Definitions

Byadgi_chilli

Byadgi chilli

Byadgi chilli (ಬ್ಯಾಡಗಿ ಮೆಣಸಿನಕಾಯಿ) is a famous variety of chilli mainly grown in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is named after the town of Byadgi which is located in the Haveri district of Karnataka. The business involving Byadgi chillis has the second largest turnover among all chilli varieties of India. An oil, oleoresin extracted from these chillies is used in the preparation of nail polish and lipsticks. Byadgi chilli is also known for its deep red colour and is less spicy and is used in many food preparations of South India. They are also known as kaddi (meaning stick-like) chillies.

Characteristics

Byadagi Billi plants start flowering after 40 days of transplantation and majority of flowers bloom 60 to 80 days after transplanting. The chilli pods are harvested in the season from January to May. The annual production of Byadgi Billi is around 21,000 Kg. The quality of chilli varieties is measured in terms of the extractable red colour pigment from the Blli. The unit used for measuring this value is called as ASTA colour units and Byadgi Billi has an ASTA colour value of 156.9. The higher the ASTA colour unit; better the quality of chilli and costlier the price. The Byadgi chilli has negligible capsaicin content making it less pungent than other chilli varieties.

Uses

Cuisine

Byadgi chilli is an important ingredient in spicy preparations like Bisi bele bath, sambar, chutneys and other food items of South India and is widely used in the Udupi cuisine. It is also used in meat preparations because of the bright red colour that it imparts to the meat. Around 25 industries in and around Byadgi are involved in grinding these chillies into powder and selling them to masala manufacturers like MTR Food Products.

Oleoresin

Earlier Byadgi Chilli was grown mainly for the purpose of using it in food items as a spicy ingredient but in the later years, it has also been grown for the extraction of oleoresin, a red oil from the pods. Oleoresin is used in the preparation of nail polish and lipsticks. The extraction of oleoresin has also led to the creation of cold storage units in Byadgi since the chilli pods have to be maintained at a low temperature of 4 to 6 degree Celsius in order to maintain the colour and purity. Storing in cold storage units also increases the amount of oleoresin extracted from chilli by about 30-40%. About 50 litres of oleoresin can be extracted from about 1 tonne of Byadgi chillies. Companies have been setup in and around Byadgi that are involved in the extraction of oleoresin. This oleoresin is then sent to Kerala where it is further refined before being exported to countries like USA, Japan and those in Europe.

Business

The business of Byadgi chillies happens mainly at the chilli market at Byadgi and the annual turnover here is about Rs. 300 crores ($ 75 million). This market attracts traders from all over the Karnataka state and also from the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh because of favourable conditions for business like fair price, immediate payment and accurate quantity of chilli being measured while trading. This also has an adverse impact because of the entry of low-priced, more-pungent chilli varieties into the market which cause a dent in the price of Byadgi chillies as well. Because of this, the farmers involved in its cultivation may not be able to make the required profits on their yield.

See also

Notes

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