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Dry Red Chilly

Dry Red Chilly or Lal Sukhi Mirch is one of the many spices used in Indian cooking. It is the fruit of the plants from the genus capsicum, which are members of the nightshade family 'Solanaceae'. They are commercially cultivated in many part of the world as they yield better returns as compared to other varieties. The heat in all chiles, whether hot or mild, is due to the flavourless, odourless, colourless chemical known as 'capsaicin' which is present in chilli seeds and membranes.

Dry red chilly is generally used as a tempering agent and is fried with other spices, then added to the dish as a final touch. In India, lentils, vegetables and many other regional cuisines are flavoured with this spice-flavoured-oil (known as tadka or chhaunk), comprising of red chilly, cumin, and other spices. Dried chillies can be stored for a longer duration-however, the tasty part of it gets lost and only the fiery part of the chili peppers remain in dried form.

Chili peppers and their various cultivars originate in the Americas; they are now grown around the world because they are widely used as spices or vegetables in cuisine, and as medicine. The Red Chili pepper (lal mirch) seems to have arrived during 16th century in India.
Fresh V/s. Dried Chillies
Fresh and dried chillies differ immensely in their pungency count, heat intensity and taste. The flavour of a fresh chile is quite different to dried, similar to the taste difference between a fresh tomato and a sun-dried one. Upon drying, usually in the sun, caramelization of sugars and other chemical changes create more complex flavours. While fresh chillies have a distinct heat and sweetness, dried chillies carry a full-bodied, fruity, raisin sweetness with varying degrees of tobacco and smokiness.
Fenugreek seed generally contains:
  • Moisture:6.3 %
  • Protein:9.5 %
  • Fat:10.0 %
  • Fiber:18.5%
  • Carbohydrates:42.3 %
  • Total ash:13.4 %
  • Calcium:1.3 %
  • Phosphorus:0.48 %
  • Iron:0.011 %
  • Sodium:0.09 %
  • Potassium:1.7 % Vitamin B1:0.41 mg/100 g
  • Vitamin B2:0.36 mg/100 g
  • Niacin:6.0 mg/100 g
  • Vitamin C:12.0 mg/100g
  • Vitamin A:1040 I.U./100 g
  • Calorific value:370 calories/100g
  • Gums:23.06 %
  • Mucilage:28.00 %.

Uses of Dry Red Chilly
The following are the main uses of the dry red chilly:

  • Preparing Chilly Powder: This highly pungent chilly powder is used by grinding the dry red chilly. Sometimes, other spices like black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, mace, nutmeg, etc. are also used in preparing chilly powder. This powder is one of the common ingredients in majority of cuisines. The pungency in the chilly powder depends on the variety of the chilli used in preparing the powder
  • As a Spice: Dry red chilly is also used as a spice in preparing many cuisines. It is one of the major ingredients of tarka ( also called chhaunk, chounk, bagar, phoron; and often translated as tempering), a garnishing and cooking technique used in the cuisines of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan
  • Decoration: Besides being used as a spice, Chilly is also used for decoration purposes. In many European Countries, Chilly Plants are widely cultivated for their beauty. The dark green leaves, white blossoms and red fruits are capable of enhancing the ambiance of the garden.

Attributed Medicinal Properties
Since chillies are an excellent source of vitamin, A, B, C and E with minerals like molybdenum, manganese, folate, potassium, thiamin, and copper, they possess many healing properties. It helps in destroying harmful toxins and stimulating  gastric juices that help in digesting food.

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