Spice up your life with green chilies!

Spice up your life with green chilies!

You know how sometimes your food tastes like it's missing something? And when you add a pinch of your favorite spice and suddenly, it tastes amazing? That's what green chilies do. They're a must-have in Indian cooking, giving everything from curries to daals that perfect kick.

But how did these little green firecrackers make their way into our hearts and kitchens? Let’s get into how they can jazz up your meals and make them go from “meh” to “wow”!

Where do green chilies come from?

Once upon a time, green chilies were just hanging out in Central and South America, minding their own business. Then some adventurous folks (let's call them the explorers) decided to take them on a world tour.

Fast forward a bit, and now they're everywhere, making dishes pop with flavor from Asia to the Americas. Green chilies have become quite famous in Southeast Asian, Indian, Cajun, and Latin cuisines. But it's in South Asia that they found their groove, becoming the must-have in every kitchen.

What's with the heat?

Ever wonder why biting into a green chili feels like a mini explosion of fire in your mouth? That's all thanks to something called capsaicin. It's the magic ingredient (component) that decides whether your chilli is a gentle flicker or a full-blown inferno.

And it's not just about the thrill; capsaicin has some neat health perks as well.

How hot are we talking?

There's this thing called the Scoville Scale, which is like the leaderboard for spicy stuff. This scale was developed in 1912 by Dr. Scoville, and is the gold standard for measuring the pungency of chilies.

You can take the Scoville Scale as a thermometer, but for the spice level, green chilies have their own spot on this scale.

Here's a quick rundown of some common green chilies:

  • Jalapeños: These are the friendly kind of hot, scoring between 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville Scale. Perfect for when you want just a bit of kick.
  • Anaheim: Even milder, these guys hang out at 500 to 2,500 Scoville units. Great for stuffing since they won't set your mouth on fire.
  • Serrano: Now we're getting hotter, with 10,000-23,000 Scoville units. They're small but pack a decent punch.
  • Thai Green Chili: Also known as 'bird’s eye,' these tiny chilies can hit 50,000 to 100,000 Scoville units. Use with caution unless you love the heat.
spice

Fun fact!

Did you know green chilies are like chameleons? They start green but can change to yellow, orange, and even red as they get older. The color change comes with a change in heat and flavor, all hail to our friend capsaicin getting busier as the chili matures.

Nutritional scorecard

Green chilies have great nutritional value as they contain some very essential nutrients. Let's break down what's in a cup of green chilies (about 80 grams), without making it look like a boring nutrition label to you.

Nutrient Amount
Energy 23 Calories
Protein 2.8 g
Carbohydrate 2.4 g
Fat 0.5 g
Fiber 5.4 g
Nutrient Amount %of daily need
Iron 3.52 mg 17.6%
Calcium 24 mg 2.4%
Magnesium 218 mg 62.2%
Zinc 1.42 mg 11.8%
Vitamin Amount %of daily need
Vitamin A 140 mcg 2.91%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.15 mg 9.37%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.31 mg 16.3%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.72 mg 6%
Vitamin C 88.8 mg 222%
Folate (Vitamin B9) 23.2 mcg 23.2%

Health benefits

Green chilies are loaded with healthy nutrients that are good for your well-being. And let's not forget capsaicin, which is great for your circulation and can help keep inflammation in check.

  • Packed with vitamin C: Boosts your immune system, keeping you healthy and resilient.
  • Lots of fiber: Ensures smooth digestion, preventing digestive issues.
  • Iron boost: Elevates your energy levels, combating fatigue and tiredness.
  • Fight Off Free Radicals: Antioxidants in green chilies protect against cellular damage.

Kitchen recipes with green chilies

The best thing about green chilies? They're versatile. You can slice 'em, dice 'em, or just throw them whole into whatever you're cooking. They're great in everything from curries and dals to salsas and sauces.

Here are some fun and simple ways to incorporate them into your cooking:

    • Classic Indian daals and curries:You can enhance the flavors of your daals and curries by adding chopped green chilies during the cooking process. Their heat complements the spices beautifully.
    • Traditional Tadka: Level up your tadka (tempering) by frying green chilies with mustard seeds, cumin, and garlic in hot oil. Pour this sizzling mixture over lentils, soups, or vegetables to add a smoky, spicy flavor that's typically Indian.
tadka
    • Green chili pickle: The zesty green chili pickle in vinegar and lemon juice turns any meal from boring to something amazing in a flash. It's the perfect sidekick for curries or a spicy kick for sandwiches or wraps.
tadka
    • Stuffed green chili (Bharli mirch): These are chilies filled with a mix of cheese, spices, and sometimes meat, then fried or baked until golden. They're a hit at any table, offering a spicy, cheesy treat in every bite.
tadka
  • Spicy guacamole: Finely chop a green chili and mix it into your avocado for guacamole with a kick.
  • Stir-fry with a twist: Add sliced green chilies to your next stir-fry for an instant flavor boost. Be it vegetables, chicken, or beef, the chilies will add a bit of heat that makes every bite more flavorful.
  • Marinated meats: Before grilling or roasting, marinate your meats with a mixture that includes chopped green chilies.
  • Homemade salsas and sauces: Make homemade salsas and sauces by blending in some green chilies. They bring a fresh, fiery flavor that compliments the acidity of tomatoes or the sweetness of mangoes in salsa.

So, next time you're in the kitchen, staring down at your dish and wondering what's missing, reach for a green chili. And at Shana Foods, we're all about celebrating those flavors that bring our dishes to life. Shana brings you fresh and frozen green chilies so that you can spice up anything in a jiffy. Here's to the green chilies – the tiny, mighty pods of tanginess.

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