Birds Eye Chilli : A medicinal wonder camouflaging as everyday culinary ingredient
April 12, 2017
Every night I sleep with the resolve to start eating healthy but come morning that resolve is chased away by the tempting aroma of the breakfast being prepared by my mother. I love my food to be spicy and cheesy but at the same time, I hate to compromise with my health.This is why I am always on a lookout for the organic food items which packs health with the taste. And today I am going to talk about the culinary wonder which literally adds spice in your everyday life- ‘Chilli’ or to be more specific ‘Birds eye chilli’.
Birds eye chilli also known as Thai chilli or Kanthari chilli is an important ingredient in Thai, Vietnamese and many other Asian cuisines. It is native to South America, Central America & Mexico but it was brought to the modern world by Spanish and Portuguese sea farers in 16th and 17th century. Today it is extensively cultivated in Ethiopia, South East Asia, India and Sri Lanka. Birds love to peck on the fruits of the chilli plant and that has earned it the peculiar name ‘Birds eye chilli’.
Capsaicin the prime element of birds eye chilli is a powerful antioxidant and protects skin by controlling the production of free radicals which damages the skin cells. Capsaicin is hydrophobic and thus it preserves the natural moisture in the upper layer of the skin and protects from UV rays. Due to its anti-aging properties, it is widely used in skin care products. Historically birds eye chilli has been extensively used for its therapeutic properties, in fact, native Indians used to rub chilli pepper pods for relief in toothache. In India, kanthari is traditionally used in food preparation and is a highly recommended ayurvedic medicine for increasing metabolism, stimulating appetite and reducing body weight.
Birds eye chilli is a rich source of Vitamin A, B, C, and E.
Phew… I am feeling healthier just by writing about it. Now don’t feel guilty when making your food extra spicy, just replace your everyday chilli powder with birds eye chilli and take a step towards healthy food habits.