Chillies (mirch)

Chilies (Mirchi) - consist of hottest flavors on earth.  As a general rule, dark green chilies tend to be hotter than red chilies. Small, pointed chilies are usually hotter than larger, more rounded varieties. Whole chilies can be de seeded to make them a little less hot. The flavour of a fresh chilie is quite different to dried, similar to the taste difference between a fresh tomato and a sun-dried one. Chilies and chili powder should be used with extreme care. The spicy vindaloo curries are made from the hottest chilies. 

Chili powder - Red in color is a fine powder of the dried chillies. It is very hot because it is made from the dried, chillies with seeds.

Chilli– Names in different Indian Languages.

Hindi– Mirchi  , Bengal –    Lanka, Gujrati –   Marcha, Punjabi –     Mirchi,

Tamil -   Vara and Pachai milagai,  Urdu –    Mirchi,  Marathi - Lal Mirchi

Nutritional information

Red chilies contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene (provitamin A). Yellow and especially green chilies (which are essentially unripe fruit) contain a considerably lower amount of both substances. In addition, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium, magnesium, and iron. Their high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains.

Culinary Uses

Fresh chili peppers should have smooth, firm, glossy skin with no soft spots or shriveling.  For cooking fresh chillies cut away and discard the stalk end. Hold the chili under cold running water to prevent the oils from affecting your eyes and throat, slit it from the stalk end to the tip. Scrape out the placenta (membrane) and seeds. Dried chilies can be used whole in curries and almost any other kind of slow-cooked liquid, as the flavor seeps out and flavors the food. A variety of ground Chiles are available to be used in a wide range of curries, sauces, pickles, chutneys and pastes.

In India, most households always keep a stack of fresh hot green and dried chilies in the pantry and use them to flavor most curries and dry dishes. It is typically lightly fried with oil in the initial stages of preparation of the dish. Some states in India, such as Rajasthan, make entire dishes only by using spices and chilies.


Dried and powdered chillies can be stored in airtight containers while fresh chillies can be refrigerated. It is recommended to take out the stalk end from fresh chillies to keep it fresh.


Do not touch your eyes, lips or other sensitive body parts even after washing your hands. You should consider wearing gloves while handling chillies