine without the hot spice, chilli.

Generally, the smaller chillies are the most pungent. Because some chilli peppers are hotter than others, it pays to know your habaneros from your poblanos and your guajillos from your jalapenos. The heat rating of chilli peppers is related to its Scoville number. The higher the number of Scoville Heat Units (SHU's) assigned to a chilli pepper, the greater will be its burn.

Most of the heat is in the seeds and the membrane, so if it's your first time trying chillies, or you don't like too much heat, discard these. The heat comes from a chemical compound called capsaicin (the active ingredient in chillies), produced within the glands of the chilli, that intensifies as it matures.

If you have braved the effects of eating fresh chillies and your mouth is burning, don't be tempted to drink water, as this can intensify the effect in the short term. Instead, have either yoghurt, sour cream, cheese, milk, cucumber or chopped mint.

Chillies are Nutritious

Chillies are a rich source of vitamin C, and a good source of niacin (vitamin B3) and beta-carotene. That is, if you can eat enough of them! One hundred grams of red chillies contain a week's supply of vitamin C, but a single chilli divided into a dinner for four makes less of a nutritional contribution. Nevertheless, chillies add loads of flavour, have virtually no fat or sodium, and are very low in calories. More than just flavour, there are some advantages of eating chillies.

Some Advantages of Eating Chillies

• It has been proposed that the eating of chillies results in the production of endorphins by the body. These are the feel-good chemicals that create a temporary feeling of euphoria.

• Chillies are reputed to aid digestion.

• The hot stimulating properties of chilli make it useful in clearing sinus passages, and it has been found to reduce mucous production in certain instances.

• Chillies appear to have some type of anti-inflammatory property. This is thought to be linked to their ability to cut recovery time of colds and flu, when taken liberally in the early stages of these ailments.

• Research originating in Thailand has found that people who eat a diet high in red peppers experience a  much lower incidence of blood clotting.

• Scientists have now concluded that chilli does indeed possess fibrinolytic activity, meaning that it is able to break down blood clots.

• Chillies are also thought to help buffer pain from ailments such as arthritis, headaches and menstrual cramps.

• It has been postulated that a high daily intake of chillies may improve circulation to the hands and feet, in those suffering from poor circulation.

• Other responses of the body to eating chilli include increasing salivation in order to try and refresh the mouth, and an increased rate of sweating.

Information Source :

Instructions for "Think Spice - Think Red Chillies" :

(a) Post any dish featuring Red Chilli as the main spice. Red Chilli can be used in any form (finely powdered, freshly ground or whole) and any variety of Red Chilli can be used. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian posts are welcome.

(b) Post as many Recipes of Red Chillies as you like on your blog this September 2009. The more the better.

(c) Linking back to this "Think Spice - Think Red Chillies" Announcement -  and to Sunita's blog is a must.

(d) It would also be very much appreciated if you can also include any information about Red Chillies.

(f) Using the Logo to the event is also appreciated. (Will be up shortly)
 (g) Old post’s are also accepted only if it is re-published and linked back to this announcement post and to Sunita's blog -

(h) E-mail me to kitchenchronicles1(AT)gmail(dot)com with SUBJECT as Think Spice - Think Red Chillies" along with the following details..

Your Name:
Your Blog Name:
Name of the Dish:
Link/URL of the Post:
Attach a Picture of the Dish. Size 300 x 300 .

(i) Deadline for all the entries will be the 1st October-2009.

(j) You don't have a blog but want to take part in this event, it’s not at all a problem. You can send me your Recipe along with the picture of the dish to kitchenchronicles1(AT)gmail(dot)com with SUBJECT as "Think Spice - Think Red Chillies". Don’t forget to mention your name and your location.

And also please remember to rush in your entries for A.W.E.D German going on here. 3 more days left.