The varieties of chilies available. the Spice factor is rated on a grading of 5 which is the spiciest.
1. The Aldona Chili It is one of the two well known varieties (the other being the Canacona). Almost black red
in color with a thick skin the chili is usually sold in numbers and not by weight. For most recipes the Aldona chili is normally used in combination with the button chili.
Spice factor: ** Used in Christian Goan cuisine most commonly for roasts as well as in some curries too.
2. Button chili Also known as ‘bootaon’ in the local dialect. They are small, red, rounded at the end and very spicy with a thick skin. These chilies are used in grinding masalas for curries in both cuisines Hindu and Christian. Extensively used in Bardez taluka in Christian Goan homes. Spice factor **** Used in Hindu Goan curries especially the Sattari, Bicholim talukas of North Goa. Also for the preparation of Assads in Christian Goan homes
3. Kashmiri Chili Found in every kitchen, these are long, bright red, thin skinned and wrinkled. The whole dried Kashmiri chili looks darker, almost the color of red wine. Kashmiri red chili is very mildly hot and ot and adds a bright color to the food. It has got a distinct flavor too. These chilies tend to get a fungus very quickly hence they are dried before storing.
Used in most Hindu Goan and Christian Goan curries.
4 Piri Piri or Portugaal chilies
Brought into Goa by the Portuguese from Brazil they are also called ‘Tarvoti’ which translates into (shippee) in the local language. Very spicy, this small variety is not commonly used for curries. Spice factor:
Used in the making of papads and in the piri-piri preparation.
5. Green chilies
Long narrow and thin with a smooth skin these chilies are very common in local food preparations. Easily available, they add the spice needed to most curries ( where the red color is not important) when ground either alone or in combination with other varieties.
**** Used in all vegetable (tondak) preparations, in the Caldin curry (Christian Goan) and in the Shagoti/Xacutti and Hooman/kodi too. Usually slit and placed on top of Hindu Goan food as a garnish.
6. Bedgi/Volanchi Chili This chili is from Karnataka. Thin skinned, a dried whole Byadagi chili looks closer to the Kashmiri chili, but does not give the ‘red’ color as the Kashmiri does and is not as long too, too. Byadagi is medium on hotness. Locally also known as Volanchi (wrinkled) and :Ghanti' chilies (from the ghats) or ‘Xepda’ (bushy end tail). The colors range from deep red to orange red depending upon the region in which it is grown and the quality too. Does not give color but adds spice to food. The aroma of this chili is very strong and helps in the flavoring of the food.
*** Used in all Goan cuisine. In combination with other chilies, when grinding masala (Hindu and Christian Goan), Also used in dal preparations and for phodni (tempering)
colors differ depending on region where it is grown.