First known record of chili was in Mexico, 7000 years ago. It came to India via the Portuguese explorer, Vasco de Gama.
Hot, sharp, spicy and neutral in taste. However, dried chilies have a touch of sweet and smokiness.
AYURVEDA & MEDICINAL USES
Chilli stimulates salivation and the gut, aiding digestion. It promotes weight loss by speeding up metabolism; people eating chilies perspire as an external sign of burning calories. It also stimulates blood circulation without increasing blood pressure. It clears blocked airways and is good for treating colds and flu. It is antiviral and antibacterial and is used in Ayurveda, to treat diarrhea, dysentery, urinary tract disorders, rheumatism, jaundice, asthma, catarrh, and oedema.
The Spanish explorer, Christopher Columbus, found chilli in the West Indies and mistakenly introduced it as a type of pepper to Europe. It made its way to the Eastern hemisphere via Portuguese traders. Chilli is more effective than coffee. While caffeine acts on the central nervous system to boost energy levels, the capsaicin content in chilli acts on the sympathetic nervous system to trigger a flight or fight response; a far superior kick start to the day.
Chillies have become an essential part of Sri Lankan cuisine, generously featured in red curries. Ground chilli and fakes are most often used, though whole dried chillies can also be included in slow-cooked curries where its favor has time to seep out. Flakes, if added at the beginning of a dish, causes an overpowering spiciness. Adding them near the end gives it complementing pops of heat.