Chilly is native to South America and this fruit was brought to India by the Portuguese during the 15th century. Chilly is a universal spice and the fruit is available in different sizes, shapes and colour. The size of chilly varies from one to another and it may be even hundred times more than the other. The colour varies from green, orange, red, yellow etc. There are mainly two types of chillies. They are the ones that contain the pigment capsanthin and the other contains the pigment capsaicin. The chilly with pigment capsanthin is famous for their red color and the chilly that contains the pigment capsaicin is famous for its biting pungent taste. In India, different varieties of chilly which have various qualities are available. India is the largest producer as well as consumer of chilly.
Chillies are very easy to cultivate and hence are grown in almost all parts of the world. Chillies became a fixed diet in the Indian dishes. The chillies are used as fresh or dried and used. They are also powdered and added to various dishes for seasoning. It gives color to the dishes and is thus mainly used for color extraction.
Chilly peppers are used for preparing sauces like chilly sauce, hot sauce etc. Certain chilly are also used as decorative items. Such chillies are too hot to be used for cooking and have various shapes and colors that make it a good ornamental item.
The pigment capsaicin in chillies is safe and is an analgesic. It is used in the treatment of arthritis, headaches etc.