There are now more than 400 different varieties of chillies found across the globe. The world’s hottest chilli “Naga Jolokia” is cultivated in the hilly terrain of Assam in the small town of Tezpur in India. Chilli became massively popular in India after it was first brought to India by Vasco-da-Gama. Chilli managed to find its way to Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system. According to Ayurveda, chilli has many medicinal properties such as stimulating good digestion and endorphins, a natural pain killer to relieve pains. The release of endorphins gives a feel-good effect, which can also combat depression.
Today, it is unimaginable to think of India cuisine without chilli. India has become the world’s largest producer and exporter of chilli, exporting to USA, Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany and many countries across the world. It contributes a massive 25% of the world’s total production of chilli. Some of the hottest chillies are grown in India and Indian chillies have been dominating the international chilli market. The Majority of chilli grown in India is cultivated in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Orissa.