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 Post subject: Chilli
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:19 pm 
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As ever, I came back to the UK following my recent visit to India with a big bag of dark smokey flavoured "Kashmiri chillies". These are warm rather than hot but have a fantastic flavour.
I'm sort of kicking myself though because there was a lady in the market in Mapusa (Goa) selling small bags of fairly expensive dark dried chillies with a smooth skin and a blunt end.
The trouble is I didn't know what they were and I think I might have missed out on a culinary treat.
Can anybody shed any light on these mystery chillies ?
Their name ? Their flavour ?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:56 pm 
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May be if you can Identify from this .. http://products.21food.com/selling-Dry%20Chilli :)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Yes, my suspicion is that these are something like a Ancho or a Poblano chilli but these are both Mexican and I wasn't aware of these being grown in India.
If that's what they were, they may have been fairly expensive but it would have been a bargain and more importantly, a source of something that is very hard to get hold of in the UK.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:07 pm 
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the "kashmiri chillies" were the lesser variety.they r wat is available under that name all over.the real kashmiri chilly is found here where i live (jammu and kashmir) with the punch and flavour.the other blunt end variety is an alien grown in goa somewhere.the king and chillest of all chillies in the world is also from india called bhoot jhalokia or ghost chilli in assam and other northeast states.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:23 pm 
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Of course, all chillies are "alien" in India as they were introduced by the Portugese from central and south America.

I'm not a fan of the bhoot jhalokia/naga/ghost chilli. They're to hot and lack flavour whereas the mild to moderate "Kashmiri chillies" sold in Goa (I can only go with the name used locally) have a deep smokey flavour that makes for fantastic Tex/Mex meals as well as being ideal for boosting the flavour of any tomato based sauce.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:56 pm 
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not so the case.there are varieties in both green and red which are indegenious.the portugese imported variety was brought to goa and then spread to most parts of south india.north india always had chilly.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:04 pm 
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I'm afraid not. All chillies and sweet peppers originated in the Americas.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chili_pepper

Black pepper is native to India and Rajasthani cooking is noted for being close to the indiginous cuisine of India because it retains a lot of traditional dishes that use black pepper for heat rather than chilli.

Edited - Wrong link


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:18 pm 
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i'm aware of the black pepper.but indegenious varities of chilly were always here.the kashmiri chilly is not from the americas and neither is the green chilli found in these parts.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Are you able to provide any evidence to support that claim ?

The chilli origin thing has been a constant source of amusement with Indian friends who find it hard to accept that chillies were introduced to India by Europeans - obviously the same is also true for Thailand, Africa etc as well.
It's not just chillies though, Ram fruit (AKA custard apples), Papaya, Watermelons, Tomatos, Potatoes, Sweetcorn and lots of other common food crops all came from the Americas.
The fact is that the Americas were discovered by modern Europeans when trying to find a westerly route to access the spices of Asia and chillies were brought back as a pepper alternative.
Edit: Here's another page detailing the origin and dissemination of the chilli - this time from the guys at Kew Gardens.
http://www.kew.org/plant-cultures/plant ... story.html

Telling an Indian that chillies were introduced to India by Europeans is a bit like trying to tell an Englishman that Roses and Apples aren't native to England. They simply refuse to believe it but it's true. Roses are indigenous to the Nile valley in Egypt and Apples come from central Asia in what is now Kazakhstan.


Last edited by Ken L on Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:25 pm 
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Wow! Very informative! Chillies are not from India! too bad there is no emoticon that depicts crying!

Its really hard to believe! Well now that we know this! Lets start another debate! Kashmir is heaven on earth and noone cooks Mutton/Lamb better than the Kashmiris! They also have a leafy vegetable which looks a lot like Spinach which grows only there, I've traveled a few states in india but never seen it anywhere else.

The chillies being sold to you from the lady could be anything really! Goa is a place where mostly everyone is looking at conning everyone be it a native or a foreigner! so its a good thing you didn't buy em!

However I definitely will say that the red chillies from Kashmir, Arunachal, Himachal and Rajasthan are very delicious in terms of flavor and potency!

Regards,


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:24 pm 
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the variety is "Byadgi" chilli, very expensive deluxe chili, grown in North Karnataka and certain areas of Andhra Pradesh.

It is the king of chills , better than desi, and tejas varities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byadgi_chilli


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:40 pm 
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General terms, yes kashmiri red chillies are not very hot but have a good flavour and color. No comments on how to recognise them and on origins. Generally we get kashmiri red chillies from local shop easily. But Indian shop keepers are known to con foreigners. Simple solution, buy branded ones like everest or MDH but they would be only available powdered I guess. Take someone Indian and let him do the buying............


