450 odd years ago, Vasco de Gama traded spice for Chillies in Goa and this is where chillies started their Indian adventure. This spicy fruit fitted the Indian cuisine very well and the spread was quick, but the variety stayed limited. For a large population, the variety is quite small but unique, with purpose to each one.
The most popular chilli is Jwala, which is known as Flame, or Indian finger hot pepper, available from Yates and the picture for my blog, from seed I won last year here, is 20 to 30000 SHU, a cayenne type, anuum pepper, with great flavour, hints of apple. The Sanskript name for this chilli is Pusi Jwala 'Intense Flame'. Another common chilli, also anuum, is Guntur, again cayenne style, but a farer smoker thicker walled chilli.
Kashmiri is a unique pepper used to add depth of flavour, is a mild anuum pepper. While adding smokey depth is an advantage it's real benefit is adding the intense red colour in lots of curries or dishes. This pepper is almost always used along with Guntur, or Jwala.
There are also unique varients that are available, but none more famous than the Capsicum Chinense crosse with Frutescens. This pepper hybrid was hot, very hot! 170 times that of tobasco, 3 times hotter than habanero. Bhut Jolokia, or Ghost pepoer was born in Northern India, Guinness world record holder in 2007, and is still rated number 2, behind the Carolina Reaper. Pepper X has not been confirmed, but is reported to be hotter.
Tomorrow we move over to the far East.