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A brief history of Chili Peppers

When Indian food is brought up, one thinks of spicy curries, temperings and seasonings that pack a punch, and an array of chutneys and pickles. More often than not, the heat these preparations are characterized by is associated with chilies.

Dried, fresh, whole, powdered, pickled or preserved, the chili has made its place in the arsenal of every Indian cook, even though it wasn't cultivated in India until as late as the end of the 15th century. Before this, the main source of heat in Indian food was black pepper. Chilies were easier to cultivate, convenient to store, quickly becoming the preferred source of pungency in Indian cooking.

The Pachkalshis, too, embraced the hot pepper and made it an important supporting character in their food. The use of fresh and whole chilis is very rare in the cuisine. Red chili powder is omitted completely. The presence of the pepper is seen in the backgrounds. It gives the Pachkalshi masala it's characteristic reddish orange colour and also makes its way into watans that enrich curries.

At Paisley we love our chilis. We grow our own to stew in a sweet chili pickle, and ofcourse to use at the kitchen. Subtle, yet so prominent.


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