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Last updated on 13-11-2015, 14:05 HRS
Chilli image


Botanical Name

Capsicum annum L., Capsicum frutescens L.



Commercial Part

Green as well as ripe and dried pod (fruit)


Indian Chilli Varieties

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’.

Different Varieties


  • Grown in Mizoram & some areas of Manipur
  • Blood red in colour,highly pungent
  • Harvesting season-October to December
  • Available in Calcutta market
  • ASTA colour value-41.7
  • Capsaicine-0.589%


  • Grown in Dharwar Karnataka
  • Red in colour with less pungency or without pungency
  • Harvesting season-January to May
  • Annual Production-21,000 tonnes
  • Available in Hubli-Dharwad markets
  • ASTA colour value-159.9
  • Capsaicine-Negligible


  • Grown in Amaravathi District of Maharashtra
  • Reddish in colour and very hot
  • Annual Production - 1800 tonnes
  • Harvesting season-September to December
  • Available in Bombay,Delhi,Ahemedabad and Nagpur
  • ASTA colour value - 70.40
  • Capsaicine-0.2%


  • Grown in Guntur,Warangal,Khammam Districts of Andhra Pradesh
  • Skin thick,hot and red
  • Harvesting season - December to May
  • Annual Production - 2,80,000 tonnes
  • Available in Guntur market
  • ASTA colour value- 32.11
  • Capsaicine-0.226%


  • Grown in Hindpur in Andhra Pradesh
  • Red in colour,hot and highly pungent
  • Harvesting season- December to March
  • Available in Hindpur
  • Capsaicine-0.24
  • ASTA colour value- 33.00


  • Grown in Kheda, Mehsana & in South Gujarat
  • Highly pungent, light red in colour,short and the seeds are compact
  • Harvesting season-September to December
  • Available in Unjha market
  • Capsaicine-0.4%


  • Grown in Kerala & some parts of Tamil Nadu
  • Short and ivory white in colour with high pungency
  • Mainly grown as a homestead crop
  • Available in the markets throughout the year
  • ASTA colour value- 2.96
  • Capsaicine-0.504%


  • Grown in temperate regions such as Himachal Pradesh,Jammu & Kashmir and also in sub-tropical regions of North India during winter season
  • Long,fleshy,deep red in colour
  • Harvesting season- November to February
  • Available in major markets of North India
  • ASTA colour value- 54.10
  • Capsaicine-0.325%


  • Grown in Indore, Malkapur Chikli and Elachpur areas of Madhya Pradesh
  • Red in colour and pungent
  • Harvesting season-January to March
  • Annual Production - 7500 tonnes
  • Available in major markets of Madhya Pradesh.

Origin and Distribution

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’. As a medicine it is used as an counter irritant in Lumbago, Neuralgia, and Rheumatic disorders. Capsicum has a tonic and carminative action. Taken inordinately it may cause gastro-enteritis. The enzyme isolated from chilly is used in the treatment of certain type of cancers. Oleoresin capsicum is used in pain balms and vaporubs. Dehydrated green chilly is a good source of vitamin ‘c’

Indian Name of Spices

Hindi : Lal mirch Bengali : Lanka, Lankamorich Gujarati : Marcha Kannada : Mensina kai Malayalam : Mulaku Marathi : Mirchi Oriya : Lanka Punjabi : Lalmirch Tamil : Milagay Telugu : Mirapa kaya Urdu : Lalmirch

Foreign Name of Spices

Spanish : Pimenton French : Puvre de Guinee German : Paprika Arabic : Filfil Ahmar Dutch : Spaanse Peper Italian : Peperone Portuguese : Pimento Russian : Struchkovy pyeret Japanese : Togarashi Chinese : Hesiung Yali chiao British : Chillies(Hot) Pepper(Sweet)