All you need to know about Bird’s eye chilli
The Bird’s eye chilli, which is commonly called as Thai chilli is a chilli pepper, one of the assortments from Capsicum annuum species. These types of peppers are suitable to grow in a hot weather climate. It is commonly cultivated in the African country of Ethiopia and across Southeast Asia. It has been extensively used in Asia and later became popular in North and South America. It is perennial and can be available throughout the year. The Bird’s eye peppers are generally red at maturity, but may also be yellow, purple or black, depending on the environmental conditions. They are very popular all over the world, especially in Asian cuisines. In Vietnamese cuisines, these peppers are used in a wide range of sauces, dips, pastes and also in some traditionally made dishes. In Thai cuisines, these peppers are highly valued for their fruity taste and extreme spiciness. They are almost similar to habanero or jalapeno pepper, ergo they add quite a punch to many varieties of dishes, including soups, pasta, gravy, sauces, marinades, dips and paste, used as a condiment or eaten raw, both fresh and dried. Apart from their similarity, the bird’s eye pepper is anywhere from 10 to 20 times hotter than the jalapeno pepper, which is at a ‘very hot’ scale of heat. The pepper’s heat ranges from 50000 to 100000 Scoville heat units on the Scoville scale. Due to their hotness, vibrant colours and overall versatility, they are widely used in making chilli pasta, curry, stir-fries, salsas, hot sauces, or maybe for dehydrating and grinding into chilli flakes or chilli powders.
The fresh Bird’s eye peppers should be stored in the crisper of your refrigerator until it is used and it can be kept for up to two weeks. Avoid rinsing them until just before using them, to prevent moisture and decay. To preserve, the peppers can be pickled or dried. The pickled or dried Bird’s eye peppers preserved at room temperature can last up to one year. The Bird’s eye peppers have some nutritional benefits. They are very low in calories and body fat and are very high in the antioxidant Vitamin C. The Bird’s eye chilli also helps in improving digestion by increasing the production of some essential enzymes and can speed up the movement of food in intestinal tracts. It also increases the appetite by stimulating the gut. Because of this, it now has widely being used and due to its high demand, it suddenly has become more expensive. It is also now conveniently available in the local supermarkets to the people across the world. The Bird’s eye chilli has now also being used in restaurant chain dishes for hot and spicy meals. It also contains a high amount of capsaicin, as they are very hot. Capsaicin is considered to be highly anti-inflammatory and it may benefit those who suffer from inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis, psoriasis, shingles and diabetic neuropathy. Historically, it has been used as a natural remedy for arthritis, rheumatism, flatulence and toothache. They have also been used as an insect repellent when mixed with water. The more decorative, but slightly less pungent peppers have also been used as ornaments that hold symbolical and traditional value in Thai culture. It is the basis for the hybrid cultivar ‘Numex Twilight’. These peppers can grow wild in places such as Saipan and Guam.
Though the Bird’s eye peppers have nutritional value, there are some pitfalls, as these peppers can’t be consumed every day. Eating too much chilli could lead to memory loss. It can also cause intestinal distress in some people. The symptoms may include abdominal pain, a burning sensation in your gut, cramps and painful diarrhoea. This is more common in people with intestinal bowel syndrome (IBS). The Bird’s eye peppers have some advantages and some disadvantages, but clearly, their advantages outweigh the disadvantages they have. Hence, these peppers should be consumed with strictly proper cautions and clear information to gain their benefits and to prevent them from any harm. It is suggested to include these peppers to your diet only once or twice in a while, as a cheat meal, or as a spice alternative food.