The Green Chillies
Green chillies, the most spiciest of our food items, add taste and spiciness to our food. They enhance the taste of the dish and give us the feeling of satiety. It is rightly said about them ‘the fire in the toungue and a tear in the eye’. Yet we keep eating them for their crunchy, spicy flavour, which is so irresistable. Capsiacin is the compound that is present in green chillies which gives its spiciness to the chillies. The amount of capsiacin present in the chillies determines the level of spiciness of chillies.
It is a practice in most road eateries and restaurants in India to provide onion and green chillies beside the main dish you order. Throughout India a variety of red and green chilli pickles is made which is very delicious to eat. These chillies are mixed with some citric agents such as tamarind, lemon, vinegar or aamchur (dry mango powder) and other ingredients to reduce the spiciness. In south India big green chillies are soaked in buttermilk and then dried in the sun. These are fried and eaten as side dish.
Some variety of chillies are so hot that they bring a lot of saliva into your mouth and give a lot of pain and even sweat. In many western countries pepper is used in place of chillies. Pepper gets mixed in the dish and the taste is spread evenly, whereas chillies are cut and the pieces remain as it is in the dish. So when you crush it with your teeth, the spicy juice is released and you will feel the need for water or curd for relief.
It is always good to use green chillies while cooking rather than red chilli powder, as red chilli powder is more spicy and can cause heart burn. Red chilli powder can be used in pickles and curry powder (masalas) etc. Though there are many health benefits of chillies, over-spicing the dish or excess of eating the hot chillies leads to burning sensation in stomach and chest and may create gastric problems. So use them moderately.
Some amazing health benefits
Chillies mainly contain Vitamin A, and some amount of minerals such as iron,calcium, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
It also contains, potassium, an important component of cell body fluids that help control the heart rate and blood pressure.
Green chillies are known to remove toxins from the body. They are a good source of dietary fiber, thus
helping in proper bowel movement and preventing constipation.
The anti-oxidants that are present in green chillies protect the cells in the body from damage by free radicals. At the same time the beta-carotene in these anti-oxidants lowers the risk of heart diseases.
The presence of Vitamin C in green chllies helps protect the body from cough, cold and other respiratory problems.
When you bite the green chilli, the spicy hot feeling produces saliva in your mouth, which help dissolve the blood clots.
Green chilli is low in calories. It helps in burning the excess fat in the body and helps maintain weight.
Vitamin K in green chilli helps in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
It is a natural pain reliever and helps treat conditions like osteoarthritis owing to its analgesic properties.
Green chillies help in reducing the cholesterol levels in obese people.
Capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinigenic, anti-fungal and analgesic properties. It is used in the preperation of many rubs, ointments and tinctures etc., for their counter-irritant, analgesic and astringent properties. These formulations have been used in providing releif from arthritic pain and sore muscles.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna