Just chillin’ with chilli!

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Are you a chilli lover? If yes, here’s some scoop that might interest you. Either you’re a chilli lover or you’re not. There’s no in-between. Except for the fact that people can eat the spiciest of paani puris in their lives because that’s just exceptionally irresistible. You might have tried many types of peppers in your life, but do you know in-depth about them? If no,  today is the day to dive into the fiery chilli tales of the world!


Why are peppers perfect for you?

Chillies have way more benefits than you thought. The component that makes chilli fiery is called capsaicin. This varies from region to region where particular chilli is grown and their types as well. Thus, the difference in intensities of the spice level in different chillies.  Capsaicin helps improve heart health in a few ways and it reduces cholesterol levels too. Studies also suggest that chilli peppers are capable of clearing up your sinuses. Also, they raise the body’s core temperature during digestion which helps burn more calories.


Now, let’s take our taste buds on a virtual spicy tour!


Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are one of the mildest chilli varieties.  They are a part of many great recipes – both for the pop of colour that they bring to a dish and a sweetish flavour, quite unlike any other from the chilli family.  These are available in various colours, where the maturity of the pepper, generally determines the hue.  A must-have in Indo-Chinese recipes. Not just that, a great addition to other recipes too. But, in this particular recipe, it’s the star of the dish.



Banana Pepper

This pepper again is a mildly hot pepper. Generally, it has a green or yellowish-green colour, is often pickled but,  can be consumed fresh too. Sandwiches, pizzas, salads, add it to any of these and you’ll see the wonders it can do! It can also be used as a stuffing with mashed potatoes, cheese and meat. Just the right one to warm you up in the right amount.


Poblano Pepper

Poblano pepper comes from Mexico. It is mildly spicy and is majorly dark green in colour, although the rare red ones are a bit fiercer. Rich in Vitamin C, these can be used in dried or fresh forms,  for different sauces and fillings. 



These have a dark red shade,  which is why these are also known as cherry peppers. Pimientos are heart-shaped and mild in taste. One of the most loved pepper mixes,  paprika, is made from dried pimiento peppers. Here’s a delicious paprika chicken (with some lovely herby roasted potatoes) recipe to warm up your soul!




The much-famed jalapenos are one of the most widely known peppers. These are normally green, but, also available in shades of purple and red.  Red jalapenos, when dried and smoked are called chipotle peppers. It can be eaten both pickled and fresh. Jalapenos are our pizza buddies for years, why don’t you try something different with it? Here’s a recipe, just for you.



Cayenne Peppers

Did you know this pepper has long been used as a medicinal herb for treating health problems? Cayenne peppers are known to aid in things like digestion, blood pressure, have pain-relieving properties and much more.  It looks very similar to regular red chilli but with a very distinct flavour as compared to its counterpart.  This type of pepper is spicier than jalapenos and is used to flavour hot sauces. A powder made with this pepper can add life to any regular dish!


Habanero Peppers

Named after a city called Havana where these were once traded, Habanero peppers smell like flowers and have a citrusy flavour. This is the reason these are a widely-known pepper variety despite their heat. You can easily go wrong when you are making a  recipe with this pepper,  which is why it is advisable to wear gloves when you are using this particular one.

Fun fact: In Mexico, Habanero peppers are soaked in tequila to give a spicy kick to mixed drinks. 

Here’s a recipe with Habanero pepper powder which is just unbelievable!



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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.