Chilli Prices Too High? Here Are 6 New Ways To Add Spice To Food

After the tomato price hike, shoppers are soon to face a new challenge in their daily vegetable markets. The rising price of green chillies. The prices started climbing mid-June due to unfavourable weather conditions and a lot of crop damage, and now sit around Rs.100-120 per kilo, a significant rise from its earlier affordability. But Indian food is so dependent on chillies, people are now looking for ways to keep the heat without shelling out for the sky high prices.

As the prices of chillies continue to rise, it becomes increasingly important to explore alternative ways to add spice to our favourite dishes. Whether you're looking to enhance the flavour of a meal or experiment with new taste sensations, there are plenty of options beyond traditional chilli peppers. These alternatives will not only help you satisfy your craving for spicy flavours but also introduce you to a world of diverse and exciting taste profiles.

Black Pepper:

A staple in most kitchens, black pepper offers a pungent and mildly spicy flavour that can elevate a wide range of dishes. Whether you're seasoning meats, vegetables, or soups, a dash of freshly ground black pepper can add a delightful kick. Experiment with different types of black pepper, such as Tellicherry or Malabar, to explore varying levels of heat and aroma.


Known for its unique zing, ginger brings warmth and a subtle spiciness to dishes. Grate or mince fresh ginger and incorporate it into stir-fries, marinades, curries, or even desserts like gingerbread. Its spicy notes pair well with both sweet and savoury ingredients, adding complexity and depth to your culinary creations.

Mustard Seeds:

Mustard seeds are a fantastic way to introduce a distinct heat to your dishes. They come in various colours, such as black, yellow, or brown, each offering a different level of spiciness. Toast the seeds in a dry pan to release their essential oils, then add them to sauces, pickles, or even salad dressings. The resulting flavour will provide a pleasant, subtle spiciness to your meals.

Sichuan Peppercorns:

Originating from China, Sichuan peppercorns provide a unique tingling and numbing sensation rather than a straightforward heat. Toast these fragrant peppercorns and crush them to release their potent flavour. Use them sparingly in dishes like stir-fries, noodle dishes, or even chocolate-based desserts for an unexpected and delightful twist.


Horseradish offers a sharp and pungent flavour that can awaken your taste buds. Grate fresh horseradish root and mix it with vinegar or sour cream to create a spicy condiment. It pairs exceptionally well with meat, seafood, and creamy dishes. Be cautious as horseradish can be quite potent, so start with a small amount and adjust to your preference.


Paprika is a spice made from dried and ground red bell peppers with a milder flavour profile compared to traditional chilli powder. It adds vibrant red colour and subtle spiciness to various dishes. Sprinkle it over roasted vegetables, and potatoes, or incorporate it into marinades, stews, or dips to infuse your meals with a smoky and slightly spicy taste.

Embrace these alternative spices and embark on a flavorful journey that will ignite your taste buds and expand your culinary horizons.