9766-77-35-95 | swayampaak@gmail.com

types of red chillies in Maharashtra

Types of Red Chillies in Maharashtra | The 10 Super Spicy

If you are a lover of spicy food, you must have always been fascinated by the vibrant and fiery flavours of red chillies. In Maharashtra, a state in Western India known for its rich culinary heritage, red chillies play a pivotal role in creating the distinctive taste of Maharashtrian cuisine.

The use of red chillies in this region is not just limited to adding heat to the dishes but also adds depth, complexity, and a burst of flavour to the traditional recipes that have been passed down through generations.

In this article ‘Types of Red Chillies in Maharashtra’, we will explore the fiery flavours that add a kick to Maharashtrian cuisine.

The Importance of Red Chillies in Maharashtrian Cuisine

From the fiery heat of Kolhapuri mutton to the smoky depth of Solkadhi, red chillies are the unsung heroes of Maharashtrian cuisine. More than just a source of heat, they add a symphony of flavour profiles that dance on the tongue.

These vibrant peppers come in a surprising variety, each boasting unique characteristics that elevate the dishes they grace. Even there are homemade pickles that use these chillies frequently for flavour and punch.

Sankeshwari chillies, named after the Sankeshwar temple near Kolhapur, pack a powerful punch. Often dried and ground into a fiery red powder, they lend a distinct smoky aroma and a slow-burning heat to curries like Tambada Rassa, a staple lentil stew.

For a milder touch, Byadagi chillies, sourced from neighbouring Karnataka, offer a vibrant red colour and a pleasant warmth. These beauties are often used whole or roughly chopped in tadkas (tempering) to infuse their earthy aroma into vegetable dishes like Usal (sprouted lentil curry) or Batata Vada (potato fritters).

The versatility of red chillies extends beyond their form. Fresh green chillies, bursting with a grassy fragrance and a gentle heat, add a refreshing zing to chutneys like thecha, a staple condiment served alongside many Maharashtrian meals.

While dried and ground chillies offer a concentrated heat, fresh green ones provide a welcome pop of flavour that cuts through the richness of dishes like Shrikhand (creamy yoghurt dessert) or Modak (sweet dumplings).

Red chillies are not just about the heat; they are a testament to the ingenuity of Maharashtrian cuisine. From fiery pastes like Mirchi Masala to the subtle smokiness of roasted chillies in Goda Masala, these versatile peppers weave their magic throughout the culinary tapestry of Maharashtra.

So, the next time you savour a Maharashtrian dish, take a moment to appreciate the red chillies – the silent partners bringing depth, complexity, and that touch of fiery magic to every bite.

Popular Types of Red Chillies in Maharashtra

Maharashtra boasts a diverse range of red chillies, each with its own unique characteristics and flavour profiles. Let’s explore some of the most popular ones:


The fiery king of Maharashtrian chillies, named after the town of Sankeshwar in the Kolhapur district. This deep red chilli pepper is known for its intense heat, although the exact Scoville Heat Units (SHU) can vary depending on the source. Some claim it reaches up to 100,000 SHU, placing it amongst the hottest chillies in India. Sankeshwari chilli is a key ingredient in Kolhapuri cuisine, particularly in curries like Kolhapuri mutton and misal. It adds not only a powerful heat but also a depth of flavour due to its unique aroma and slight smokiness.


While Byadagi chillies are more commonly associated with the neighbouring state of Karnataka, they are also cultivated in some areas of Maharashtra. These bright red chillies offer a medium heat level, typically ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 SHU. They are known for having a hint of smokiness in their flavour profile, making them a versatile choice for various dishes. Byadagi chillies can be used fresh or dried, depending on the desired intensity of heat and smokiness.


Primarily grown in Andhra Pradesh, Guntur chillies can also be found in parts of Maharashtra. These vibrant red chillies bring a moderate heat level to curries and other recipes, typically ranging from 20,000 to 40,000 SHU. They are known for their bright red colour and a slightly sweet flavour that complements the heat. Guntur chillies are often dried and powdered to create spice blends used in Maharashtrian cooking.


This red chilli pepper is instantly recognizable by its slender, long shape, earning it the name “Langda,” which translates to “lame” in Marathi due to its drooping form. Langda chillies offer a mild to moderate heat level, typically ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 SHU. They are commonly used whole or dried in Maharashtrian curries, adding a subtle kick without overpowering the dish. Langda chillies are also appreciated for their fruity aroma and slightly sweet flavour.


While not known for intense heat (typically less than 1,000 SHU), Kashmiri chillies do find a place in some parts of Maharashtra. These deep red chillies are prized for their vibrant colour, which beautifully enhances the visual appeal of various dishes. Kashmiri chillies are often dried and powdered to create a red spice powder used for adding colour and a touch of warmth to curries and gravies.


