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Chili Faqs

Why is chili hot to taste?
Chili is hot and stimulating with very less aroma when eaten. Chili contains capsaicin, an alkaloid substance which makes chili hot to taste. Capsaicin is present in chili seeds and membranes. When chili powder is swallowed, capsaicin makes the brain to release a neurotransmitter called substance P. This makes brain think that the body is in pain making body respond to chili. The heart beats rapidly and the natural painkiller endorphin is secreted.

Which is the hottest chili in the world? Where is it found?
The hottest chili in the world is the “Naga Jolokia” which read 855,000 in the Scoville Scale. Naga Jolokia has replaced Mexican chili Red Savina Habanero which scales 557,000 in Scoville units. The Naga Jolokia is found in hilly terrain Tezpur town of Assam in India.

What is Scoville Scale?
Scoville Scale is a method of finding the heat of the chili. This method was invented by a chemist, Wilbur Scoville in 1912. This is a subjective test where the capsaicin extracted from chili is soaked in alcohol. The soaked extract is later mixed with sweetened water and given to the human tasters to determine if there is pungency in the chili. Pure capsaicin scales 16,000,000 Scoville units.

What is the origin of the chili?
Chili was used in Mexico as early as 7000 BC. The chili was brought to rest of the world when the Italian Spanish navigator Christopher Columbus discovered America. He mistook the chili for pepper and took it to Spain which later spread to rest of the world.   

When was chili introduced in India?
In May 28, 1498, Chili was brought to India by the Portuguese explorer Vasco-da-Gama. Soon chili became an important ingredient in Indian cuisine.   

What are Mexican Ristras?
The Mexican Ristras is the oldest traditional method of drying the chilies. Mexicans tie the chilies with cotton string also called ristras. There are many different methods of making Mexican ristras. The chilies could be tied in a cluster, two three chilies, or just single chili per knot. When hung Mexican ristras look so beautiful, that it is used for decorative purpose too.  

How to dry chilies?
You can lay out the chilies in sun. As the sun does not dry the chilies completely, it is good to smoke to preserve them.   

How to preserve chilies for longer time?
You can dry, freeze, or smoke the chilies to preserve them. Do not forget to break the stalks. This will preserve both green chili and red chili for longer time. You can store them in air tight container and keep it away from heat. Chilies can also be preserved by canning them. Green chilies can be preserved and prevented from turning it red by removing the stalk and storing them in dry bags.

The color of dried and grounded chili powder fades away after few days. How to preserve the color of chili powder for longer time?
To preserve the color of the chili, you can add little groundnut oil to the chili powder. This will keep the red color of the chili powder for longer period. A pinch of asafoetida or raw salt can preserve chili powder.

How to prevent the throat irritation while frying the chili powder?
Add little salt to prevent throat burning.

What is the remedy if I have burned my mouth from eating too much of chili?
Milk, Milk cream, curd, and other dairy products will reduce the burning sensation in your mouth. Drinking water will not help the situation.

How to reduce the burning sensation caused by chili or chili powder while handling them?
Apply oil to your hands before cutting the chilies. If you have not used oil and feel burning sensation then it is good to wash them with sugar and tamarind.  




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