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:53 pm 
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Quote:
General terms, yes kashmiri red chillies are not very hot but have a good flavour and color. No comments on how to recognise them and on origins. Generally we get kashmiri red chillies from local shop easily. But Indian shop keepers are known to con foreigners. Simple solution, buy branded ones like everest or MDH but they would be only available powdered I guess. Take someone Indian and let him do the buying............


Maybe it's a local thing but in north Goa, the guys on the stalls are very happy to discuss the 3 or 4 varieties of dried red chillies that they have, especially if they offer you the hot ones that look almost but not quite the same as the Kashmiri's and tell them that that's what you want and describe why.
The silly prices stop then too but that leaves me with more than I can possibly use for just a couple of rupes.
Of course, every other spice salesman in the market will still try to rip people off but that's not a problem because the chillies are the only thing that I take home as my city is home to one of the largest spice importers and packaging companies in Europe - so in almost every other case, the spices that I can buy at home are better quality than the ones in the market.


Quote:
the variety is "Byadgi" chilli, very expensive deluxe chili, grown in North Karnataka and certain areas of Andhra Pradesh.
It is the king of chills , better than desi, and tejas varities.


Fantastic, I'll do some checking into the name - and they're now on my shopping list for next year - any information about the flavour and heat levels ?

Quote:
Kashmir is heaven on earth and noone cooks Mutton/Lamb better than the Kashmiris!


You're not wrong there. I've been fortunate enough to have lived near a Kashmiri restaurant in the UK and all of their food (but especially the mutton) was fantastic.
I know parts of it are considered safe but it would be wonderful if we could see en end to the strife that has blighted that part of the world for so many years - I'd be scheduling a visit for my next trip.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:27 am 
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the internet is full of a biased opinion about alien chilli into india bcoz the westerners brought it to goa.let me say that the word mirch exists from a longer time than the western civilization itself.it doesnt pertain to the hot taste but to a berry/fruit also.green in colour.for obvious reasons its not on record in history coz the local mirch was always there and the portugese import was a achivement in western history.its like saying that alexander brought sugarcane to india rather than vice versa.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:30 am 
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Quote:
the variety is "Byadgi" chilli

Sadly not. I got chance to have a look and that's not the one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:08 am 
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king fisher.
The Kashmiri Mirch is known botanically as Capsicum Annuum. This species is known to originate in the Americas along with another four or five other species of the same genus that are used for culinary purposes and a couple of dozen species that are not used for eating.
Now I can't say categorically that it wasn't present in North India before the arrival of Europeans but if it was then there are a few things that are very odd indeed.
If the exact same species of such a tasty and easy to grow plant was in the Americas and North India and nowhere else on the planet prior to the arrival of European traders, how is it that:

Of the dozens of species in the genus, only one was found outside of the Americas?

European an Arab traders who were visiting India looking for spices long before the Americas were discovered (or re-discovered if you prefer) by Columbus failed to notice the chilli? - Same goes for invaders like Alexander.

There doesn't appear to be a single internet reference to the native range of this plant including India? - and I simply don't buy the idea of a global chilli conspiracy existing to massage the ego's of "western civilization".

I supose the only way to detirmine how long it has been present in India would be to track the genetic divergence present between the wild American population and the plants found in India but I doubt that is ever going to happen and if it did, my money would be on a date of about 500 years ago.


Last edited by Ken L on Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:41 am 
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Now the hottest chilli in the world is in UK. The variety is called infinity.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:24 pm 
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To be honest, although I love spicey food, when cooking I'm more into flavour than heat and one of my favorite discoveries of recent years is the fabulous smoked paprika that's produced in Spain. The combination of this and the Kashmiri chillies is sublime.
For the hotheads though, there's a nice chart of traditional chilli vareties here:
http://www.firefoods.co.uk/chillis_scovile_scale.htm

The breaders have been hard at work over the last few years though and although the Infinity chilli held top spot for a short while the "Trinidad Scorpion Butch T" which is being grown in Australia registers 1,463,700 Scovile heat units.
This beats the previous record holder which was the "Naga Viper" (grown in Cumbria in the north of England of all places), which comes in at 1,382,118.
The new hybrids and cultivars are comming in at nearly 40% more heat than a bhoot jhalokia ! Insane !


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