|Chillis at different stages of ripeness (picture mrbigben.com)|
|Scotch bonnet Chillis (pic ofgate.com)|
All chillis contain a substance known as capsaicin which is responsible for the heat they provide when eaten. Chilli varieties have varying contents of capsaicin dictating how mild or hot the resulting dish is.
|Ground dried Chillis|
Nigerians eat a lot of chillis in comparison with other West African nations. There is a popular adage which says, "a life without chilli is a weak life!" They are used a great deal in traditional cooking.
Cooking with Chillis
Scotch bonnets (rodo) is the most widely used variety of chilli in Nigerian cooking and is rated as Extra hot!
Dropping them whole into stews or soups rather than blending with other ingredients also reduces heat.
Those who suffer from stomach ulcers or those who cannot tolerate spicy foods must avoid eating chillis.
Also Cameroon pepper - a really aromatic and flavourful black coloured ground pepper with a moderate heat. Excellent for dishes like isi ewu and pepper-soup.