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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lemon and Chillies- Seasonal plants

The lemon and chillies both are fruit plants and are native to Pakistan and India.
These images of lemons are from my home garden but I have purchased green chillies from the market space. They are both rich in vitamin C.
I want to write about the history and culinary uses of lemons in our culture but due to lack of time, my focus is only on chillies and the myths about them.



Common names
chilli pepper, chilli, chili, chile, mirch, march, mirchi, hari mirch, lal mirch.

There are many types of Chillies and there are nearly 400 Varieties of chilli. Some of them are also used as an ornamental plants in home gardens but such chillies are not edible. Also of some unusual shape and colours. I also have some ornamental chilli plants in my home garden. Some types of chillies that are commonly used ,

Sweet Chilli They are mild and long, bright yellow-lime green skin and pointed at one end.
Chilli Baby Hot This is a very hot tiny chilli. They are used in Pakistan dishes.
Bell Chilli Red/Green This chilli is shaped like a bell. They are excellent for pickling.
Green Chilli This is a long slender green chilli, pointed at one end. It has a medium flavour that is easily eaten by most people who are not use to chilli.
Red ChilliRed chilis contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene ("provitamin A"). They are similar in size and shape to the green chilli, but with more sting to its flavour.
Mexican Hot Chilli It is one of the hottest chillies. It has a bright green skin, and is pointed at one end.
Jalapeno ChilliThis is fiery hot chilli.



Myths

It is siad that green chilli or Jalapeno should not be grown in homes because this is a bad omen and something bad happen in your family but its just a superstition. Perhaps this is the reason why they are not cultivated in homes.
They are tropical plants and thus are ideally suited to hot and humid conditions. And it is commonly assumed that the seeds are mostly dispersed by birds, who love the fruits and don't seem to be affected by the bite.


They are traditionally used in counter magic and protection rituals. They are used for warding off evil spirits or spells. And they are sprinkled all around the house where they are expected to act against evil demons , while burning them along with garlic and other pungent spices, they intended to fumigate and purify the house.

In rural areas, Chillies have also been used as a means of punishment for unruly children, who were exposed to their fumes. In Asia they were even used as a means of torture, being rubbed into wounds and sensitive mucous membranes and even squirted into the eyes of the victims.



Culinary and medicinal uses

They are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium and high in magnesium and iron.




If you want to read more about this plant, there are some useful links,

5 comments:

Crowscious said...

Birds aren't affected by the taste? Hmmm, wonder why

mania said...

because humans are sensitive to this component capsaicin which is found in chillis and acts as an irritant for humans but on the other side, this molecule capsaicin has no effect on birds. This is the reason why.

birdy said...

Salam!
Great information about chillies. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Lunda said...

Great!!!! Thank you for all the information!
We can only grow chillie in the summer... and often only in the greenhouse.
Ore in a warm sunny place outside.
Linda

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