A common element in almost every Indian dish is the “mirchi” quotient. But did you know chillies are indeed not native to this region?

They are a South American fruit, first believed to have been cultivated in Mexico around 3500 BC. India got its first taste of chilli around 400 years ago through Portuguese traders.

Presently, every Indian dish is incomplete without some variety of chillies. Here are five varieties that you must try.

Also known as ‘ghost pepper’ this chilli is widely cultivated in Northeastern parts of India. In 2007, it was named the world’s hottest chilli pepper by the Guinness World Records. It is considered to be 170 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.


  Bhut Jolokia

This chilli came to India when the Portuguese landed on our shores. Grown in the hilly slopes of Canacona, Goa, it is consumed in almost every traditional Goan dish and pickles.


Khola Chilli

Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, this chilli’s spice quotient will bring tears of joy to your eyes. It also accounts for roughly 30 percent of the country’s total chilli exports.


Guntur Chilli

Another pride of South India, Byadgi chilli grown in Karnataka adds a special colour to your food. The crinkly chilli is quite similar to paprika and is an essential part of Udupi cuisine.


Byadgi Chilli

Another gem from the northeastern parts of the country is Bird’s Eye Chilli. It is one of the spiciest chilli varieties in India, and is used to make pickles and chutneys. It is advised only to take half a spoon of this spicy wonder when trying out a chutney made of it.


Bird’s Eye Chilli