Wangi chillies offer an interesting twist as they can range from green to deep red when ripe. This versatility allows them to be used at different stages of maturity, depending on the desired heat level and flavour profile. Green wangi chillies have a milder heat and grassy flavour, while ripe red wangi chillies offer a fruity flavour with a mild to medium heat level, typically ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 SHU. This makes them suitable for various Maharashtrian recipes, from adding a touch of freshness to curries to providing a fruity and slightly spicy element in chutneys.

Deggi Mirchi

Don’t let its small, round size fool you! Deggi Mirchi packs a serious punch! This fiery chilli pepper is known for its intense heat, often exceeding 100,000 SHU. It is typically used sparingly in Maharashtrian dishes to add a powerful burst of heat. Deggi Mirchi is often used whole or crushed, and its intense heat can linger for a long time, so use it with caution!


Named after the Godavari River region in Maharashtra where it’s primarily cultivated, this chilli offers a moderate heat level with an earthy flavour profile. Godavari chillies typically range from 15,000 to 30,000 SHU, making them a good choice for those who enjoy a bit of heat without overwhelming other ingredients in the dish. They are often used dried and powdered to create spice blends or chutneys in Maharashtrian cuisine.

Culinary Uses of Different Types of Red Chillies in Maharashtra.

The different types of red chillies in Maharashtra offer a wide range of flavours and heat levels, making them suitable for various culinary applications. Here are some popular uses of these chillies:

1. Powders and Masalas

Red chilli powders and masalas are an integral part of Maharashtrian cuisine. These powders are made by grinding dried red chillies along with other spices and are used to add a spicy kick to curries, stir-fries, and snacks like Bhel Puri and Poha.

2. Pickles and Chutneys

Red chillies are often used to make tangy and spicy pickles and chutneys in Maharashtra. Byadgi chillies are particularly favoured for making pickles due to their mild spiciness and smoky flavour. These condiments add a burst of flavour to meals and are perfect accompaniments to traditional dishes.

3. Curries and Gravies

Red chillies form the base of many Maharashtrian curries and gravies. Guntur chillies, with their fiery heat, are ideal for adding a spicy kick to gravies like Kolhapuri Chicken and Tambada Rassa. Kashmiri chillies, on the other hand, lend a beautiful red colour and mild heat to curries.

Cultivation and Production of Red Chillies in Maharashtra

Maharashtra is one of the leading producers of red chillies in India. The state’s favourable climate, fertile soil, and extensive irrigation facilities make it an ideal region for chilli cultivation. The major chilli-growing districts in Maharashtra include Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur, and Nashik.

The cultivation of red chillies in Maharashtra follows a meticulous process. The seeds are sown in nurseries and then transplanted to the main field after a few weeks. The plants require regular watering and protection from pests and diseases. After several months, the chilli pods are harvested, dried, and processed for various culinary uses.

Where to Buy Authentic Red Chillies in Maharashtra

To experience the authentic flavours of Maharashtrian cuisine, it is crucial to source high-quality red chillies. Local markets and grocery stores in Maharashtra are excellent places to find a wide variety of red chillies, including the popular ones mentioned earlier. Additionally, several online platforms also offer authentic Maharashtrian spices, including red chillies, that can be delivered right to your doorstep.

Recipes Featuring Different Types of Red Chillies in Maharashtra

To give you a taste of the diverse flavours that red chillies bring to Maharashtrian cuisine, here are a few recipes featuring different types of red chillies:

  1. Kolhapuri Chicken: This fiery and flavourful dish is made with Guntur chillies and a blend of aromatic spices. It pairs perfectly with steamed rice or traditional flatbreads like Bhakri.
  2. Misal Pav: A popular street food snack, Misal Pav combines sprouted lentils with a spicy gravy made from Byadgi chillies. It is garnished with chopped onions, coriander, and farsan (crispy toppings) and served with pav (bread rolls).
  3. Bharli Vangi: This traditional Maharashtrian dish features stuffed eggplants cooked in a tangy and spicy gravy made with Kashmiri chillies. It is often enjoyed with hot rotis or steamed rice.

Health Benefits of Consuming Red Chillies

Apart from adding a fiery kick to your meals, red chillies also offer several health benefits. They are rich in vitamins A and C, which help boost immunity and promote healthy skin.

Red chillies also contain capsaicin, a compound that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Additionally, they can aid in digestion, improve metabolism, and promote weight loss.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

The vibrant state of Maharashtra not only offers a treasure trove of cultural and historical landmarks but also tantalizing flavours that are deeply rooted in its culinary traditions. The diverse types of red chillies used in Maharashtrian cuisine add depth, complexity, and a fiery kick to the dishes, making them a favourite among spice enthusiasts.

From the mild Byadgi chillies to the fiery Guntur chillies and the vibrant Kashmiri chillies, each variety brings its own unique characteristics and flavour profiles to the table. So, the next time you savour a Maharashtrian delicacy, remember to appreciate the humble red chilli that enhances its taste and adds a touch of spice to your culinary journey.

Latest Posts