Hot Stuff!

Indian cuisine owes a huge debt to Vasco da Gama who introduced us to chillies, and vice versa... However, like many things that come to the subcontinent, we have adapted and transformed the chilli in our own distinctive ways, so that it is really difficult to think of this spice as a relatively recent import, along with the tomato and the potato, or the chikoo...

Indian chillies come in several varieties, ranging from the Naga Jolokia to the Warangal Chappatta. The hotness of chillies is measured in Scoville units where the humble bell pepper is pegged at 0, and pure capsaicin clocks in at 16 million. The Naga Jolokia is the hottest known chilli, at 8.5 million Scovilles...

A new book by S N Mahindru (published by APH in Delhi) gives a wealth of details on Indian Chillies. "Chillies are the dried ripe fruits of the species of genus capsicum and also called red peppers. Capsicums constitute an important well-known commercial crop used as a condiment, culinary supplement or as a vegetable. Chillies are virtually an indispensable item in the kitchen.

India is the largest producer of chillies in the world accounting for over 45% of the total area under cultivation. Exports are around 200000 tonnes in recent years. Indian chillies have gained great importance not only from the commercial angle but also from the processing, analytical, techno-legal and other angles.

This comprehensive and authentic monograph is a valuable guide for those dealing in production and marketing of Indian chillies, within and outside India, as well as for those involved in the process quality control of Indian chillies."

In our Agricultural Sciences section, Rs 695, hardcover, 300 pages. ISBN: 9788131305744