7 Indian Dried Red Chilli Varieties To Spice Up Your Life With
Image Credit: India is the largest producer of chillies in the world. Image courtesy: Pexels

Did you know that with 37 per cent of the global market share, India is the world’s largest producer of chillies? But that’s not all, because India is also the largest consumer of chillies in the world, giving Latin American cultures a run for their money! 

We Indians love to eat chillies raw and in pickle form, and we also love to use dry red chillies and the powders derived from them throughout the nation. In fact, most households in India not only have fresh reserves of green chillies, but also of dry red chillies to temper curries and stews, to make pastes, marinades and powders at home. Each region and cuisine of India gets flavoured with unique varieties of red chillies. In case you are a home cook who likes to experiment with flavours from across India, then stocking up on these dry red chilli varieties is something you absolutely need to do. Here’s a list of unique, flavourful and hot, hot dry red chillies from across India. 

1. Bird’s Eye Chilli 

Also known as Dhani mirchi, this red-hot chilli variety originates and is grown largely in Manipur and Mizoram. Scoring 30,000 to 100,000 SHU on the Scolville scale, the Bird’s Eye Chilli packs quite a punch of heat. Intensely hot, they are used to spice everything from curries to stews. Though predominantly red in colour, Bird’s Eye chillies are also found in green and orange colours. 

 ASIN ID - B09W2C6JK6   

2. Mathania  

Popularly known as the Lal Badshah of Rajasthan, Mathania chillies are the secret behind the spicy hit of Rajasthani dishes like Laal Maas. Grown in the region around Jodhpur, the chilli gets its name from the small town of Mathania. Apart from being used in curries and gravies, the chilli is also soaked in mustard oil while still fresh and enjoyed as a pickle. These chillies score 50,000 to 70,000 SHU on the Scolville scale. 

 ASIN ID - B09N7P65M4   

3. Byadagi 

Also known as Kaddi Chillies, Byadagi chillies are grown in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Hotter than most chilli varieties, Byadagi chillies score 8,000 to 15,000 SHU on the Scolville scale. Quite similar to paprika, this chilli variety is used in Maharashtrian spice blends like Goda Masala. Though crinkly outside, Byadagi chillies are not pungent. 


4. Guntur  

Grown extensively in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur region—from which it gets its name—Guntur red chilli is almost synonymous to all the spicy dishes cooked up in Andhra cuisine. Because of its growing popularity, this red chilli variety is now also grown in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Making for almost 30 per cent of India’s red chilli export, Guntur chillies score 30,000 to 40,000 SHU on the Scolville scale. 


5. Bhoot Jolokia  

Also known as the ghost pepper, the Bhoot or Bhut Jolokia is grown and used across Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim and parts of North Bengal. One of the hottest chillies in the world, it has a high rating on the Scolville scale at 1,041,427 SHU. For those used to it, Bhoot Jolokia makes for delicious chutneys and pickles, not to mention the hottest of curries. For those who aren’t used to it, handle with caution! 


6. Kashmiri

The mildest of the red chilli varieties of India, and yet one of the most sought-after—all thanks to the vibrant scarlet colour of Kashmiri red chillies. These red chillies may not be hot, but they are sought-after all-over India to give curries a beautiful red colour. Scoring between 1,000 to 2,000 SHU in the Scolville scale, these red chillies can be used for everything from gravies and stews to marinades and pickles. 

 ASIN ID - B09S3MDNG2   

7. Boriya 

Also known as Boria mirchi, this hot and round chilli variety is grown in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. They look as cute as buttons when raw, thanks to their bright red colour and unique round shape. From being added in dals and curries to being turned into fish marinates, this medium hot chilli is used extensively in Andhra and Tamil cuisines. The Scolville scale score of 800,000 to 1,000,000 SHU proved that these round chillies might be small but they pack a good amount of heat.