Friday, April 4, 2014

Chilies used in Hindu Goan cuisine

Would the chilies used in Hindu Goan cooking differ from what is sued in Christian households? lets take a look 

1. Kashmiri Chili  
    Spice factor: **           


Red Kashmiri chilies

                                                                                 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 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.]

2. Bayadagi/Bedgi/Volanchi Chili  

     Spice factor: ***  


Deep red Bedgi chilies                                      

 Orange red Byadagi 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, 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.  

3. Sankeshwari chili 

    Spice factor: *** 

Sankeshwari chilies

A Maharashtrian chili from Sankeshwar, a place close to Kolhapur. It is also commonly used to make chili powder. Sankeshwari chilly has a bright orange color and local people use this powder fairly generously in the North of Goa. 

4. Gaunti chilies (green-red) 

    Spice factor ***


 Gaunti chilies Before

 and after maturation

Used very commonly in both the Hindu and Christian Goan cuisine, they are specific to the village ‘Gaon- Gaun’ that they are grown in and the variety could differ.  The skin of the chili is thick - green before ripening, they turn red after maturation. Both chilies (green and red) are used in local food preparations as they are available in every village                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
5. Canacona chili
    Spice factor *** 1/2


Canacona chilies

These chilies grow on the hill slopes of the Canacona taluka’s and add its own unique taste t the curries when used. They are bright red and longer than the other local varieties with a thick smooth skin. Very often used in curry recipes these chilies like the Aldona chilies in the North are known for their flavor and taste

6. Guntur Chili:  
    Spice factor: ****

Guntur chilies

These chilies are grown in Andhra Pradesh and are essentially used to add to the spice in food preparations. The Guntur chilies have various shades of color and flavor because of the level of capsaicin in them. These chilies are combines with other chilies when grinding the masala for the Goan curries.

7. Harmal chili 
     Spice factor ****                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Harmal chilies

Found mainly in Arambol in the Pernem taluka these small red chilies have a high spice factor. Small with a skin that is not wrinkled, it is recommended that very few need to be used in the masala of a preparation.                                                                                                                                                                 8.  Piri piri or Portugaal chilies 
      Spice factor *****                                                                                                                                          

Piri Piri 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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

9.  White gaunti chilies
     Spice factor: ***



White gaunti chilies

Not available in local markets but found growing in home gardens, the chili is not wrinkled with a smooth skin, long and white in color.                                                                                                                                                      (.                                                                                                                                                           
 10. Green chilies
        Spice factor: ***                                                                                                                                                           

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 the spice needed to most curries (where the red color is not important) when ground either alone or in combination with other varieties.                                                                                                     

Read about the chilies in the authors book                             

The Culinary Heritage of Goa                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


sam said...

Loved the way the chilli are described . It's a story untold and really thankful to you for such an article . One of my best friend named yatinji from margao sent this link as I sometimes get fanciated by the incredible taste of chily around me.

Thank you

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