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Diet & Nutrition
Too Hot Or Not!
Jul 2014
Sanjeev Kapoor
Master Chef, Author & Television Host Khana Khazana India Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai

What happens when you have a teekhi mirchi? The mouth seems to be on fire and it is natural to douse fire with water, right? Wrong! Chilli fire has to be put off by having a bit of fatty or greasy food. You could sip some milk, have some dahi or suck on a sugar cube or reach out for an ice cream! Drinking water will not relieve the burning of your mouth because capsaicin (the chemical which makes a mirchi a mirchi) is insoluble in water.

The Name Game
What’s this small teekha bit about chillies? There are a number of names the world has for chillies but the fact remains that it is THE spice that we cannot do without. Let me correct that, it is one spice that we Indians cannot do without, no never! Be it as mirchi vada or a nazar battu, chillies loom large in India. In fact, red chilli powder originated in India. Chillies were first brought to the country in the 15th century by Vasco-da-Gama. Since then, chilli has become an important ingredient in the Indian cuisine. Today, India is the largest producer of chillies. If it interests you, the chilli is about 6000 years old and right now more than 400 varieties are produced in the world.

The world knows a lot about the Mexicans being passionate about their jalapeno. Let us also bring forth our Bedgi, Kashmiri, Sankeshwari, Guntur, Naga Jolokia, Dhani, Hindpur and many more! Chilli has great affinity with other herbs and spices, so count it as wonderful with coriander, basil, ginger, oregano, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, fennel and parsley.