Chilli is the dried ripe fruit of the genus Capsicum. Capsicum annuum is an annual sub –shrub, the flowers of which are borne singly and fruits usually pendent, which provide red peppers, cayenne, paprika and chillies and sweet pepper (bell pepper) a mild form with large inflated fruits. Capsicum frutescence is a perennial chilly with small sized pods which are highly pungent. It is commonly known as ‘bird chilly’ and ‘Tabasco’.
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.
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’