There are about 400 types of chillies and most are cultivated in the Far East, South America and Caribbean. , India and Mexico.
It is common knowledge that the smaller the chilli the hotter it is. Chilli varieties like bird eyes chilli, apache, Caribbean red, Habanero and Naga are probably one of the hottest variety available.
The face of chilli growing is changing, in 2006; the hottest chilli in the world was developed by a chilli grower in England. The world’s hottest chilli is called Dorset Naga and it is twice as hot as the previous record holder, Naga Jolokia in India. It is said that anyone who dare to eat the whole chilli on its own will definitely need hospital treatment.
Chillies have been known for the following benefits:
1. There is something about the thermal effect of hot chilli that is creating a rave in the weight loss industry. The capsaicin found in chillies provides a thermal effect which speeds up the our body’s metabolic rate thereby help burn calories.
2. Vitamin A containing beta-carotenoids is a potent antioxidant that is present in chillies. The anti oxidant destroy the free radicals and help protect our heart. Vitamin B, C and E are also present in chillies.
3. The heat inducing properties in chillies is also known to clear a stuffy nose and cold. Try eating chilli dishes like hot curry in a warm environment, you will sweat and then your nose runs, suddenly your head will clear and you can breathe easily.
4. Capsaicin in chilli is found to be an effective and safe analgesic agent for pain relief.
However, overeating of chilli could also cause pain and discomfort in the stomach. People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome could be sensitive to chillies.
Chilli pepper can be eaten raw or as part of your cooked dishes. Wear a glove when you are cleaning chillies or wash your hand thoroughly after touching chillies. Remove the seeds and the membrane from the chilli to scale down the heat in your cooking.
Chilli can be dried and stored. Dried chillies are usually ground into powder for curries. Whole dried chillies can be found in Chinese cooking especially in the Kung Po and Szechuan dishes. Dried chilli flakes are sprinkle onto pastas and pizza in Italian cooking. Raw chilli can be kept in the fridge for about a month.
Handle chilli according to your threshold for heat. Start with the mildest chilli and work your way up the heat factor. You could get so used to the heat that you can’t do without it.