Byadgi

Byadagi Chillies

Spices have been my favourite area of study & as a known fact I’ve a soft corner for chillies! My quest for Spicy encounters, or let’s say, my “Spice Route”, have led me to Mathania, Goa & Bhavnagar leaving me ever so intrigued.

Next in my map was Byadagi, a trip I was finally able to make last year.

Story goes that roughly 240 kms around Byadagi, the night frost & the rains are just perfect for the non-spicy chilli production, rendering that unique sweet flavour that’s synonymous with the Byadagi Chillies. As you start from Shivamogga, you can sense the nip in the air & one begins to understand why the climate would be conducive to this particular chilli production.

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The soil, climate & the land seem made-to-order for the cultivation. Irrigated lands can induce only so much taste to any produce, vis a vis rain-fed lands that surround this region, which in turn reflects in the chilli’s flavour profile.

According to the growers & experts, this shriveling of the Byadagi/ Bedgi/Byadgi chilli is very important & a unique identifier. They say the shriveling resembles a Rudraksh.

Technically, any thick-skinned chilli will always shrivel up, compared to a thin-skinned one, like the Guntur variety. As a rule, the thicker skinned chillies will typically have more colour & will be sweeter. So, as the Byadgi chilli shrivels, it loses the moisture helping the colour & the sweetness to concentrate.

The harvest begins in November & continues till March across regions. You can get the chillies till May too, in the dried form. The market then shuts in June, to reopen only in October.

The 2nd interesting aspect is the pungency line & literally so. The locals test a Byadgi by tasting the line through which the seeds are threaded. This then becomes the deciding factor for determining the pungency quotient, neither the skin nor the seeds.

Here are some spicy bits to close the story with..

·         Byadgi chilli ranks high on the ASTA, beating the Mathania even!

·         The chilli was accorded a GI tag in 2011

·         The so-called ‘Kashmiri chillli’ is usually 100% Byadgi or at least a blend of it.

·         There are 2 varieties – Dabbi & Kaddi, the former being smaller & roundish.

 

Comments

  1. As the name chilli indicates how to enhance flavour as well as texture of the food.
    You tell us the varieties and flavors of the chilli which is basic element of food.

  2. I would like hang out with you like this.. Bcz u know old schools like gurukulam….. I want you to be my guru…

  3. Byadgi is just a market town to sell these famous chillies. They are grown far from this place in North Karnataka. A place called Shahapur.

  4. Ranveer sir i want to make laal maans as you showed in your videos. But I can’t find mathania chilli where i am..can i use byadgi instead??

  5. Nice Blog Its Hard To Find Such Writers Now a Days . Thanks so much for the in-depth wonderful article you turned out here!

  6. Thank you. When i watched your show and you gave best information about Byadagi chillies. I purchased from Byadagi. Your blogs and your recipes gives good information about Indian culture and taste.
    Mera Bharat Mahan, taste sabse Suhan.

  7. I must try to order these chillies online. I live in north west England and I consider myself lucky because I have 3 ‘Indian’ greengrocers, one of whom I’m loyal to who sells lots of wonderful vegetables that I’m enjoying cooking for the first time. The quest for a recipe for drumsticks brought me here via a spice blend involving said chillies.
    Informative and well written.

    Thank you.
    Paul

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